North and South Korea
By Peter Symonds, 1 March 2017
The South Korean government is exploiting the killing of Kim Jong-nam to demand North Korea’s suspension from the UN and criminal charges against its leadership.
By our reporter, 1 March 2017
The claim by Malaysian authorities that Kim Jong-nam was killed by the potent nerve agent VX raises many unanswered questions.
By Peter Symonds, 25 February 2017
The murder of the North Korean leader’s half-brother is being exploited in the US to ramp up the demonisation of Pyongyang in preparation for further punitive measures.
By Peter Symonds, 18 February 2017
If Kim Jong-un did order the assassination, it can only further undermine North Korea’s relations with China.
By Peter Symonds, 13 February 2017
Trump’s flat-footed performance at the press conference only heightens the danger that he will embark on a reckless course of action against North Korea.
By Peter Symonds, 5 January 2017
Trump’s tweets are a further indication that he intends to put North Korea high on his foreign policy agenda as another means of exerting pressure on China.
By our reporter, 14 September 2016
The fly-past at South Korea’s Osan Air Base was also designed to send a message to Beijing to ramp up pressure on North Korea.
By Peter Symonds, 12 September 2016
Another round of punitive measures over Pyongyang’s latest nuclear test will exacerbate tensions on the Korean Peninsula and heighten the danger of war.
By Ben McGrath and Peter Symonds, 10 September 2016
The test comes amid escalating geo-political tensions in Asia as the US seeks to reassert its dominance, heightening the danger of war.
By Peter Symonds, 25 August 2016
The primary responsibility for escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula lies with the US and its military build-up throughout Asia aimed against China.
By Peter Symonds, 23 August 2016
While nominally aimed against North Korea, the exercises consolidate Washington’s military alliance with Seoul as it makes preparations for conflict with China.
By Ben McGrath, 23 August 2016
By Ben McGrath, 15 August 2016
South Korea is lining up more explicitly with Washington and its war drive in the region, using North Korea’s nuclear tests as a pretext.
By Ben McGrath, 12 July 2016
The investigation into the People’s Party is a politically-motivated attack by President Park Geun-hye’s administration.
By Ben McGrath, 11 July 2016
The installation will likely inflame tensions while continuing to stoke an arms race in East Asia.
By Peter Symonds, 21 April 2016
The intensifying US pressure is not primarily directed at Pyongyang, but against Beijing, as part of the Obama administration’s “pivot to Asia.”
By Ben McGrath, 15 March 2016
The South Korean sanctions go further than the recent UN resolution in strangling the North Korean economy and exacerbating Pyongyang’s political crisis.
By Peter Symonds, 8 March 2016
This year’s joint war games are based on a new operational plan that includes pre-emptive attacks on North Korean missile and nuclear sites and “decapitation” raids to kill its leaders.
By Peter Symonds, 4 March 2016
The punitive new measures will intensify North Korea’s economic and social crisis and greatly heighten tensions on the Korean Peninsula and throughout the region.
By Ben McGrath, 1 March 2016
The draft resolution contains measures reportedly the strictest in 20 years and will further heighten tensions on the Korean Peninsula and throughout the region.
By Ben McGrath, 25 February 2016
Seoul’s denunciations of Pyongyang come before massive war games with the US, designed to simulate a takeover of the entire Korean Peninsula.
By Peter Symonds, 23 February 2016
For seven years, the Obama administration has stymied any resumption of the six-party negotiations to resolve the nuclear standoff with North Korea.
By Peter Symonds, 16 February 2016
Far from being a defensive move, the restructuring of US forces in South Korea is bound up with more aggressive war plans, agreed last year between Washington and Seoul.
By Peter Symonds, 12 February 2016
Washington and its allies are escalating a dangerous confrontation with Pyongyang following its recent nuclear test and rocket launch.
By Peter Symonds, 8 February 2016
Washington immediately seized on the launch to intensify pressure on Beijing for tougher sanctions on Pyongyang and accelerate the US military build-up in Asia.
By Ben McGrath, 6 February 2016
The proposed launch has further raised tensions following Pyongyang’s fourth nuclear test and will undoubtedly be exploited by the US to justify its military buildup in Asia.
By Ben McGrath, 1 February 2016
Seoul’s decision will further integrate South Korea into Washington’s plans for an anti-ballistic missile system aimed against China.
By Peter Symonds, 25 January 2016
The study is a master plan for an accelerating arms race in Asia in preparation for a conflict that would draw in the entire region and the world.
By Ben McGrath, 14 January 2016
The departure of Kim Han-gil and the creation of new opposition parties constitute attempts to head off discontent among South Korean workers.
By Peter Symonds, 11 January 2016
Washington has seized on the latest North Korean nuclear test to accelerate its military build-up in the region against China as part of the US “pivot to Asia.”
By Ben McGrath, 9 January 2016
Not used since 1986, the charge of sedition represents a deepening of the Park government’s suppression of political dissent.
By Ben McGrath, 8 January 2016
The stationing of nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula would be a major escalation of the US military build-up in Asia, directed primarily against China, not North Korea.
By Ben McGrath, 21 December 2015
Ahn Cheol-soo’s departure from the NPAD indicates the party is in disarray amid falling approval ratings after years of anti-working class policies while in power.
By Ben McGrath, 1 October 2015
With the aid of the trade unions, the government is proposing laws to allow companies to more easily fire workers, while slashing wages.
By Ben McGrath, 29 September 2015
Auto manufacturers like Hyundai and GM Korea are demanding wage cuts and speedups as well as the casualization of the workforce.
By Ben McGrath, 1 September 2015
The conclusion of war games saw the largest-ever joint live-fire drill between the US and South Korea.
By Ben McGrath, 26 August 2015
With the US applying immense pressure to the North Korean regime, recent events demonstrate how a relatively minor episode can escalate rapidly into armed conflict.
By Ben McGrath, 24 August 2015
Despite talks between North and South Korea, both sides continue to issue threats and counter-threats.
By Ben McGrath, 22 August 2015
The underlying conflict between the US and China dramatically amplifies the dangers of any military clash on the Korean Peninsula.
By Ben McGrath, 21 August 2015
The hostilities follow weeks of accusations and counter-accusations since two South Korean soldiers were maimed by landmines.
By Ben McGrath, 25 July 2015
Suspicions that the NIS spied on political opponents continue to grow as more information comes to light.
By Ben McGrath, 16 July 2015
The latest revelation further underscores the anti-democratic character of the South Korean state and its spy agencies.
By Ben McGrath, 4 June 2015
The anti-democratic court ruling is designed to prevent teachers and other public employees from voicing their political opinions.
By Ben McGrath, 30 April 2015
Confronted by broad working class opposition to government austerity measures, the unions are confining workers to limited protests.
By Ben McGrath, 31 March 2015
Seoul’s decision was welcomed by China and came in defiance of US pressure.
By Ben McGrath, 2 March 2015
In the past few years, the US has used the war games to escalate tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
By Ben McGrath, 20 January 2015
North Korea has offered direct negotiations with the US, but Washington continues to whip up tensions on the Korean peninsula.
By Ben McGrath, 31 December 2014
While the memorandum of understanding is nominally directed against North Korea, the US clearly wants an agreement that targets China as well.
By Ben McGrath, 24 December 2014
The ruling is an attack on basic democratic rights, aimed at silencing political criticism and opposition.
By Ben McGrath, 29 August 2014
Japan’s moves have provoked concerns in Washington that Tokyo’s diplomacy will cut across US strategy in North East Asia.
By Peter Symonds, 1 April 2014
The incident highlights the fragile state of relations on the Korean Peninsula, one of a string of dangerous flashpoints in Asia.
By Peter Symonds, 18 January 2014
South Korea warned of “merciless retaliation” in the event of a North Korean “military provocation.”
By Ben McGrath, 23 December 2013
The police operation is a clear attempt by the Park administration to crush working class opposition to the attacks on jobs and living standards.
By Peter Symonds, 16 December 2013
North Korea has reportedly recalled “large numbers” of businessmen from China following the purge of its no.2 leader.
By Peter Symonds, 14 December 2013
The sudden purge of Jang Song-thaek is a clear sign of a profound political crisis in Pyongyang.
By Ben McGrath, 12 November 2013
If imposed, a ban on the UPP would be the first since 1958 when US-backed dictator Rhee Syng-man outlawed the Progressive Party of his presidential challenger.
By Ben McGrath, 5 September 2013
Hyundai and Kia are demanding lower wages and costs, threatening to move production overseas.
By Ben McGrath, 1 August 2013
The US is sending a message that American troops and bases will not be leaving the Korean peninsula in the foreseeable future.
By Ben McGrath, 3 July 2013
The South Korean and Chinese presidents discussed North Korea’s nuclear programs as well as boosting economic relations.
By Joseph Santolan, 11 April 2013
Washington has set in motion a regional game of geopolitical brinkmanship in which the stakes are the possibility of nuclear war.
By Peter Symonds, 9 April 2013
Washington is not simply responding to Pyongyang’s threats, but is engaged in reckless provocations of its own that risk the outbreak of war.
By Ben McGrath, 9 April 2013
As the US escalates tensions on the Korean peninsula, the South Korean bourgeoisie has moved to aggressively implement its own militaristic agenda.
By Alex Lantier, 4 April 2013
Chinese officials appealed for calm on the Korean peninsula yesterday, as the United States deployed missiles and further military forces to East Asia.
By Alex Lantier, 30 March 2013
On Thursday, US officials announced that B-2 stealth bombers had flown from Whiteman Air Force Base in the United States to South Korea.
By Peter Symonds, 12 March 2013
As US and South Korean troops began joint exercises yesterday, North Korea nullified the 1953 armistice ending the Korea War.
By Ben McGrath, 1 March 2013
Park Geun-hye’s installation marks a turn to the right by the South Korean ruling elite amid growing social discontent at home and rising tensions across East Asia.
By Ben McGrath, 5 February 2013
With the election over, Park Geun-hye is preparing to ditch her pledges to narrow the gap between rich and poor.
By John Chan, 1 February 2013
The US will exploit any North Korean nuclear test to further expand its aggressive “pivot” to Asia directed against China.
By Ben McGrath, 28 December 2012
Major South Korean companies are planning to cut thousands of jobs as the economy is battered by deepening world economic turmoil.
By Ben McGrath, 20 December 2012
Park Geun-hye’s election represents a turn to authoritarian forms of rule by the South Korean corporate elite.
By Peter Symonds, 30 July 2012
The abrupt removal of Vice Marshal Ri Yong-ho has been interpreted as a move by Kim Jong-un to tighten his grip over the country’s military.
By Ben McGrath, 18 July 2012
Park Geun-hye’s emergence is as the leading presidential candidate is a warning that more authoritarian forms of rule are being prepared.
By Peter Symonds, 29 March 2012
The slogan of “disarmament” is one means used by the ruling classes to dupe working people as war is prepared.
By Peter Symonds, 27 March 2012
While the international summit in South Korea is supposedly about nuclear disarmament and peace, Obama utilised it as a platform to threaten new wars of aggression in the Middle East and Asia.
By Ben McGrath, 10 March 2012
The DUP is seeking to rebuild its electoral base by criticising the conglomerates and making limited proposals to restrict their activities.
By Peter Symonds, 20 December 2011
The death of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il has produced a mind-numbing deluge of articles in the international press presenting the regime in Pyongyang as a dangerous threat to stability in North East Asia.
By Ben McGrath, 28 November 2011
The vote in South Korea’s National Assembly underscored the sharp divisions within the political establishment over the FTA, which was first agreed in 2007.
By Will Morrow, 15 October 2011
The United Nations has warned that more than six million North Koreans—or one quarter of the population—are threatened with malnutrition.
By John Roberts, 4 March 2011
South Korea’s latest joint military exercises with the US dovetail with the Obama administration’s aggressive efforts to contain China’s influence in North East Asia.
By John Chan, 30 December 2010
With strong backing from Washington, the South Korean government is continuing a series of provocative military drills that threaten to lead to conflict with North Korea.
By John Chan, 21 December 2010
The Obama administration engineered this crisis as part of its ongoing campaign directed primarily at undermining China’s growing influence in Asia.
By John Chan, 20 December 2010
In a calculated and reckless provocation directed in the first instance against North Korea, the Obama administration has encouraged South Korea to proceed with live-fire drills in the vicinity of Yeonpyeong Island.
By John Chan, 3 December 2010
While repeatedly declaring that China must intervene to contain North Korea, Washington and its allies have rebuffed China’s diplomatic efforts to calm the Korean confrontation.
By John Chan, 25 November 2010
The US decision to send an aircraft carrier to the highly sensitive Yellow Sea following Tuesday’s exchange of shelling between the two Koreas has heightened regional tensions.
By Bill Van Auken, 23 November 2010
An American scientist’s report on North Korea’s development of a new uranium enrichment plant has provoked dire warnings from top US military and political officials.
By John Chan, 24 July 2010
The war games involve around 20 South Korean and US warships, including the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS George Washington, 200 aircraft and 8,000 military personnel.
By Peter Symonds, 28 May 2010
The confrontation between North and South Korea over the sinking of a South Korean warship intensified this week after Seoul, backed by Washington, announced a series of retaliatory measures.
By John Chan, 14 May 2010
The visit by North Korean leader Kim Jong-il to China last week was driven by the country’s acute economic crisis. China is exploiting the opportunity to open up the country for foreign investment.
By John Chan, 26 April 2010
President Lee Myung-bak is increasingly under pressure from sections of his right-wing Grand National Party and the military to take action against North Korea over the incident.
By John Chan, 19 February 2010
Social unrest has emerged in North Korea since the Stalinist regime’s currency reform produced an economic disaster.
By John Chan, 12 November 2009
Just days before US President Barack Obama commences his first major visit to Asia, a brief exchange of fire took place between South and North Korean naval vessels.
By John Chan, 3 September 2009
Behind the rhetoric about “democracy” and “peace”, Kim represented the interests of sections of the Korean bourgeoisie who had been marginalised under the US-backed military dictatorship.
By John Chan, 6 August 2009
Former US President Bill Clinton arrived in North Korea Tuesday to broker the release of two detained American journalists. Described by the Obama administration as a private mission, the visit signalled a tactical shift by Washington.
By John Chan, 27 June 2009
While the Obama administration has hailed the “unity” of the UN Security Council in imposing new sanctions on North Korea, tensions between the US and China remain, especially over the interdiction of North Korean ships in international waters.
By John Chan, 19 June 2009
A UN Security Council resolution last Friday imposing harsher sanctions on North Korea and the subsequent threats by Pyongyang, indicate the prolonged crisis on the Korean Peninsula has entered a more dangerous phase.
By Peter Symonds, 2 June 2009
US Defence Secretary Robert Gates told a regional security conference in Singapore that the US would not “stand idly by as North Korea builds its capability to wreak destruction on any target in Asia—or on us”.
By John Chan, 7 May 2009
Tensions in North East Asia rose again last week after North Korea threatened to carry out further nuclear weapon and ballistic missile tests.
By Patrick Martin, 6 April 2009
The United Nations Security Council held an emergency meeting Sunday in response to the test launching of a long-range missile by North Korea earlier in the day.
By John Chan and Peter Symonds, 3 April 2009
North Korean plans to fire a long-range Taepodong-2 rocket are heightening tensions in North East Asia. While Pyongyang claims to be launching a satellite, the US and Japan insist it is carrying out a missile test.
13 December 2008
The leaders of China, Japan and South Korea will meet today for their first-ever joint summit. While the meeting is billed as a show of Asian unity in the face of the deepening global economic crisis, the longstanding animosities and tensions that blocked collaboration in the past are not far below the surface.