South Korea - Page 2

Donald Trump and South Korean President will Meet Before Trump-Kim Summit


Donald Trump has accepted Kim Jong-Un’s invitation to meet, and he is the first president to do so. However, before the highly-anticipated meeting, Donald Trump is going to hold his own summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in to discuss what’s to come and prepare for the main event. According to a senior official in Moon’s administration, this meeting will be held in Washington DC, and Moon is supposed to update Trump on the results of the inter-Korean summit that takes place later this week.

Kim Jong-Un and Moon Jae-In are going to see each other face-to-face in the demilitarized zone which separates the two countries. It has been more than a decade since the leaders of these two countries spoke face-to-face.

Meanwhile, South Korea’s top national security officer Ching Eui-Yong has met with US National Security Adviser John Bolton in Washington on Tuesday, and this is where the idea of a Trump-Moon summit emerged, according to Yoon Young-chan, President’s secretary for public relations of South Korea. Yoon said that Chung had considered this meeting with Bolton “very substantial and beneficial.”

“The two countries have agreed to consult after the inter-Korean summit for the success of the North Korea-US summit,” Chung said, according to Yoon. We are slowly getting more details about the meeting between the two Koreas, and Moon administration displayed the symbolic dishes which will be served for the two leaders. Some of the food that will be served includes noodles, barbeque beef, and dumplings. On Wednesday, Seoul showed photos of the room in which the two leaders will talk, and it is the Peace House in the demilitarized zone on the border. The room has been redecorated to commemorate this historic meeting.

According to South Korea spokespersons, the oval-shaped table has been chosen so that the two sides can speak truthfully and the width of this table, where two leaders will sit, is 2018mm, which marks the year of the inter-Korean summit. Furthermore, a painting of Mt. Kumgang will be placed in the room, which is a mountain in North Korea that has been closed to the South Korean visitors in 2008. This painting should symbolize the reconciliation between the two Koreas as well as Pyongyang and Washington. Meanwhile, the blue carpet symbolizes “beautiful and healthy spirit of the nature of the Peninsula,” whereas the walls resemble the ones in a Hanok, a traditional Korean house.


Donald Trump Says Kim Jong-Un is “Very Honorable”


Before the meeting between US president Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, Trump has come to some conclusions. He has said that Kim has been “very open” and “very honorable,” which is quite a different assessment of what he used to say in the past. Just as a reminder, Trump called Kim “Little Rocket Man.”

The summit between the two countries will be held in May or June, and the leaders are going to discuss Pyongyang’s nuclear program. So far, Trump has been optimistic about the meeting, and he has said that the two sides were having “good discussions.” At the White House, with French President Emmanuel Macron by his side, Trump has stated: “We have been told directly that they would like to have the meeting as soon as possible. We think that’s a great thing for the world. Kim Jong Un, he really has been very open and I think very honorable from everything we’re seeing.”

However, Trump is not entering the talks without caution. He pointed out that North Korea hasn’t fulfilled previous promises, but he has acknowledged the fact that Pyongyang is forced to organize such a summit thanks to his administration and pressure put by the United States allies as well as sanctions imposed on North Korea. As for the outcome of the meeting, Trump said: “We’ll see where that all goes. Maybe it will be wonderful or maybe it won’t.”

On Saturday, North Korea confirmed that they were willing to close the nuclear testing facility and stop with the intercontinental ballistic missile tests, which is something Donald Trump approves of and considers it to be “big progress.” Even though they are willing to stop the testing, North Korea will not get rid of their nuclear weapons. The term ‘denuclearization’ means different for the two leaders, but Trump clarified what it meant to him. He said: “It means they get rid of their nukes. Very simple.” He also added: “It would be easy for me to make a simple deal and declare victory. I don’t want to do that.”

Later this week, the meeting between Moon Jae-in, South Korean president and Kim Jong-Un will be held in the Demilitarized Zone on the border between the two Koreas. After that, allied South Korea will talk with the US to discuss what has been said on the inter-Korea meeting and this can lay grounds for the main summit which will take place at the end of May or at the beginning of June. The last time the US leaders met with North Korea officials was at the end of Korean War, which is why this summit is of utmost importance.

Meanwhile, Trump’s administration plans to nominate Adm. Harry Harris, current commander of US forces in the Pacific as ambassador to South Korea. This position needs to be filled in quickly, especially since it has been empty ever since Trump took office. However, Harris has already been nominated to be ambassador to Australia, but his Senate confirmation hearing has been postponed. Both South Korea and Australia have been informed that Harris may be repositioned, but nothing has been official yet, and we are waiting for the new facts to emerge. This information comes from one of the congressional aides who insisted on staying anonymous since they had no authority to make comments on the matter.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo who is favored by Trump as the next Secretary of State also spoke of the matter. He said that the vacant spot needed “immediate attention.” As for Harris, he has been in uniform for almost four decades, and he is considered to be very candid. Although Trump is quite optimistic about the meeting between the US and North Korea, Harris could not be “overly optimistic” about the outcome, and he said: “We have to go into this, eyes wide open.”


Donald Trump Calls For Denuclearization Of North Korea


During an interview on Tuesday, the President of the United States Donald Trump said that North Korea must get rid of their nuclear bombs. He emphasized that it is essential for world peace that Pyongyang puts a halt to their nuclear program. The primary theme of the upcoming Trump/Kim summit will be “denuclearization.”

During the joint press conference with the French President, Emmanuel Macron, Trump explained what denuclearization means in his book: “It means they get rid of their nukes — very simple.”

POTUS continued by saying: “It would be very easy for me to make a simple deal and claim victory. I don’t want to do that. I want them to get rid of their nukes.”

North Korean officials led by Kim Jong-un claim that they are willing to consider “denuclearization.” But, Pyongyang has a different definition of this term. For them, it’s “denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.” Under this, they want to see America’s military presence in the south part of the peninsula gone. But, removing US military presence from South Korea might destabilize the area, with both South Korea and Japan being in danger of North Korean power.

Donald Trump

The summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un is planned for some time now. The idea is to have a meeting to discuss North Korean nuclear program this year during May or June. Donald Trump is optimistic about the meetup calling the president of North Korea “very open” and “very honorable.” Judging by these comments some progress has been already made because a few months ago Trump called Kim “Little Rocket Man.”

At a press conference held in the White House on April 24th Trump said: “We have been told directly that they would like to have the meeting as soon as possible. We think that’s a great thing for the world. Kim Jong Un, he really has been very open, and I think very honorable from everything we’re seeing.”

The summit between Trump and Kim will have a prelude when North Korean leader meets with his Southern counterpart Moon Jae-in at demilitarized zone between two Korea’s.

The date and location for Kim/Trump meeting haven’t been officially set.

Trump – Foreign Policy Before And After


Donald Trump’s rose to the Presidency on the wings of a single premise: that America is no longer a superpower. According to him, there are many culprits for this downfall. NATO allies are guilty because they don’t contribute to the mutual defense fund and are using US military as a shield. Mexicans are guilty because they steal American jobs. Above all else, President Obama is guilty of failing to prevent all this and now it has fallen to Mr. Trump to make America great again. His voters believed this and President Trump was sworn into Oval Office.

Once there, he discovered that international politics aren’t as simple as he portraited them to be. With Chinese economy on the fast track, constant challenges in the Middle East, Russia flexing its muscles in Ukraine and Eastern Mediterranean, Mr. Trump and his ever-changing team found themselves in the deep end of the pool.

Iran deal, signed between P5+1 group (US, UK, Russia, China, France, and Germany) and Iran, has been one of the favorite Mr. Trump’s targets. The agreement allowed Tehran to return to the international markets, in return for giving up its nuclear program and has left Israel as the sole nuclear power in the region. President Obama, who signed the deal, has stated that it was the best solution at the moment and that the only other option of stopping Iran from getting nuclear weapons was another war. In line with his Asia Pivot policy, he wanted to detangle the US from the Middle East, thus recognizing that Iraq war was a strategic failure. When he withdraw US troops from Iraq – a move heavily criticized by American allies in the region, Israel, and Saudi Arabia – the newly-created vacuum was quickly filled by ISIS.

This has opened up an opportunity for Russia to step in and offer Syria its help in “fighting terrorists” by deploying a substantial military force and creating a narrative that it is still a major player in the international arena. Combined with the annexation of Crimean Peninsula and heavy support of the rebels in Eastern Ukraine, (and short and decisive war with Georgia in 2008) it would seem that Vladimir Putin is well on his way of restoring at least some of the international power the Soviet Union wielded in its heyday. His “unholy alliance” with Turkey and Iran has managed to keep Bashar al-Assad in power in Syria, while the US was content with providing support for their Kurdish allies.

Another flashpoint of international politics, North Korea, has managed to obtain nuclear weapons, despite the constant threats by the US and Japan. This has forced America to increase its military presence in the region and seek deeper collaboration with Japan and South Korea.

When President Trump took power in January of 2017, one of his first moves was the cancelation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). With the appointment of Jared Kushner as the special envoy for the Arab-Israeli peace process and the recognition of the Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and a steep increase in drone attacks in the region, it seemed that he is abandoning Asia Pivot strategy set by his predecessor and focusing on the Middle East. He also signed a bill introducing sanctions against Russia for its intervention in Ukraine, a move that caused Kremlin to expel 755 members of the US embassy in Moscow. President Trump threatened on several occasions to withdraw from Iranian deal and has given its European allies till May 12th to fix it.

His first address to the United Nations Assembly was marked by threats to North Korea, in response to Pyongyang ballistic tests. He also ordered the deployment of THAAD missile defense system in South Korea and B1 bombers patrols in the region.

The long-awaited response to the trade deficit with China and theft of intellectual property right (estimated at $300 billion) came in April 2018 in the form of 25% tariffs on 1,333 Chinese imports. Beijing retaliated by imposing similar taxes on US food exports and Washington is currently developing a second round of import fees aimed at Chinese merchandise.

Mr. Trump’s military budget reflects his nationalistic views and his campaign promise of self-reliance. It is the largest ever military budget in history at $700 billion and yet some experts claim that it won’t be enough. His National Security Strategy identifies China, Russia, and Iran as direct threats to the American security and that return to “principled realism” is the only possible answer. Paradoxically, President Trump’s policy of America First will lead to increase interventionism in trade, which will hamper the international commerce system, which is vital for America’s own economic prosperity.

Therefore, it is far more likely that the US, in future, will rely more on both NATO and strategic partnership with India, Japan, and Australia in order to curb Chinese expansion in Asia, despite his campaign promises.


The USA and North Korea – What does Denuclearization mean?


Next week, North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un is going to meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in to discuss different topics one of which is going to be denuclearization. This term has been in the media in recent weeks, and just like many, we are not sure what it means. Is it giving up on the nuclear weapons for? Or destroying all the weapons assembled so far? These are just some of the explanations of the term, but what is it that America wants North Korea to do exactly? The summit was planned, and US President Donald Trump is going to meet with Kim Jong-Un to discuss denuclearization, but America needs to show precise demands if they want the talks to be successful.

The reason why the meeting didn’t happen earlier is that North Korea wanted the US troops to withdraw from the region. But they do not anymore, and the summit will take place. Adam Mount, a senior fellow at the Federation of American Scientists, said: “North Korea has been saying all the right things … they want this summit to occur, and they’re doing what it takes to make it happen.”

However, North Korea has been quiet, and Kim’s public statements were vague and not so promising. In Beijing, at the end of March, Kim Jong-Un said: “It is our consistent stand to be committed to denuclearization on the peninsula, in accordance with the will of late President Kim Il Sung and late General Secretary Kim Jong Il.”
But are the three presidents have the same thing in mind when they talk about denuclearization?

The US and South Korea

For the United States and South Korea, denuclearization means only one thing. Josh Pollack, a senior research associate at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, said: “It’s called CVID — complete, verifiable, irreversible dismantlement of the North Korean program.” The word “irreversible” means that once the North Korean nuclear program is dismantled, it cannot be launched again. Moreover, this process needs to be under scrutiny and someone independent needs to oversee it. “Unless there is independent monitoring … any unilateral undertakings by the North Koreans will probably not be worth the paper they’re written on,” said Kevin Rudd, former Australian PM, and diplomat.

Two countries have advocated denuclearization of North Korea for decades, and this is the first time that some progress could be made. In 1991, Pyongyang joined Seoul and signed a “joint declaration of the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.” After that, they requested international aid and promised to dismantle the program, but the words were all there was. After almost three decades, hope is rekindled, and this time it could be different. Even though we are doubtful that two sides have the same idea of denuclearization, Moon said: “I do not think there is any difference in the concept [between North and South Korea].”

North Korea

According to Xinhua, Chinese news, Kim Jong-Un didn’t speak of Pyongyang ending its program when he promised the talks in Beijing in March. He referred to “denuclearization on the (Korean) Peninsula.”

If you are still not sure what the difference is, Kim Jong-Un considers the denuclearization of the entire peninsula which means that both North and South Korea would have to give up on the nuclear program. They also consider the American presence on the South Korean soil to be the direct threat despite the fact that the US hasn’t installed any nuclear weapons since 1992. Pollack noted: “They really are threatened by superior American and South Korean military power, they need nuclear weapons to try and prevent an invasion in their view. They feel the need to equate their nuclear program with the (US and South Korean) military alliance and claims the military alliance is a nuclear threat, when there’s no real grounds for that.”

Pollack also made another interesting point that North Korean leader wants to create a gap between Washington and Seoul with his decision to discuss denuclearization. Pollack said: “The pessimistic interpretation is that Kim is intent on making concession after concession in private to show Moon that he is the reasonable one, with the expectation that Trump will ultimately be unable or unwilling to deliver.”

With this in mind, the dialogues would most likely be futile. The two sides have different views on denuclearization, and North Korea will not abandon its nuclear program while South Korea keeps developing it and the US forces stay in the region.


FPI Analysis: The Future of Missile Defense in the Asia Pacific


The Asia-Pacific region is important for the United States because it is the part of the world where some of the US allies are located. It is also the region in which missile threats are going through the roof, and the United States need to protect the country as well as its allies from any possible attack. Trump’s administration is well aware that they would not be able to intercept every missile, but it is feasible to assemble an integrated defense for protection from countries such as North Korea and China.

So far, every administration, including this one has claimed that the missile defense architecture is ever-changing. It is something that keeps evolving, and it is a process that will never be finished. While Obama did everything to implement such defense in Europe and has done so successfully, Asia-Pacific region has been neglected, and it is up to Trump and the presidents who come after him to fix this issue.


Missile Threats Increase

North Korea has developed the nuclear program, and their ballistic missiles are considered to be their only defense. This way, they are keeping the USA at bay and with such weapons they can target any of the nearby US allies such as Japan or South Korea. The North Korean leader also claimed that the rockets could reach the States. Last year, North Korea introduced a new missile with faster launch times and better mobility. Meanwhile, this country is working on the development of submarine-launched ballistic missiles as well as an ICBM capability to threaten the US.

However, North Korea is not the only country in the region that could harm the United States. Another, much larger threat comes from China and their far more sophisticated long-range missile systems. Furthermore, China has created large numbers of short and medium-range missiles for regional use. This means, once again, that one of the US allies can be attacked and defeated. What is concerning is that the number of missile tests is growing in the region and the USA needs to do something about it.

Missile Defense

Firstly, America needs to accept the fact that the threat is real. The country needs to do everything in its power to improve and further develop the missile defense in the region. This means that new capabilities need to be created and a large number of interceptors and sensors are supposed to be built. Currently, there are several sensors in the Asia-Pacific which would prevent any possible attacks, but their number needs to be increased. They are listed below:

• PAVE PAWS Early Warning Radar – Taiwan
• TPY-2 radars – Japan
• Aegis SPY-1 radars – afloat
• Sea-based X-band radar

The interceptors can be divided into three groups – Patriot, Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) and Standard Missile-3. There are also large numbers of inexpensive and lower-tier levels of defense, which we are not going to mention here in greater details. All you have to know is that they exist, but let’s check out these interceptors, one by one.


The Patriot family of missile defenses is intended to strike down short-range ballistic missiles. Such weapons are located in the United States, but they are also built in Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. Although Patriot family has been enhanced significantly in the recent years, there are still numerous problems that plague such systems. For instance, they cannot provide a full 360-degree coverage, and their blind spots are their weakness.


THAAD is arguably the best missile defense systems implemented by the USA. It is positioned in South Korea despite China’s disagreement and objections. There is one in Guam as well. When combined with the Patriot, THAAD is relentless. They cover more territory and can knock down missiles on a larger area. At this point, THAAD looks good, but the US Army has a goal to improve it even further.

Aegis Weapons System

Last but not least, we need to mention seven Aegis BMD-capable destroyers deployed by the United States. In addition, there are four Japanese BMD capable ships at Yokosuka. The ships are equipped with the radar which can track any missile launched by the enemy, and besides the radar, various sensors are used as well. This system is intended for longer range threats. Also, the SM-3 IIA interceptor will be deployed in 2018, the result of the cooperation between Japan and the United States. These interceptors are a feat of engineering, and they have improved sensors and are a lot faster than any other interceptors.

United States Allies

The American allies in the Asia-Pacific need to band together and create a defensive wall. While in Europe, NATO exists, there is no such thing in this region of Asia, and more cooperative efforts are required in order to improve the capability of the defensive weapons and cut down the costs as much as possible.

So far, the American allies have been doing the right thing. Both Japan and South Korea have invested a lot of money in missile defenses. For instance, just two years ago, Japan spent about $2.1 billion whereas the South Koreans increased the budget for the Korean Air and Missile Defense system to $1.43 billion last year. Meanwhile, Japan is also distributing money to the enhancement and deployment of Aegis Ashore in their country. On top of that, they are upgrading their destroyers and basically every aspect of their missile defense system. The same goes for South Korea.

However, these two countries are not the only allies of the Americans in the region. Australia is also working on first two destroyers equipped with Aegis, and this would improve the overall missile defense significantly. With the allies investing from their budgets, the costs for the US would be reduced, or the money intended for such purpose could be redirected. Let’s not forget that the USA also has the Ground-based interceptors in the Pacific states of Alaska and California. Currently, the biggest issue is protecting Hawaii, which is in the outer reach of the United States territory.

What the US should do

As you can see, improving the defensive line in the Asia-Pacific region is a must and the efforts need to be made. While this all costs a lot of money, it is the money well spent. In order to create better Asia-Pacific missile defense system, there are several rules America needs to abide by. They need to purchase state of the art weapons which are currently available and to further invest in their development, plus, the priority should be architecture.

Furthermore, launch systems which are more adaptable and flexible need to be acquired because this would reduce costs. All aspects of the BMDS can be increased with a space-sensor layer. In that way, both regional and homeland missile defenses would be enhanced significantly. Last but not least, the United States Army needs to use the money for nine THAAD batteries, and THAAD interceptor needs to be improved to have more range.

Obama administration didn’t do much in order to improve missile defense in this region. Trump has held the office for almost year and a half now, and if he wants to secure the country, his administration needs to address this issue. While it is not the most burning problem America is facing, something needs to be done about it. The most important thing is that the improvements are constantly happening.

The Reason American Foreign Aid Works


If you ever doubted whether US foreign aid works, we need to go a few years back when Barack Obama was the President of the United States. In spring, 2014, Obama’s visit to South Korea marked one of the greatest success stories of foreign aid in the history of the United States. At that time, South Korea increased its budget for foreign assistance by 11 percent. Not only would this help the other countries in the region and the world, but the US has gained a valuable ally which improved the country’s economy and security.

After the Korean War, South Korea was devastated. Their entire country needed to be rebuilt, and the USA worked together with the Korean government in the following decades, to bring Korea back from ashes. The US invested around $35 billion in foreign economic assistance which protected this country from the possible attack from their neighbors. Today, South Korea is one of the richer countries in the world, with Seoul being the economic center.

The transformation of South Korea was a victory by the US. It showed the government of the United States and its citizens that this was a smart investment. This state has become the tenth largest export market for the goods made in the United States, and the trade has developed even more in the recent years, facilitated by the US-South Korea free trade agreement signed in 2012. Initially, South Korea was a heavily dependent foreign aid recipient, but the country role has changed for better. They are now a major international donor, and they joined the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC), thus becoming the third Asia-Pacific country to do so.

The ways in which South Korea has helped the world are numerous. They donated $680 million to Afghanistan for reconstruction purposes and medical facilities as well as paved roads and police training stations. Furthermore, five years ago they added another $43 million to improve women’s rights and access to medical services in Afghanistan.

Luckily, South Korea’s story from a war-torn country to one of the countries which are providing assistance due to America’s intervention is not the only one in the world. The US also sent assistance to Colombia which had problems with insurgents that threatened the lawful government back in 2001. Thanks to the American aid, Columbia managed to combat the insurgent groups and they have become another major country where the US exports its goods. Since 2000, the profit from the US exports has grown from $3.6 billion to approximately $20 billion today. The US donated around $8 billion in combined military and economic assistance so you can do the math.

A major change happened in 2003 when President George W. Bush established the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. This plan allows the US to support almost 66% of all antiviral treatments for HIV/AIDS in the world. Since the pressure of AIDS dropped in African countries, partly due to American assistance, the economic growth ensued.

Washington keeps taking necessary steps to make the foreign aid more transparent and as effective as possible. In the last decade, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) was established by Congress, and the MCC was ranked the top agency among 67 international donor organizations a few years back.

Although some congressmen question the effectiveness of foreign assistance, the fact is that stopping to aid countries around the world would undermine America’s national security and economic growth. The good thing is that more lawmakers are in favor of such aid, which benefits both America and the countries which need to receive much-needed donations.

The United States and South Korea—A Legacy of Foreign Assistance Success


President Obama’s visit to South Korea in April 2014, was considered particularly important for two reasons. First of all, it was to highlight the importance of the alliance between the two countries, and second of all, it was to emphasize its success as one of the greatest achievements in American history when it comes to foreign aid. To be more precise, the fact that South Korea became a global partner with an 11-percent increase in foreign assistance budget says a lot about their success, which, again, implies that the US foreign assistance can contribute to security, as well as economic prosperity.

The Korean War had a detrimental impact on South Korea, especially on its population, along with economic and military capacity. So, the United States invested about $35 billion in economic foreign assistance with the aim of getting the country back on the road to its recovery, but also to protect it from North Korean aggression that could possibly come in the future. And, of course, the job was done successfully, as the economy of South Korea flourished soon afterward, while Seoul became a major bulwark of security and stability in the Asia-Pacific.

Not only did South Korea’s transformation prove to be a diplomatic triumph for the US, but it was also a smart investment for American businesses. How is that possible? It’s quite simple – those $35 billion they provided, in fact, “amount to less than what the United States exports to South Korea annually.” All in all, as a result of such an economic miracle, South Korea became the tenth largest export market for US goods. Furthermore, Seoul implemented the US-South Korean free trade agreement (which was reached two years earlier, in 2012) only helped the country develop even more and import even more goods from the US.