Covid-19 in North Korea

Commentary, Health
Dr. Victor Cha and Andrew Schwartz are joined by Dr. J. Stephen Morrison of CSIS and Dr. Kee Park of Harvard Medical School to talk about Covid-19 in North Korea. They discussed what we know and don't know about the lockdown and the severity of the health situation there, and what to expect moving forward with how the Biden administration and the international community will deal with the pandemic in North Korea.

Sinpo South Shipyard Update: No Signs of Imminent Provocation

Ballistic Missiles
, by and There are no visible indications of preparations for the launch of the much anticipated “newly built submarine”—North Korea’s first true ballistic missile submarine (SSB). No significant activity is observed in satellite imagery of the Sinpo South Shipyard collected during the past several months. Typical of this is an image acquired on February 3, 2021.

Biden’s Korea Policy

Commentary, Foreign Affairs
In this first episode of 2021, Andrew Schwartz, Dr. Victor Cha, and Dr. Sue Mi Terry discuss the new Biden administration’s Korea policy and what to expect from North and South Korea... In this first episode of 2021, Andrew Schwartz, Dr. Victor Cha, and Dr. Sue Mi…

The Bunkers at Kyongje-dong

Military
, by and The Kyongje-dong facility was likely built to serve as a wartime forward operating base for MD-500s helicopters to support special force operations against South Korea during the early stages of a renewed conflict. Like a number of air facilities in North Korea, the Kyongje-dong facility appears to be in wartime reserve or caretaker status and is not associated with North Korea's ballistic missile operating bases.

Undeclared North Korea: The Kal-gol Missile Operating Base

Ballistic Missiles, Military
, by , and Located approximately 52 kilometers north of the DMZ and 125 kilometers north of Seoul, the Kal-gol missile operating base is one of the most developed of North Korea’s approximately 15-20 undeclared ballistic missile facilities. This base likely houses a reinforced brigade-sized unit equipped with 500-kilometer-range Hwasong-6 (Scud C) short-range ballistic missiles (SRBM) or Hwasong-9 (Scud-ER) medium-range ballistic missiles (MRBM).

South Korea Bans Balloons Carrying Leaflets to the North. Foreign Policy Problems Will Follow

Commentary, Foreign Affairs
, by The South Korean National Assembly last week approved legislation that imposes stiff fines and jail terms for sending leaflets, USB sticks, Bible verses, and even money across the 38th parallel into North Korea via balloons. The real risk for the Moon government is that by responding so quickly to the derisive dressing down from Kim Yo-jong, it may give Seoul the appearance of being overly eager to accede to Pyongyang’s demands. Such a response weakens South Korea’s ability to negotiate with the North. The quick capitulation by the South only encourages Pyongyang to take a tougher stance in the future.

A North Korean Human Rights Agenda for the Biden Administration

Commentary, Human Rights
, by The incoming Biden administration is now just weeks away from assuming the reins of political power in Washington. The new administration has no shortage of gratuitous advice about policies and programs it ought to pursue. Unrequested, I am offering my advice about what ought to be on the agenda for dealing with North Korean human rights in the new administration. One issue that has largely been ignored for the last two and a half years of President Trump’s White House stewardship is human rights in North Korea. In light of that neglect, I offer thoughts on the North Korea human rights agenda for the new administration.

A Case for Rajin Port: Economic Significance and Geopolitical Implications

Economics
, by , and Rajin holds considerable economic value, and its viability stems from its potential to act as a regional logistics hub linking the Chinese northeastern provinces, Far East Russia and North Korea. For China, the development of the northeastern provinces of Heilongjiang and Jilin hinges on access to a seaport. Having long suffered from stagnated growth and brain drain, the region is further weighed down by inefficient transport options that continue to stymie its economic potential.