Powering the Korean Peninsula: Economic and Strategic Considerations

Economics, Environment, Infrastructure & Energy
Photo by Pixabay from Pexels.
, by , , , and Although significant political barriers remain to reconnecting the Korean peninsula, there is merit in substantive study of the types of energy infrastructure connections that would best promote regional growth and stability. The cases examined in this report underscore North Korea’s dire need for energy infrastructure investment and the importance of it meeting the G20 quality infrastructure investment principles.

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.

Making Solid Tracks: North Korea’s Railway Connections with China and Russia

Infrastructure & Energy
, by , and Should inter-Korean cooperation result in the re-connection of the railways in North and South Korea, the rail networks of the Korean peninsula could then be integrated into a rail network spanning the Eurasian continent through China and Russia. If actualized, this would mark a significant diplomatic and geopolitical accomplishment for the Korean peninsula. Nonetheless, a long and significant modernization process will need to take place to fully integrate the systems in a commercially viable way.

Living History with Ambassador Chung Chong Wook

Foreign Affairs, Nuclear Weapons
This Living History interview features Ambassador Chung Chong Wook, former Republic of Korea ambassador to China and former senior secretary to President Kim Young-sam for national security and foreign policy. Ambassador Chung recounts his personal experience serving as a senior government official during the summer of 1994 that was marked by a series of critical events in inter-Korean and U.S.-South Korea-North Korea relations.

Making Solid Tracks: North and South Korean Railway Cooperation

Infrastructure & Energy
, by , and North and South Korea are moving forward with inter-Korean railway cooperation as a key engine for advancing inter-Korean reconciliation and building the infrastructure for eventual unification. Once connected, however, a significant modernization and harmonization process will need to take place to fully integrate the systems in a commercially viable way.

Third Summit

Commentary
David Kang, director of the Korean Studies Institute at the University of Southern California, joins CSIS’s Victor Cha again by phone to discuss the latest Inter-Korean summit, what this means for denuclearization, and what to expect from a potential 2nd Trump-Kim summit.

Seven Takeaways from the April 27 Inter-Korean Summit: Issues and Assessments

Analysis, Foreign Affairs, Nuclear Weapons
, by The absence of specifics on the nuclear issue in the Panmunjeom Declaration means that the inter-Korean summit has passed the nuclear buck on to the U.S.-DPRK summit. In particular, by introducing measures for promoting bilateral relations that are contingent on satisfactorily addressing the nuclear issue, the Panmunjom Declaration makes settling the nuclear issue a precondition for improving inter-Korean relations.