Unification Transparency Index: Allied Views of China and Japan

Analysis, Economics, Environment, Foreign Affairs, Governance, Health, Human Rights, Humanitarian Aid, Infrastructure & Energy, Legal, Military, Nuclear Weapons, Refugees & Migration
, by South Korea and the United States generally share similar estimations of China’s and Japan’s blind spots in a unification scenario. Both believe that Beijing has the most prominent blind spot on domestic stabilization and refugees, and that Japan shares similar concerns, suggesting that all four powers could prioritize law and order in a unification scenario.

Comparing South Korea and U.S. Perceptions of Korean Unification

Analysis, Economics, Environment, Foreign Affairs, Governance, Health, Human Rights, Humanitarian Aid, Infrastructure & Energy, Legal, Military, Nuclear Weapons, Refugees & Migration
, by Beyond Parallel’s first-ever survey of expert assessments on unification-related issues indicate South Korea and the United States share the common view that domestic stabilization and unification costs constitute the most critical unification blind spots with a high degree of concern but low levels of knowledge for both countries.

Unification Transparency Index: South Korea

Analysis, Economics, Environment, Foreign Affairs, Governance, Health, Human Rights, Humanitarian Aid, Infrastructure & Energy, Legal, Military, Nuclear Weapons, Refugees & Migration
, by Domestic stabilization is the most critical issue with unification for South Korean officials and experts, registering the highest composite score (i.e., high level of concern and low level of knowledge). This means civil-military relations, law and order, and stability in the North represent the issues for which Koreans see great consequences for national interests, but for which they have little prior knowledge or understanding. Hence, it is the greatest potential “blind spot” of unification. Costs related to unification rank a close second for South Koreans, followed by refugees, nuclear weapons, and human rights.

Promoting Democracy, Human Rights, and the Rule of Law

Governance, Human Rights
, by One of the most important recent steps forward was the creation of the United Nations Commission of Inquiry on DPRK human rights violations and its ground-breaking report which was issued in 2014. That report concluded that the DPRK regime systematically violated the human rights of its own people—including freedom of thought, expression and religion; freedom from discrimination; freedom of movement and residence; and the right to food.

Travel to North Korea: Should it be Prohibited in the Aftermath of American Student’s Death?

Foreign Affairs, Governance, Human Rights
, by The tragic death of Otto Warmbier has again raised the question of whether travel to North Korea ought to be prohibited by the United States government. Prohibiting travel by Americans to North Korea has been talked about for some time, primarily on Capitol Hill. Arguments for a travel ban are (1) to protect the safety and wellbeing of American citizens; and (2) travel is a source of hard currency for the Kim regime which goes to the “royal economy” for imported French cognac and luxury automobiles for the young leader, as well as to fund nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

Empowering North Koreans as Part of Trump’s North Korea Policy

Foreign Affairs, Human Rights
, by President Trump’s North Korea policy must include considerations about empowering the North Korean people...   The outgoing Obama administration advised Donald Trump to consider North Korea’s growing nuclear threat as his number one foreign policy priority. Despite Trump’s campaign talking points about downgrading the U.S.-ROK alliance, withdrawing U.S. troops…