Informal Institute for National Security Thinkers and Practitioners


Quotes of the Day:

"Communism never sleeps, never changes its objectives, nor must we. Our first duty to freedom is to defend our own. Then one day we might export a little to those peoples who have to live without it."
-Margaret Thatcher

"You don't have to carry a sword to be powerful."
- Ahsoka Tano

"A man, as a general rule, owes very little to what he is born with — a man is what he makes of himself." 
- Alexander Graham Bell


1. ROK says DPRK fires short-range ballistic missile off east coast
2.  N.K. state media outlets remain silent about SLBM launch
3. N. Korea repaired missile-capable submarine before using in latest SLBM launch: sources
4. Northeast Asian Security Will Require North Korea’s Regional Reintegration
5. Signs of nuclear test preparations at Punggye-ri nuclear test site
6. Time for a joint strategic research with the U.S.
7. Reading North Korea
8. Improving North Korean Defector Integration in South Korea: Survey Findings and Recommendations
9. Yoon’s Key North Korea Challenges: Pyongyang’s Increasing Hostility and Washington’s Backslide Into Strategic Patience
10. Two Koreas go tit-for-tat ahead of South's change in administration
11. 'Little LA' planned near new presidential office
12. Will South Korea boost ties with Europe amid China-US rivalry?
13. Psychologists found a "striking" difference in intelligence after examining twins raised apart in South Korea and the United States





1. ROK says DPRK fires short-range ballistic missile off east coast
Fairly bland report from Xinhua . Perhaps because the north has not yet announced the test.

ROK says DPRK fires short-range ballistic missile off east coast
Xinhua | Updated: 2022-05-07 15:21




SEOUL - The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) fired one short-range ballistic missile, presumed to be a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), off its east coast, the Republic of Korea (ROK)'s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said Saturday.
The JCS said in a statement that it detected the missile, which was launched in waters off the DPRK's eastern coastal city of Sinpo, where its main submarine shipyard is believed to be placed, at about 2:07 pm local time (0507 GMT) on Saturday.
The intelligence authorities of ROK and the United States were analyzing further details, the JCS noted.
The JCS said the ROK's military was closely monitoring relevant situations while maintaining a full readiness posture in preparation for possibly additional launches.
It came just three days after ROK said the DPRK launched a ballistic missile into its eastern waters from the Sunan area in Pyongyang.
The DPRK has launched projectiles 15 times this year, saying it test-fired a new type of intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), Hwasongpho-17, on March 24.



2.  N.K. state media outlets remain silent about SLBM launch

Is the military getting out ahead of the Propaganda and Agitation department? Why doesn't PAD have prepared messages ready to exploit their tests?

(LEAD) N.K. state media outlets remain silent about SLBM launch | Yonhap News Agency
en.yna.co.kr · by 장재순 · May 8, 2022
(ATTN: UPDATES with media outlet criticizing Yoon's plan to bolster defense)
SEOUL, May 8 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's official news agency and other state media outlets remained silent Sunday about a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) that the country fired the previous day in its latest saber-rattling ahead of the inauguration of South Korea's incoming President Yoon Suk-yeol.
The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), Pyongyang's official mouthpiece, usually begins its morning news cycle with reports on major events that happened the previous day, such as leader Kim Jong-un's activity or major weapons testing.
But on Sunday, the KCNA made no mention of the SLBM launch, which, according to South Korea's military, was carried out Saturday afternoon in waters off the North's eastern coastal city of Sinpo, the North's main submarine shipyard.
The Rodong Sinmun, the North's main newspaper, and other media outlets also remained mum on the launch.
The firing, which marked the North's 15th show of force this year, came just three days before Yoon takes office as South Korea's new president with a North Korea policy widely seen as more hawkish than that of outgoing President Moon Jae-in.
It was the second time in less than a week that North Korean state media outlets have not carried a report on major weapons testing. Last week, state media carried no reports after the North fired what is believed to be an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), spurring speculation the launch ended in failure.
Meanwhile, Meari, a propaganda media outlet, criticized Yoon's plan to bolster defense against the North's nuclear and missile threats, including completing what is dubbed a "three-axis" system, saying such systems would be "useless" in the face of the country's "mighty force and absolute power."
The homegrown three-axis system consists of the Korea Massive Punishment and Retaliation (KMPR), an operational plan to incapacitate the North Korean leadership in a major conflict; the Kill Chain preemptive strike platform; and the Korea Air and Missile Defense system (KAMD).
"Such things as the introduction of foreign high-tech weapons, the development of arms on its own or the establishment of a South Korean-style three-axis system are nothing but useless things in the face of our mighty force and absolute power," it said.


(END)
en.yna.co.kr · by 장재순 · May 8, 2022


3. N. Korea repaired missile-capable submarine before using in latest SLBM launch: sources



N. Korea repaired missile-capable submarine before using in latest SLBM launch: sources | Yonhap News Agency
en.yna.co.kr · by 장재순 · May 8, 2022
SEOUL, May 8 (Yonhap) -- The North Korean submarine that fired a ballistic missile from underwater Saturday was the one that had to be towed ashore due to an engine problem following an earlier missile test-firing in October last year, sources said Sunday.
The North is believed to have repaired the Gorae-class vessel since the Oct. 19 test-firing that also took place in waters off the country's eastern coastal city of Sinpo, where the North's main submarine shipyard is located.
Due to damage to its engine from the impact of the firing at the time, the 2,000-ton-class submarine could not move on its own and had to be towed by a tugboat to the Sinpo shipyard, according to military and intelligence authorities.
"Though the extent of the damage was not exactly determined, it was not in a condition where it could move on its own. It had to be towed," a source said on condition of anonymity.
The North could have carried out the October firing in a hurried manner without much preparation as South Korea had successfully test-fired two submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) the previous month, becoming the world's seventh country with homegrown SLBMs.
Sources said that South Korean and U.S. intelligence authorities had detected signs of the North repairing the submarine until recently before the vessel was used in Saturday's SLBM launch.
No signs have emerged yet that indicate any damage to the vessel from the latest launch.
The Gorae-class submarine, which is 67 meters long and 7 meters wide, is believed to be the only type capable of firing missiles among North Korea's submarines.


(END)
en.yna.co.kr · by 장재순 · May 8, 2022




4. Northeast Asian Security Will Require North Korea’s Regional Reintegration

Require? What does Kim Jong-un want? Does he want to become part of a regional security initiative? Does he want South Korea to be protected when he in fact has designs for domination of the peninsula?

As an aside, there are no "Track Two" talks with north Korea. All representatives at such talks are party/government officials. There are no private citizens from north Korea who attend these types of talks so at best they are track 1.5 talks.

Excerpts:
Beyond this, it will be important for regional policy experts and scholars to remain engaged through track two dialogues on nuclear risk reduction and lowering the risks that may stem from arms-racing in the region. Beyond the Korean Peninsula, the broader East Asian region faces no shortage of challenges; regional dialogues can help promote mutual understanding that could have positive downstream effects on inter-Korean peace and security.
Each of these paths could help reintegrate North Korea in the region and convince its leaders that peace and prosperity for the North Korean people can be achieved with less risk. For now, there are clear limits to what is possible so long as Kim Jong Un keeps his government purposefully estranged from the international community. Despite the poor prognosis for short-term breakthroughs, it is incumbent on regional leaders – especially in Seoul and Washington – to take a longer view on promoting regional peace and security by ensuring that Pyongyang’s isolation doesn’t become permanent.




Northeast Asian Security Will Require North Korea’s Regional Reintegration
South Korean, U.S., and regional security would be improved through risk reduction measures – such as reconnecting North Korea to regional security processes.
thediplomat.com · by Toby Dalton · May 6, 2022
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The relative calm on the Korean Peninsula could once again give way to crisis. A recent North Korean military parade and the first-ever test of a missile system designated for the delivery of tactical nuclear weapons serve as reminders of more than a decade of unconstrained weapons development under Kim Jong Un. The risk of escalation resulting in nuclear use by North Korea – either deliberately or inadvertently – is significant and may continue to grow. Pyongyang has ossified its status as a nuclear weapons power.
Despite this, successive governments in Seoul and Washington have continued to frame their policy objectives toward North Korea in terms of complete denuclearization, a framing originally adopted in the early 1990s. This may be politically correct, but is counterproductive to achieving more pressing priorities, namely reducing the risk of a conflict that escalates to the use of nuclear weapons.
The incoming Yoon administration in Seoul has announced its intentions to augment South Korea’s deterrence posture toward North Korea by resuming military exercises, strengthening missile defenses, augmenting Seoul’s military capabilities, and increasing the visibility of U.S. extended nuclear deterrence. In the face of North Korea’s growing and diverse missile arsenal, it is understandable for South Korea to build out its deterrence capabilities.
Meanwhile, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – backed with wanton nuclear threats against outside intervention – has also raised fears that Kim Jong Un might be inspired to attempt a similar operation. Noted North Korea expert Andrei Lankov, for example, speculates that Pyongyang could “use their tactical weapons to obliterate the significant conventional superiority of the South Korean forces, and install an ambassador in Seoul with veto power over any South Korean policy they do not like.” Driven by such concerns, it is little wonder that some 70 percent of South Koreans favor acquiring their own nuclear deterrent.
Yet Yoon’s deterrence-centric approach to North Korea leans into a burgeoning arms competition and will likely spur North Korean responses that potentially leave South Korea less secure. The Korean Peninsula has been the throes of a classic security dilemma – with each country building up capability to offset the other’s – for years now. South Korean fielding of pre-emptive strike capabilities, and North Korea’s putative tactical nuclear weapons, stand to further exacerbate escalation risks and undermine crisis stability.
In reality, denuclearization and deterrence are opposing policy objectives. Efforts to strengthen deterrence, which drive North Korea to increase reliance on nuclear weapons, make denuclearization less plausible. Fears of nuclear coercion do not obviate the value of creative and critical thinking about alternative paths. Ultimately, South Korean, U.S., and regional security would be better improved at lower cost through risk reduction measures to mitigate the potential that provocations escalate to catastrophic conflict.
The outgoing Moon administration sought one such path by pursuing a joint declaration to formally end (in political terms) the Korean War. Although that initiative failed to gain traction, the impetus to think more broadly about how to improve security on and around the Korean Peninsula is sound. In particular, seeking ways to reconnect North Korea to regional security processes as part of a broader effort to promote a security architecture for Northeast Asia seems logical. This was once recognized and incorporated into the Six-Party Talks process, for instance.
Amid pandemic fears, North Korea has shut its borders, but eventually, this period of insularity will give way to diplomatic opportunities. When this happens, Seoul and Washington should test the plausibility of regional efforts that could lead to risk reduction on the Korean Peninsula. Recently, a group of senior scholars and practitioners from the region convened by the Asia Pacific Leadership Network endorsed a list of ideas aimed at building a more robust security “eco-system.” Three ideas, in particular, deserve serious consideration in the context of North Korea.
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First, the COVID-19 pandemic, which North Korea deemed a threat to its “national survival” as early as January 2020, has cast a spotlight on public health deficiencies within the country. Improving regional cooperation on public health infrastructure and sharing preventive best practices could promote broader trust-building. Second, North Korea has become increasingly prone to heavy rains and flooding, which should prompt a serious consideration of disaster relief cooperation opportunities, including with China.
Beyond this, it will be important for regional policy experts and scholars to remain engaged through track two dialogues on nuclear risk reduction and lowering the risks that may stem from arms-racing in the region. Beyond the Korean Peninsula, the broader East Asian region faces no shortage of challenges; regional dialogues can help promote mutual understanding that could have positive downstream effects on inter-Korean peace and security.
Each of these paths could help reintegrate North Korea in the region and convince its leaders that peace and prosperity for the North Korean people can be achieved with less risk. For now, there are clear limits to what is possible so long as Kim Jong Un keeps his government purposefully estranged from the international community. Despite the poor prognosis for short-term breakthroughs, it is incumbent on regional leaders – especially in Seoul and Washington – to take a longer view on promoting regional peace and security by ensuring that Pyongyang’s isolation doesn’t become permanent.
thediplomat.com · by Toby Dalton · May 6, 2022




5. Signs of nuclear test preparations at Punggye-ri nuclear test site

Excerpt:


Some military experts projected that North Korea may check for a series of smaller nuclear warheads dubbed “game changers” during a possible next test.

Signs of nuclear test preparations at Punggye-ri nuclear test site
Posted May. 07, 2022 07:18,
Updated May. 07, 2022 07:18
Signs of nuclear test preparations at Punggye-ri nuclear test site. May. 07, 2022 07:18. by Jin-Woo Shin niceshin@donga.com.
With North Korea reported to be practically in the final stages of developing smaller nuclear warheads, further signs of nuclear testing have been witnessed at the Punggye-ri nuclear test site in Kilju County, North Hamgyong Province, North Korea. U.S. military and intelligence authorities were quoted by U.S. news media outlets as saying that Pyongyang is expected to conduct the 7th nuclear test this month. South Korean military authorities also projected that the next North Korean nuclear testing will highly likely occur between the Yoon Suk-yeol administration’s inauguration next Tuesday and U.S. President Joe Biden’s visit to the nation on May 20.

According to reports by The Dong-A Ilbo on Friday, the South Korean government confirmed that repair works were underway as of Thursday around the No. 3 tunnel to the south of the nuclear test site in Punggye-ri. Finishing works continued on a new facility outside the entrance while movements of workers and equipment were witnessed around the tunnel.

North Korea monitoring website 38 North wrote that freight trucks were found to be parked in front of a control facility around the No. 3 tunnel based on satellite images taken on Wednesday. It was the first time that any vehicle was seen around the control facility following refurbishing works on the No. 3 tunnel. This analysis implies that Pyongyang may recover the control facility as a security building to connect tunnels to main external roads and bridges.

Three officials in the Biden administration were quoted by CNN on Thursday (local time) as saying that U.S. military and intelligence authorities conclude that North Korea will test nuclear weapons at the Punggye-ri nuclear test site late this month. Washington has been closely watching the test site to see if Pyongyang has installed nuclear bombs for test purposes.

Regarding Pyongyang’s ballistic missile launches, asked if any change can be made to President Biden’s tour to Asia, White House spokesperson Jen Psaki answered that the U.S. government always assess security, while adding that the issue is not a concern in terms of the president’s upcoming travel.

Some military experts projected that North Korea may check for a series of smaller nuclear warheads dubbed “game changers” during a possible next test.


6. Time for a joint strategic research with the U.S.

Excerpts:
 
I recommend a greater priority in technologies that can strategically enhance national defense capabilities. One technology can bolster both economic and defense powers. These technologies also benefit both self-defense and exports. The defense industry is big. Korea’s defense exports reached an all-time high of $7 billion last year. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Korea was No. 9 in defense exports 2016 to 2020.

...
South Korea could be the most stable and capable partner for America. The country has backed the U.S. on the global stage based on a longstanding military alliance. Korean industries do not directly compete with America’s. It is structured to be reciprocal. Korea is strong in chips, batteries, steel, ship production and ICT. Korea could be the only country with a mutually beneficial industrial structure as well as capacities in technology and manufacturing.
 
 
I propose that South Korea and the U.S. expand a chip and battery alliance to an overall strategic technology. The U.S. excels in high tech. But to commercialize the technology and put it into strategic production, it needs a partner like South Korea. Korea’s excellence in manufacturing is already proven. If America jointly develops strategic technology for global management, a greater synergy effect could be expected. Korea also can play an important role in establishing a global supply chain among free democracies.
 
 
Having commercialized 5G first in the world, South Korea has the world’s best ICT technology. It has superior steel and ship-making capacity that can be basis for defense. Korea has sufficient qualifications for joint development and production of strategic technologies. Among future technologies, quantum computing, aerospace, artificial intelligence chips are areas where Korea-U.S. cooperation can produce synergy. Korea, which used to rely on U.S. help, can become a partner to America’s global management.
 


Sunday
May 8, 2022

Time for a joint strategic research with the U.S.

Lee Kwang-hyung
The author is the president of Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology.

We are witnessing a novel type of war dubbed a “hybrid war” in Ukraine. The war involves all sectors — national security, supply chain, defense strategy, economic industries, financial system, and science and technology. Nuclear weapons mostly regarded as a deterrence or peace guarantee during the Cold War are now perceived as a live weapon that can actually be used. The United States so far keeps to indirect assistance without joining the war outright. Despite courageous resistance from the Ukraine people, Russia is gradually meeting its ambition. One lesson has been sure. There is a limit to what the U.S. can do when another country falls under aggression.

Many countries who relied on the U.S. as an ally to turn to at times of crisis could think otherwise upon watching America’s response to the Ukrainian war. The U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Russia’s attack on Ukraine is one example. China’s abstaining was foreseeable, but India’s was a shock. India is a member of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) with the U.S., Japan and Australia. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) which is pro-West, also abstained from the vote.

The U.S. has realized it cannot handle the global order alone. It launched Quad as a way of hemming in China. America is working on a similar framework with the United Kingdom and Australia, called Aukus, a security alliance. The U.S. is supplying nuclear-powered submarines to Australia as a part of the agreement. Washington invited Japan to join Aukus. The Congress has embarked on a review to include South Korea and Japan in the Five Eyes, an intelligence-sharing alliance among the U.S., UK, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.
 

 
Washington reportedly is seeking a Chip-4 alliance with Asian chipmaking countries — South Korea, Japan and Taiwan — to ensure stable production and supply of chips, which are a staple in modern industries, and at the same time to isolate China. A supply chain encompasses all processes from components for manufacturing to raw materials, equipment and finished products.

During a summit meeting last May, South Korea and the U.S. stressed cooperation in chips and batteries in a joint statement. The U.S. has come to rely on assistance from core allies like South Korea to defeat China in its tech contest. National power in the 21st century goes beyond politics and defense and security to include technology and industries and economics. The U.S. no longer can shoulder the burden alone. Technology factors have come to influence international politics as much as geopolitical factors as in the past.

South Korea had always been on the receiving end in its relationship with the U.S. But now America needs South Korea. Since South Korea is a major producer of chips and batteries necessary to U.S. industries, any troubles on the industrial front could mean trouble for U.S. industry.

 
 
Who would be the best partner for America managing global affairs through tech cooperation with allies? The first candidates are the Quad and Aukus members — primarily the UK, Australia, India and Japan.
 
 
The British, with excellent science and tech abilities, are a traditional ally to Americans. But the British lack U.S. standards in manufacturing. Japan is the next reliable ally. Japan’s superiority in materials and parts is widely accepted. But its industries are structured to compete with U.S. companies directly. For instance, Japanese automobiles fiercely compete with U.S. brands. And the country’s technology levels in chips, batteries and ICT that America needs are somewhat lacking. Australia is reliable enough to share America’s nuclear-powered submarine technology, but its science and tech abilities cannot generate desired synergy with the U.S.’s. India’s loyalty can still be questioned given its behavior at the UN General Assembly over the invasion of Ukraine.
 
South Korea could be the most stable and capable partner for America. The country has backed the U.S. on the global stage based on a longstanding military alliance. Korean industries do not directly compete with America’s. It is structured to be reciprocal. Korea is strong in chips, batteries, steel, ship production and ICT. Korea could be the only country with a mutually beneficial industrial structure as well as capacities in technology and manufacturing.
 
 
I propose that South Korea and the U.S. expand a chip and battery alliance to an overall strategic technology. The U.S. excels in high tech. But to commercialize the technology and put it into strategic production, it needs a partner like South Korea. Korea’s excellence in manufacturing is already proven. If America jointly develops strategic technology for global management, a greater synergy effect could be expected. Korea also can play an important role in establishing a global supply chain among free democracies.
 
 
Having commercialized 5G first in the world, South Korea has the world’s best ICT technology. It has superior steel and ship-making capacity that can be basis for defense. Korea has sufficient qualifications for joint development and production of strategic technologies. Among future technologies, quantum computing, aerospace, artificial intelligence chips are areas where Korea-U.S. cooperation can produce synergy. Korea, which used to rely on U.S. help, can become a partner to America’s global management.
 
Translation by the Korea JoongAng Daily staff. 
 
 
Developing technologies for national security and exports
 
Late last year, the government announced 10 core strategic technologies for concentrated promotion. The technologies — with the goal of achieving more than 90 percent of standards of top nations — are semiconductors and displays, secondary batteries, cyber security, bioengineering, robotics, 5G and 6G, space and aircraft, quantum computing, artificial intelligence and hydrogen. The technologies affect not just industry and the economy, but also national security.
 
I recommend a greater priority in technologies that can strategically enhance national defense capabilities. One technology can bolster both economic and defense powers. These technologies also benefit both self-defense and exports. The defense industry is big. Korea’s defense exports reached an all-time high of $7 billion last year. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Korea was No. 9 in defense exports 2016 to 2020.
 
Korea’s mainstay industries of semiconductors and displays is not just key to economic security, but also make up the foundation for AI, 5G and 6G and the fourth industrial revolution. These technologies are closely related to defense capabilities. AI can be employed in various industries and could be applied broadly in the defense sector together with robotics. Aerospace also has dual defense and private functions.
 
Quantum computing has huge strategic value in national security while cyber security is important for a digital transition. Quantum computing can enhance cyber security and intelligence sovereignty.
 
Strengthening national science and technology competitiveness through convergence does not simply mean the development of weapons and equipment, but leads to stronger national defense capabilities and exports. We must concentrate on the development of dual-purpose technologies to enhance sovereign defense capacity and new growth engines for the country. — LKH


7. Reading North Korea

Rachel Minyoung Lee provides us with important insights for understanding the regime's message based on her extensive experience. Links to the 22 page paper are below.

Navigating the intricacies of the North Korean media environment may be a tricky task, but with the right methodology and rigorous and systematic application of it, it is not an impossible one.

Reading North Korea - 38 North: Informed Analysis of North Korea
38north.org · by 38 North · May 6, 2022
North Korea’s public messaging matters because Pyongyang exercises complete control over its media to shape and manage public opinion at home and abroad. Pyongyang is extremely calibrated in its public messaging: what information it releases and how it presents that information, at what level of authoritativeness, to whom, when, and in what context. As such, tracking patterns and trends in media behavior and identifying even the smallest shifts can shed light on the North Korean leadership’s current thinking and future intentions.
That said, understanding Pyongyang’s language can be a tricky task. Much of North Korean media content is meaningless noise, and the real message tends to be obscure, making propaganda analysis a deliberate process of separating the wheat from the chaff. North Korea often issues commentaries and statements containing colorful expressions that are then afforded big headlines in South Korean and Western media. But what sounds like a biting statement is not always intended to bite. By contrast, a routine essay in the party daily that appears to be just another meaningless piece of propaganda may actually contain crucial signals about key shifts in the leadership. Singling out what seems to be an interesting fragment of information and overanalyzing it without seeing the broader patterns and trends, too, will almost certainly result in misreading or missing important signals from Pyongyang.
Navigating the intricacies of the North Korean media environment may be a tricky task, but with the right methodology and rigorous and systematic application of it, it is not an impossible one.
38 North Nonresident Fellow, Rachel Minyoung Lee, wrote a paper introducing the basics of a North Korean media analysis framework and how it may be applied by both consumers and producers of North Korea analysis. It was written as part of the “Understanding North Korea roundtable series,” a joint program of the National Committee on North Korea (NCNK) and the Wilson Center’s Hyundai Motor – Korean Foundation Center for Korean History and Public Policy. For the full text of this paper, see https://ncnk.org/resources/briefing-papers/all-briefing-papers/understanding-north-koreas-public-messaging or https://www.wilsoncenter.org/publication/understanding-north-koreas-public-messaging-introduction.
38north.org · by 38 North · May 6, 2022


8. Improving North Korean Defector Integration in South Korea: Survey Findings and Recommendations

Escapees (defectors) are the most important resource for helping to achieve a free and unified Korea. They need to be properly cared for, integrated, and supported in the quest for a free and unified Korea.

Graphics at the link.

Excerpts:

Much like attitudes towards (im)migration generally, the integration of co-ethnic migrants from North Korea is conditional on the attributes of the migrants themselves. Those satisfying integration, identity and cultural concerns are more readily accepted by South Koreans as members of the national community. Contrary to research that focuses on persistent discrimination and cases of redefection, what this research demonstrates is that with time, integration is both possible and likely. Defector-migrants, in particular those who demonstrate the ability to work hard alongside South Koreans, will integrate.
Every defector-migrant is different, though, and the challenges of integration are not homogenous. It is, of course, unreasonable to expect every new arrival to be a female doctor, much less to arrive in South Korea at age 27. Self-evidently, it is also impossible to arrive in South Korea for the first time with twelve years of residency already under one’s belt.
Improving North Korean Defector Integration in South Korea: Survey Findings and Recommendations
It is Seoul’s responsibility to promote and ensure the integration of just under 34,000 resettled defector-migrant North Koreans into the Republic of Korea’s (ROK or South Korea) national fabric, but it is not always easy to say what this looks like in practice. When defector-migrants experience second-rate treatment in society, the challenge to integration is clear. But subtle or less explicit forms of rejection, such as welfare chauvinism, are hard to measure and even harder to address. In South Korean media, the challenges that defectors face are all too often highlighted, with limited space dedicated to featuring the success stories that also exist.
We know from prior research that South Korean attitudes towards migrants generally are largely conditional on attributes of the migrants themselves. North Korean arrivals have some particularly favorable characteristics. But those North Korean arrivals are also not a homogenous group. What, then, determines the integration of co-ethnic migrants from North Korea into the South? The answer is that nobody is really sure.
Therefore, we sought to fill in some of the knowledge gaps by conducting a survey experiment that explores the determinants of integration of defector-migrants once they resettle. We measure the substantive political, economic and social integration of North Korean defector-migrants by looking at South Koreans’ preferences at the ballot box, places of employment and in neighborhoods. As a result, we were able to identify the factors that motivate South Koreans to accept North Korean defector-migrants into the national community.
South Korea’s Migrant Preferences Explained
It is common for societies to harbor collective preferences for different groups of migrants over others. These preferences may derive from deep historical-social or political ties or from something as simple and crude as racism. In any event, when a society reserves the right to choose whom to allow in, migration becomes a matter of lively debate.
In the ROK, this particular conversation has been a controversial one for some years. For example, in 2018, a group of around 550 Yemeni war refugees arrived on South Korea’s southern island of Jeju by utilizing cheap AirAsia flights and a visa-free route via Kuala Lumpur. The group’s arrival triggered a heated political battle over how and under what conditions to integrate some or all of them into South Korean society. In the autumn of 2021, protests against the construction of a mosque in the country’s third-largest city of Daegu occurred, with those in opposition fearful that it would usher in a stronger Islamic influence. Most recently, in Ulsan, a vocal minority of local residents protested the children of a group of Afghani “special contributors” who worked for South Korea in Afghanistan prior to the fall of Kabul, being granted entry into the area’s schools.
There are plenty of documented cases of discrimination against resettled North Koreans, too. However, comparisons end there, since the situation for North Koreans is categorically different. First, it has been settled law since 1996 that North Koreans have a birthright to South Korean citizenship.[1] In other words, unlike the case for other migrants of all stripes, South Korea has voluntarily given up the right to determine whether to allow North Koreans in. Therefore, policy instruments can only be used to improve or worsen the chances of successful integration for those who opt to take up that right by escaping from North Korea and following one of several difficult and lengthy routes to the South.
Second, South Koreans have a strong preexisting preference for North Koreans as migrants over people from Yemen or Afghanistan. As discussed in detail in these authors’ 2021 research, two things largely drive attitudes towards immigrants in South Korea: integration cues and a migrant’s origin. Newcomers who seem likely to make an economic contribution while adhering to prevailing identity and cultural norms are preferred. Korean speakers from high-status countries, such as the US, can fulfill both criteria and, as a result, are strongly preferred. Since North Koreans are able to fulfill the second criteria—especially in terms of language competence—they too benefit from these preferences.
From a practical policy perspective, since the ROK has forfeited the right to deny entry to defector-migrants—except those deemed highly likely to be North Korean spies—this is insufficient. It is also important to know what the exact drivers of successful integration of defector-migrants are. Accordingly, for this defector-migrant integration experiment, 2,009 South Koreans were surveyed for their preferences using a choice-based conjoint design. A scenario was sketched out where respondents were asked to choose between two hypothetical defector-migrant profiles. Each profile is composed of nine attributes and various levels. The attributes include: sex; age; whether the individual has children; relationship status; occupation; religion; duration of time spent in China after defection and time since arriving in South Korea; whether the individual has only North Korean colleagues, South Korean colleagues or both; and, finally, whether or not the individual was previously a member of the North Korean ruling Korean Workers’ Party (KWP).
The survey then randomly generates two hypothetical profiles, and respondents are asked to make a choice between them. There are three choices to be made per profile: who the respondent would vote for in a local election, which of the two they would hire and who they would prefer as a neighbor. Each respondent sees eight such pairs of profiles. Using a statistical technique, the resulting data are used to generate a measure of the impact that each value of the attributes have on the probability of a particular profile being chosen over the others in each of the three categories.[2] Figure 1 reports the findings.
Source: Christopher Green and Steven Denney.
The results are clear. Across all three categories—vote, hire and neighbor—a defector-migrant’s years since their resettlement and occupation have the greatest impacts by far on whether they are preferred by South Koreans. In other words, South Koreans look favorably upon North Korean migrants whose characteristics hint at first, integration cues, and second, their potential to contribute to the South Korean economy.
With regards to integration, the clearest cue is length of time spent in South Korea. Relative to newly resettled migrants, there is a steady increase across all three categories. At “3 years resettled,” a migrant is 10 percentage points (pp) more likely to be chosen for voting, and 8pp more likely to be chosen as a new employee or neighbor. By “12 years resettled,” which indicates something closer to being fully resettled, the effects are 20pp for voting, 16pp for hiring and 17pp for being a neighbor.
Conversely, South Koreans view North Korean migrants whose characteristics hint at perceived inadequate integration warily. Along with spending a relatively brief period in South Korea, a sense of “North Korean-ness” makes respondents significantly less likely to choose that profile. If the migrant is known to be a former KWP member, they are 7-8pp less likely to be selected than if they were not. If they are known to have only North Korean colleagues, they are also less preferred.
Alongside subjective assessments of how integrated an individual is, the respondent’s general sense that the migrant would be capable of making a positive economic and cultural impact on South Korea drives selection. Migrants with highly skilled and culturally desirable occupations (e.g., doctor) are greatly preferred as political candidates, new employees and neighbors. Relative to the reference category (“unemployed”), being a doctor means that the migrant is 24pp more likely to garner a vote, 18pp more likely to be hired for a new job and 20pp more likely to be chosen as a neighbor. Simply put: the more skilled the occupation, the more desirable the person.
Source: Christopher Green and Steven Denney.
To present a more substantive and intuitive outcome of the results, Figure 2 shows the predicted probability of a defector-migrant profile being viewed favorably across select percentiles of the distribution for neighbor.[3] The person who is the least likely to be chosen for a neighbor and highly unlikely to be voted for or hired as a new employee is a newly arrived 65-year-old, divorced man with no children. The migrant profile of this type of man, who is also a protestant, a former member of the KWP, spent less than a week in China and only has North Korean colleagues, has only a three percent chance of being voted for, a one percent chance of being hired as a new employee and a six percent chance of being chosen as a neighbor.
On the other end of the distribution, we find a 27-year-old female doctor who is married with children, nonreligious, does not come from a KWP background, has been in South Korea for more than a decade and has a mixture of both South and North Korean colleagues. This profile signals to South Koreans that this type of migrant can integrate (and arguably has), as both integration concerns and broader identity- or norms-based concerns are assuaged. There is an 85 percent probability that this person would be voted for in a local election, an 82 percent chance of being hired and an 86 percent chance of being preferred as a neighbor. Respondents view this type of person as being likely to integrate well as she would quickly acquire the social capital to succeed. A profile at the 50th percentile of the distribution shows a hypothetical profile of a defector-migrant in between the two ends.
Conclusion
Much like attitudes towards (im)migration generally, the integration of co-ethnic migrants from North Korea is conditional on the attributes of the migrants themselves. Those satisfying integration, identity and cultural concerns are more readily accepted by South Koreans as members of the national community. Contrary to research that focuses on persistent discrimination and cases of redefection, what this research demonstrates is that with time, integration is both possible and likely. Defector-migrants, in particular those who demonstrate the ability to work hard alongside South Koreans, will integrate.
Every defector-migrant is different, though, and the challenges of integration are not homogenous. It is, of course, unreasonable to expect every new arrival to be a female doctor, much less to arrive in South Korea at age 27. Self-evidently, it is also impossible to arrive in South Korea for the first time with twelve years of residency already under one’s belt.
And while it may not matter much that an older North Korean migrant would face stark challenges running for political office—People’s Power Party lawmaker Thae Yong-ho is one outlier in this regard—it is notable that they are also less likely to be desired as a neighbor and could struggle to find employment. Based on the characteristics that South Koreans expect from defector-migrants and the reality that not all defector-migrants can meet these expectations, we can say that the challenges are broadly predictable. What can be done about that?
Given that South Korea gave up the right to choose which defector-migrants may enter the country, a one-size-fits-all policy approach can never work. But research on migrant integration shows that resettlement and integration support (e.g., integration courses taught by native instructors) determine success. The South Korean state does indeed provide such services through places like the Settlement Support Center for North Korea Refugees (or Hanawon). But this has its shortcomings, including myopia concerning the possible career pathways that defector-migrants might take. Policy can and should be structured to respond to integration challenges and tailored appropriately. This can be done through existing channels of institutional support, as long as budgets are maintained to leave space to bring this about.
Rather than focus on making budget cuts for resettlement support, the incoming Yoon administration should seize the opportunity, during a time in which relatively few North Koreans are arriving in the ROK annually, to explore tailored solutions that can further improve the integration process.[4]
In the next part of this series, we explore the question of South Korean government support for defector-migrant businesses. Who should be supported, why, and by what means?
  1. [1]
Page 665 of the linked document (Nationality Act Case, 12-2 KCCR 167, 97Hun-Ka12, August 31, 2000) represents the Supreme Court’s opinion that “North Korea is part of the Korean peninsula and therefore subject to the sovereignty of the Republic of Korea, and therefore that North Korean residency should not interfere with the acquisition of the nationality of the Republic of Korea.” This legal reading accords with the 1948 Constitution of the Republic of Korea.
  1. [2]
The statistical technique estimates the average marginal component effects (AMCEs) for each attribute level. The effects can be read as causal. Read more about this technique here.
  1. [3]
We choose to show the estimated probability of preference for neighbor as it is the most likely scenario in which a South Korean would interact substantively with a North Korean resettler. The estimated probabilities for vote choice and hiring preference are not then at the same place on the distribution as they are for neighbor, but given that preferences across the three dimensions co-vary, they are close.
  1. [4]
Just 229 North Koreans arrived in South Korea in all of 2020, and fewer than one hundred in 2021. It is not clear how many left North Korea during this period. Many are likely to have been in China for some time. Naturally, a certain level of budget reduction is warranted to respond to falling demand; i.e., declining numbers of arrivals.

9. Yoon’s Key North Korea Challenges: Pyongyang’s Increasing Hostility and Washington’s Backslide Into Strategic Patience

Despite the criticism I do not think the administration's policy is "strategic patience." I think it is more correct to say the administration will not give in to regime demands for talks.  The ball is in Kim Jong-un's court if he wants to negotiate.

Yoon’s Key North Korea Challenges: Pyongyang’s Increasing Hostility and Washington’s Backslide Into Strategic Patience
In 2018, North Korea emphasized the importance of the “powerful socialist country” discourse in becoming a “normal state” in the international community. After completing its byungjin policy, which sought simultaneous economic and nuclear development, Pyongyang declared a shift to a “new strategic line” of “everything for the economy.”[1] However, since his disgraceful exit from the Hanoi talks, Kim Jong Un has fallen back on familiar rhetoric to regain his authority and reassert his control over society. As of April 2022, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, or North Korea) has become more aggressive in all areas, including ideology, economy, foreign policy, and nuclear strategy.
The Moon administration held firm to a one-sided policy of engagement even after both US-DPRK and inter-Korean relations fell apart, and Pyongyang shifted to a more hostile approach toward both. While the Joe Biden administration conveyed a willingness to resume negotiations without preconditions, it has shown no willingness to take actions—positive or negative—that would compel the North Korean back to the negotiating table. As President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol is inaugurated next week, he faces serious challenges in navigating inter-Korean and US-DPRK relations under these conditions while avoiding both overreaction and passivity to get denuclearization back on the table.
Post-Hanoi Shifts in North Korean Ideology
North Korea’s recent emphasis in party meetings and public discourse on eradicating non-socialism and anti-socialism is an aggressive shift in ideology from previous years. Several actions taken since 2019 reflect a tightening of social controls and reinforcement of social ideology. For instance, in 2020, North Korea enacted the Law on Rejecting Reactionary Ideology and Culture, which reasserts prohibitions on access and consumption of foreign information and culture and defines new punishments for violations; and the Youth Education Guarantee Act in 2021, which imposes new regulations on the speech and hairstyle of the youth.[2] At the Eighth Party Congress in January 2021, prohibitions were decreed on certain elements of the market economy, and the regime emphasized strengthening the central government’s control over the economy as the foundation for “self-reliance and self-sufficiency.”[3] In particular, the decision to restore the “unitary trade system of the state” was a revival of North Korea’s centralized trade system, which prohibits any form of corporate autonomy.[4]
Foreign policy has also shifted. Kim Jong Un claimed at the Seventh Party Congress in May 2016 and the Seventh Party Central Committee Meeting in April 2018 that North Korea was willing to improve relations with hostile forces (such as the United States or other Western countries) if they respected North Korea’s sovereignty.[5] However, at the Eighth Party Congress in January 2021, Kim vowed to make “a bold switchover in its lines and pursuing offensive strategy, it created a trend towards peace and atmosphere of dialogue, accepted by the international community,” and open “a new chapter in the DPRK-China relations of friendship with socialism as its core.”[6] In other words, Pyongyang expressed an intention to deepen its relations with Beijing, rather than continue trying to improve relations with the West.
Furthermore, Pyongyang’s nuclear strategy has become more aggressive. On March 24, North Korea claimed it test launched its Hwasong-17, its newest and largest intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). Following the test, Kim Jong Un stated: “Our national defense capabilities will be equipped with strong military technology that will withstand any military threat and blackmail and thoroughly prepare for a long-term confrontation with US imperialism.” On March 28, Kim said that North Korea must be equipped with “formidable striking capabilities, overwhelming military power that cannot be stopped by anyone,” expressing his resolve to advance, diversify, and mass-produce nuclear weapons.[7]
In a press statement released on April 5, Kim Yo Jong, Kim Jong Un’s powerful sister, provided more details of North Korea’s nuclear doctrine. She stated that “it is the primary mission of the nuclear force…[to eliminate] the enemy’s armed forces at a strike,” and that “one’s nuclear combat force is mobilized to take initiative at the outset of war, completely dampen the enemy’s war spirits, prevent protracted hostilities, and preserve one’s own military muscle.”[8]
There are various perspectives on the implications of North Korea’s evolving nuclear doctrine. These include questions of whether North Korea’s claim that its nuclear weapons are not targeted at South Korea is credible, how and when nuclear weapons would be used, and what is the actual goal of North Korea’s nuclear weapons strategy. While some argue that North Korea’s nuclear development is merely a means of self-defense against US threats and that the weapons would only be used as a last resort, Kim Yo Jong’s statement refutes this claim. She made clear that the North’s nuclear weapons could be used against South Korea early in a conflict or in response to South Korean attempts at preemption. Pyongyang may use its weapons to gain the upper hand in the early stages of a potential war to seek dominance within a short period of time and potentially prevent the reinforcement of US troops. This nuclear doctrine is very dangerous for the peninsula where, in the future, limited skirmishes along the Northern Limit Line (NLL) could easily be distorted or miscalculated and induce both sides into using nuclear weapons.
The test firing of a new tactical guided weapon, attended by Kim Jong Un on April 16, the day after the 110th anniversary of Kim Il Sung’s birth, underscored Pyongyang’s intention to further develop its tactical nuclear weapon capabilities. North Korean media reported that:
The new-type tactical guided weapon system developed under special attention of the Party Central Committee is of great significance in drastically improving the firepower of the frontline long-range artillery units and enhancing the efficiency in the operation of tactical nukes of the DPRK and diversification of their firepower missions.”[9]
The report implies that Pyongyang intends to deploy the new tactical nuclear missiles under development and equip itself with the ability to strike Seoul in the early stages of a war. It also implies that the frontline units may be responsible for determining the usage of nuclear weapons instead of the strategic forces in the central command, depending on the situation. If the authority to use nuclear attacks is entrusted to individual judgments based on what occurs on the battlefield, this will increase the likelihood of a nuclear war.
What Lies Ahead for North Korea?
These trends all point to key challenges ahead for the North Korean regime. A heightened emphasis on ideology and fewer economic opportunities creates domestic social tensions. A trend toward re-forming ideological blocs and aligning more closely with China narrows the space for compromise and leaves little room for building diplomatic off-ramps while tensions increase. And a shift in nuclear doctrine can create greater instability in regional security dynamics. In this context, Pyongyang is likely to take the following actions.
It will continue working toward achieving a fully capable nuclear-weapon program. Its missile tests so far this year have worked to advance both tactical and strategic nuclear weapons capabilities. The nuclear-capable KN-23 and 24 short-range ballistic missiles (SRBMs) and advanced and long-range cruise missiles are targeted at South Korea and Japan. The Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) is capable of striking key targets in the Indo-Pacific region as far as Guam. While US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan claimed the Hwasong-17 is unlikely capable of striking the US mainland, it seems clear that North Korea is determined to achieve this milestone as well, if it has not already.
Pyongyang’s continued advancements in these areas diminish the prospects for denuclearization of either North Korea or the Korean Peninsula. In recent years, factions within the US and Republic of Korea (ROK, or South Korea) policy communities have already started advocating an “arms control” approach to North Korea rather than continuing to pursue denuclearization. While some analysts consider arms control as the early stage of a denuclearization process, others view it as tacit recognition of North Korea as a de facto nuclear state. North Korea will not miss this opportunity to upgrade its nuclear strategy to the maximum level and strive to function as a nuclear state to gain the upper hand in future negotiations, should they resume.
In the meantime, it is possible that North Korea could try to increase tensions on the Korean Peninsula through offensive actions against South Korea. Pyongyang has carried out provocations in the past, regardless of the government’s political orientation, around the inauguration of a new South Korean government. For instance, it conducted its third nuclear test in February 2013, when the transition committee for the Park Geun-hye government was in place, and launched a Hwasong-14 ICBM shortly after the inauguration of the Moon Jae-in administration.
Evaluating Moon and Biden’s North Korea Policy
The incoming Yoon Suk-yeol administration is facing a challenging policy environment. The Moon Jae-in administration’s Korean peace process is virtually defunct. Only the September 19 Comprehensive Military Agreement remains valid; other agreements have been set aside for lack of progress. Tensions on the Korean Peninsula are high due to North Korea’s continued weapons testing and increasing nuclear threats. None of this is likely to stop anytime soon, especially with US-ROK joint military exercises approaching, leaving few prospects for stabilizing inter-Korean relations in the near future.
In December 2019, North Korea declared a “frontal breakthrough line” at the Fifth Plenary Meeting of the Seventh Central Committee, making it clear that it was in confrontation with South Korea and the United States.[10] In June 2020, North Korea blew up the inter-Korean joint liaison office in Kaesong, a symbol of the Korean peace process. At the Eighth Party Congress in January 2021, North Korea reaffirmed that it would cease dialogue with South Korea and the US until they withdrew their hostile policy.[11] At the same time, Pyongyang has emphasized, since May 2019, developing missiles capable of carrying tactical nuclear weapons and demonstrating its various short- and medium-range missile capabilities.
Despite these numerous developments, the Moon administration maintained its policy of unconditional engagement with North Korea, withholding condemnation of North Korea’s provocative actions, continuing efforts to broker an “end-of-war declaration,” and calling for another Moon-Kim summit.
The US policy toward North Korea has also failed to adapt to the changing North Korean policy. The Biden administration’s “calibrated and practical approach,” its North Korea policy strategy announced in May 2021, and calls for unconditional talks have failed to bring North Korea back to the negotiating table. Despite North Korea’s recent resumption of long-stalled long-range missile and potentially nuclear weapon testing, Biden’s North Korea policy has not changed.
With the international community consumed by the war between Russia and Ukraine and caught up in the strategic rivalry between the great powers, the tools to impose new punishments on North Korea for these provocative actions are more limited as well. While unable to get United Nations Security Council to agree to new resolutions against North Korea, Washington’s response has been to impose unilateral sanctions on North Korean and North Korean affiliated actors. But these measures have been muted and symbolic at best, targeted mainly at Russian companies and some North Korean entities, with no sanctions geared toward China. Ultimately, Biden’s North Korea policy for the past year has not been much different from the Obama administration’s “strategic patience,” which essentially required North Korea to choose denuclearization first before negotiations could resume. This is increasingly unlikely to happen in the current strategic environment. Moreover, the Biden administration has not made any substantial efforts to break the stalemate—either through proactive engagement with Pyongyang or by strengthening sanctions to push North Korea to change.
Policy Recommendations
The incoming Yoon administration should pursue the denuclearization of North Korea while managing the state of affairs on the Korean Peninsula with the US. First of all, South Korea and the US should coordinate a sophisticated strategic communications strategy to try to stop North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests and prevent its advancement and diversification of missile capabilities. This should include clear messaging to North Korea that additional nuclear tests and missile launches will be met with reciprocal measures, such as deploying US strategic assets on a rotational basis on the Korean Peninsula or nearby in the region, resuming full-scale US-ROK joint military exercises, and additional strong sanctions including those against China.
In addition, both the Biden and Yoon administrations should reinforce their efforts to bring North Korea back to the negotiation table. As mentioned above, simply offering unconditional talks with Pyongyang has not been effective. The Yoon administration should encourage Washington to move from a passive approach to a more defensive approach to North Korea to try to increase the incentives for North Korea to engage.
Furthermore, the Yoon administration should craft a balanced North Korea policy, learning from Moon’s mistakes. North Korea changed its policy direction with the title of “A Frontal Breakthrough Line” in December 2019 after the failed Hanoi summit in February that same year. Kim Jong Un defined it as “an offensive” “revolutionary line” to breaking down the sanctions “blockade,” demonstrating a new aggressive policy toward the United States and South Korea.[12] North Korea even implemented the line by literally blowing up the Kaesong Liaison Office in 2020. Despite policy changes and provocations by North Korea, the Moon administration did not alter its policy of unconditional engagement with North Korea. This made inter-Korean relations asymmetrical.
The Yoon administration’s priority vis-à-vis North Korea is to restore reciprocity, in other words, to make inter-Korean relations ‘normal.’ However, during the process of making give and take relations between the two Koreas, there is a high possibility that the Yoon administration would be portrayed as only “hard-liners.” However, because the Moon administration went too far, restoring equilibrium requires strict measures.
At the same time, since the situation in the Korean Peninsula is already entering into a spiral of escalating the tension, the Yoon administration also needs to be prudent. In other words, the new South Korean administration should not unnecessarily provoke North Korea. They can learn the lesson from previous administrations. While the Lee Myung-bak administration’s “Vision 3000: Denuclearization and Openness” plan, for instance, was theoretically sound, it was unsuitable given North Korea’s heavy prioritization of politics over its economy. Pyongyang uses the superiority of its political system to claim the regime’s legitimacy. If Seoul’s North Korea policy forces it to account for its economic failures, Pyongyang cannot but strongly oppose it.
Therefore, the Yoon administration must craft a sophisticated and complex North Korean policy, not lean to one side. They need a balance between peace and security, engagement and deterrence, and carrots and sticks.
Conclusion
The denuclearization of North Korea is a challenging task. Looking back at the process so far, it seems highly possible now, more than ever, that North Korea will be recognized as a de facto nuclear power, and the international community will likely engage in nuclear arms reduction talks in the future. The Moon administration tried its best, but its Korean peace process failed to create a sustainable legacy due to the failures of the US-DPRK negotiations. It also failed to acknowledge the changed realities of inter-Korean relations after the Hanoi Summit. The incoming Yoon administration should maintain a clear policy that denuclearization is still necessary and encourage Washington to take a more active approach to North Korea, not simply repeat the same proposal that Pyongyang has already rejected. Additionally, the government should manage tensions on the Korean Peninsula and devise a multidimensional approach that deters North Korea.
This article was co-published by 38 North and Global NK.
  1. [1]
“3rd Plenary Meeting of 7th C.C., WPK Held in Presence of Kim Jong Un,” Rodong Sinmun, April 21, 2018.
  1. [2]
“12th Plenary Meeting of 14th Presidium of DPRK Supreme People’s Assembly Held,” Rodong Sinmun, December 5, 2020; and “First-day Sitting of 5th Session of 14th SPA of DPRK Held,” Rodong Sinmun, September 29, 2021.
  1. [3]
“Great Programme for Struggle Leading Korean-style Socialist Construction to Fresh Victory On Report Made by Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un at Eighth Congress of WPK,” Rodong Sinmun, January 10, 2021.
  1. [4]
“Report on Cabinet’s Work Made to 6th Session of 14th SPA,” Rodong Sinmun, February 8, 2022.
  1. [5]
See: “Kim Jong Un Makes Report on Work of WPK Central Committee at Its 7th Congress,” KCNA, May 7, 2016; and “Third Plenary Meeting of Seventh C.C., WPK Held in Presence of Kim Jong Un​,” KCNA, April 21, 2018.
  1. [6]
“Great Programme for Struggle Leading Korean-style Socialist Construction to Fresh Victory On Report Made by Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un at Eighth Congress of WPK,” Rodong Sinmun.
  1. [7]
“Respected Comrade Kim Jong Un Has Photo Session with Those Who Contributed to Successful Test-Fire of Hwasongpho-17 Type,” March 28, 2022.
  1. [8]
“Press Statement of Vice Department Director of C.C., WPK Kim Yo Jong,” Rodong Sinmun, April 5, 2022.
  1. [9]
“Respected Comrade Kim Jong Un Observes Test-fire of New-type Tactical Guided Weapon,” Rodong Sinmun, April 17, 2022.
  1. [10]
“Report on 5th Plenary Meeting of 7th C.C., WPK,” KCNA, January 1, 2020.
  1. [11]
“Great Programme for Struggle Leading Korean-style Socialist Construction to Fresh Victory On Report Made by Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un at Eighth Congress of WPK.”
  1. [12]
“Report on 5th Plenary Meeting of 7th C.C., WPK,” KCNA.


10. Two Koreas go tit-for-tat ahead of South's change in administration

Excerpts:

"The new administration will reassess the overall threat of North Korea's nuclear missiles at the same time that it takes office and combine the government's capabilities at an early date to come up with fundamental measures against North Korea's provocations and actual deterrence capabilities against its nuclear missile threats," Kim said in a media statement following the missile launch, the first of its kind since last October.

Kim's reference to "fundamental measures" may indicate the deployment of the homegrown "three-axis" defense system against North Korea's growing threats.
The three axes refer to: the Korea Massive Punishment and Retaliation (KMPR), an operational plan to incapacitate the North Korean leadership in a major conflict, the Kill Chain pre-emptive strike platform and the Korea Air and Missile Defense system (KAMD). Yoon's transition team unveiled it plans to complete the existing three-axis system, May 3.

Two Koreas go tit-for-tat ahead of South's change in administration
The Korea Times · May 8, 2022
By Kang Seung-woo

South and North Korea have been going tit-for-tat as the South is scheduled to inaugurate its new president, Tuesday.

Kim Sung-han, the incoming Yoon administration's nominee for Korea's national security adviser / YonhapIn response to Pyongyang's submarine-launched ballistic missile, Saturday, Kim Sung-han, President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol's pick for national security adviser, said that the incoming administration will bolster measures to handle its provocations effectively.

"The new administration will reassess the overall threat of North Korea's nuclear missiles at the same time that it takes office and combine the government's capabilities at an early date to come up with fundamental measures against North Korea's provocations and actual deterrence capabilities against its nuclear missile threats," Kim said in a media statement following the missile launch, the first of its kind since last October.

Kim's reference to "fundamental measures" may indicate the deployment of the homegrown "three-axis" defense system against North Korea's growing threats.
The three axes refer to: the Korea Massive Punishment and Retaliation (KMPR), an operational plan to incapacitate the North Korean leadership in a major conflict, the Kill Chain pre-emptive strike platform and the Korea Air and Missile Defense system (KAMD). Yoon's transition team unveiled it plans to complete the existing three-axis system, May 3.

North Korea's propaganda media outlet, Meari, belittled South Korea's defense plan as "useless" in dealing with its "mighty force and absolute power."

"Such things as the introduction of foreign high-tech weapons, the development of arms on its own or the establishment of a South Korean-style three-axis system are nothing but useless things in the face of our mighty force and absolute power," it said.

Many diplomatic observers predict that inter-Korean confrontations will intensify under the Yoon administration, which is set to take a hardline against the Kim Jong-un regime.







The Korea Times · May 8, 2022

11. 'Little LA' planned near new presidential office

Oh no! I hope the Yoon administration is ready for the criticism. The north's Propaganda and Agitation department and the ROK political opposition will seize on this. Not just showing off little America but the comment about the conversion of the helipad similar to the lawn at the White House just invites criticism.

But I am glad to know I once lived in an exotic state (for more than 6 years)

Excerpts:

"We plan to let the people see it in its exotic state as much as possible," an official involved in the project told Yonhap News Agency, noting the area features various religious, educational and sports facilities used by the USFK.
...
"The facilities have been in continued use by the U.S. troops, so there should be no problems with the environment harmfulness assessment," the official said.

Separately, officials are also planning to convert a heliport about 300 meters away from the new presidential office into a grassy plaza similar to the lawn outside the White House.


'Little LA' planned near new presidential office
The Korea Times · May 8, 2022
Moving trucks are parked at the defense ministry building in Seoul, May 5, as the ministry wraps up relocation work to empty its main building, which will be used as the country's new presidential office. Yonhap

The incoming Yoon Suk-yeol government is planning to convert part of a U.S. Forces Korea base adjacent to the new presidential office in Yongsan into a cultural space reminiscent of a "Little LA" and open it to the public in September, officials said Sunday.

The 500,000-square-meter space is just outside the defense ministry headquarters, which is being converted into the new presidential office.

The USFK plans to return the land to the South Korean government at the end of this month as part of its ongoing relocation to Pyeongtaek, 70 kilometers south of Seoul.

"We plan to let the people see it in its exotic state as much as possible," an official involved in the project told Yonhap News Agency, noting the area features various religious, educational and sports facilities used by the USFK.

More facilities could be added, such as cafes and exhibition or concert halls, to evoke a sense of "America Town" or "Little LA."

The land will have to undergo an environmental harmfulness survey before it is opened to the public in September.

"The facilities have been in continued use by the U.S. troops, so there should be no problems with the environment harmfulness assessment," the official said.

Separately, officials are also planning to convert a heliport about 300 meters away from the new presidential office into a grassy plaza similar to the lawn outside the White House.

The plaza is expected to be completed within one or two months and serve as a "communication space," where the public will be able to feel close to the president and even see the lights go on and off inside his office. (Yonhap)


The Korea Times · May 8, 2022


12. Will South Korea boost ties with Europe amid China-US rivalry?

Excerpts:

"It is no exaggeration to say the EU sees South Korea, together with Japan, as its most valued partner in Asia and the Indo-Pacific," said a report published by the Brussels School of Governance last month.

The report referred to the fact that South Korea is the only country in Asia that has three key agreements covering politics, economic and security cooperation with the EU signed and in effect.

"Stronger South Korea-EU relations would help both partners manage the central geopolitical question of our time: how to address China's rise and concomitant Sino―American rivalry," it said.

Will South Korea boost ties with Europe amid China-US rivalry?
The Korea Times · May 8, 2022
EU alliances with Japan and South Korea have been highlighted amid the protracted war in Ukraine, as they are among the few Asian nations to have slapped sanctions on Russia. gettyimagesbank

EU seeks to bolster relations with economies in Indo-Pacific

By Kim Bo-eun

HONG KONG ― The European Union (EU) appears to be increasingly reaching out to economies in Asia, as the world's largest trading bloc reassesses its economic ties with China and seeks greater engagement with the Indo-Pacific region.
The EU Council, composed of government ministers from each EU country, endorsed its Indo-Pacific strategy in October and has been accelerating moves to bolster ties with economies there.

In a time of escalating tensions between Washington and Beijing, Brussels is weighing the risks of relying so heavily on China in its supply chains.
EU alliances with Japan and South Korea have also been highlighted amid the protracted war in Ukraine, as they are among the few Asian nations to have slapped sanctions on Russia.

Late last month, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz visited Japan, rather than top trading partner China, during his first official trip to the Asia-Pacific region.
Without explicitly referring to China, Scholz has flagged the risks of supply chains being concentrated in a single country.

The EU also has concerns about China's stance on Russia's invasion of Ukraine ― Beijing has refused to condemn Moscow's aggression.

President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, also issued a joint statement in February saying there was "no limit" to the friendship between their two countries. This subsequently set off alarms in the West following Russia's invasion, as some feared it could result in China providing military aid to Russia, or might perhaps help it evade sanctions.

Beijing could face secondary sanctions if those situations came to fruition, but this would be equally damaging for its key trading partners, including the EU.

European Council President Charles Michel and Commission President Ursula von der Leyen are expected to visit Tokyo this week for an EU-Japan summit, and this would mark their first trip to East Asia since they assumed leadership of the EU before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. Japan is the EU's second-largest trading partner in Asia after China.

South Korean President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol presides over a meeting with his transition committee in Seoul, Tuesday. YonhapThere have also been voices pointing to the need for Europe to strengthen ties with South Korea.

"It is no exaggeration to say the EU sees South Korea, together with Japan, as its most valued partner in Asia and the Indo-Pacific," said a report published by the Brussels School of Governance last month.

The report referred to the fact that South Korea is the only country in Asia that has three key agreements covering politics, economic and security cooperation with the EU signed and in effect.

"Stronger South Korea-EU relations would help both partners manage the central geopolitical question of our time: how to address China's rise and concomitant Sino―American rivalry," it said.

Greater economic cooperation could follow. According to reports, South Korea is set to provide five carriers' worth of liquefied natural gas to Europe, where an energy crisis looms while the region seeks to cut its dependency on Russia.

US President Joe Biden said his country was working with allies such as South Korea, Japan and Qatar to assist Europe with the energy shortage. The EU has largely depended on Russia for energy but is taking measures to cut supplies because of its invasion.

The Brussels School of Governance report proposed that South Korea and the EU develop a green partnership, promote digital cooperation and update their bilateral free-trade agreement that took effect in 2011. It was the EU's first free-trade agreement in Asia.

For countries such as South Korea, there are uncertainties about how the formation of stronger ties with Europe will play out against the backdrop of the US-China power struggle. South Korea relies on the US for security, but on China for its economy, as China is by far its largest trade partner.

South Korean president-elect Yoon Suk-yeol, who will be sworn in on Tuesday, has signaled that his government will boost its alliance with the US while seeking to reduce economic dependency on China by diversifying trade partners, including countries in Southeast Asia.

"Following the war in Ukraine, South Korea will continue to base its security arrangement on its alliance with the US, with a focus on expanding and strengthening economic and security cooperation with allies in the Asia-Pacific region in order to maintain peace and stability in the region," Fei Xue, an Asia analyst with The Economist Intelligence Unit, said Friday.

However, experts also note that diversifying trade partnerships will be a challenge for Seoul.

"Given that the roles of Europe, China and Southeast Asia in trade with South Korea are different, strengthening trade with Europe and being able to reduce reliance on China appear to be two different matters," said Moon Jong-chol, a research fellow with the Korea Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade.

He noted that trade between Korea and the EU focuses largely on tech-intensive items and luxury consumer goods. Formerly, Korea relied heavily on China for labor-intensive production, but this has been shifting to countries in Southeast Asia, due to rising costs in China. Korea now mainly imports intermediate goods in electronics and raw materials from China.

India is another country Europe is increasingly turning to. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited India last month to discuss trade and security, and the EU is seeking a free-trade agreement with India.

Meanwhile, the US is eyeing greater influence in the Indo-Pacific region to counter China's clout there, via the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework. The region accounts for about half of the world's population, economic output and trade.


The Korea Times · May 8, 2022


13. Psychologists found a "striking" difference in intelligence after examining twins raised apart in South Korea and the United States

Fascinating study:
The researchers found “striking” differences in cognitive abilities. The twin raised in South Korea scored considerably higher on intelligence tests related to perceptual reasoning and processing speed, with an overall IQ difference of 16 points.
In line with their cultural environment, the twin raised in the United States had more individualistic values, while the twin raised in South Korea had more collectivist values.
However, the twins had a similar personality. Both scored high on measures of conscientiousness and low on measures of neuroticism. They also had a similar level of satisfaction with their job, even though their occupations were quite different — a government administrator and a cook. The twins also had similar mental health profiles and had identical scores on the measure of self-esteem.
Psychologists found a "striking" difference in intelligence after examining twins raised apart in South Korea and the United States
psypost.org · by Eric W. Dolan · May 7, 2022
A new study of monozygotic twins raised apart in South Korea and the United States provides unique insight into how genetic, cultural, and environmental factors influence human development. The new research has been published in the scientific journal Personality and Individual Differences.
“I have studied identical twins reared apart for many years. They pose a simple, yet elegant experiment for disentangling genetic and environmental influences on human traits. This case was unique in that the twins were raised in different countries,” said researcher Nancy L. Segal, a professor and director of the Twin Studies Center at California State University in Fullerton.
The twins were born in 1974 in Seoul, South Korea. One of the twins became lost at age two after visiting a market with her grandmother. She was later taken to a hospital that was approximately 100 miles away from her family’s residence and diagnosed with the measles. Despite her family’s attempt to find her, she was placed into the foster system and ended up being adopted by a couple residing in the United States.
She later discovered she had a twin sister after submitting a DNA sample in 2018 as part of South Korea’s program for reuniting family members.
In the new study, the twins completed assessments of family environment, general intelligence, nonverbal reasoning ability, personality traits, individualism-collectivism, self-esteem, mental health, job satisfaction, and medical life history. They also completed structured interviews about their general life history.
Not only did the twins experience different cultures growing up, they also were raised in very different family environments. The twin who remained in South Korea was raised in a more supportive and cohesive family atmosphere. The twin who was adopted by the U.S. couple, in contrast, reported a stricter, more religiously-oriented environment that had higher levels of family conflict.

The researchers found “striking” differences in cognitive abilities. The twin raised in South Korea scored considerably higher on intelligence tests related to perceptual reasoning and processing speed, with an overall IQ difference of 16 points.
In line with their cultural environment, the twin raised in the United States had more individualistic values, while the twin raised in South Korea had more collectivist values.
However, the twins had a similar personality. Both scored high on measures of conscientiousness and low on measures of neuroticism. They also had a similar level of satisfaction with their job, even though their occupations were quite different — a government administrator and a cook. The twins also had similar mental health profiles and had identical scores on the measure of self-esteem.
“Genes have a more pervasive effect on development than we ever would have supposed — still, environmental effects are important. These twins showed cultural difference in some respects,” Segal told PsyPost.
“We need to identify more such cases if they exist,” she added. “And we still do not understand all the mechanisms involved from the genes at the molecular level to the behaviors we observe every day.”
psypost.org · by Eric W. Dolan · May 7, 2022




V/R
David Maxwell
Senior Fellow
Foundation for Defense of Democracies
Phone: 202-573-8647
Personal Email: david.maxwell161@gmail.com
Web Site: www.fdd.org
Twitter: @davidmaxwell161
VIDEO "WHEREBY" Link: https://whereby.com/david-maxwell
Subscribe to FDD’s new podcastForeign Podicy
FDD is a Washington-based nonpartisan research institute focusing on national security and foreign policy.

V/R
David Maxwell
Senior Fellow
Foundation for Defense of Democracies
Phone: 202-573-8647
Personal Email: david.maxwell161@gmail.com
Web Site: www.fdd.org
Twitter: @davidmaxwell161
Subscribe to FDD’s new podcastForeign Podicy
FDD is a Washington-based nonpartisan research institute focusing on national security and foreign policy.

If you do not read anything else in the 2017 National Security Strategy read this on page 14:

"A democracy is only as resilient as its people. An informed and engaged citizenry is the fundamental requirement for a free and resilient nation. For generations, our society has protected free press, free speech, and free thought. Today, actors such as Russia are using information tools in an attempt to undermine the legitimacy of democracies. Adversaries target media, political processes, financial networks, and personal data. The American public and private sectors must recognize this and work together to defend our way of life. No external threat can be allowed to shake our shared commitment to our values, undermine our system of government, or divide our Nation."
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