Commentary / World Nov 4, 2000

Two Koreas grapple with a long history

U.S. Secretary of State Madeline Albright's recent remark that "my glasses aren't rose-colored" when it comes to North Korea has touched a deep chord in South Korea. The pace and productiveness of North-South exchanges has noticeably slowed since the summer, and off-again, on-again North-South ...

Commentary / World Oct 26, 2000

ASEM fails to live up to hype

The third Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) held in Seoul last weekend was long on ceremony and performance, but short on substance. While impeccably hosted by South Korea and held in a glittering new conference center in southern Seoul, the conference lacked "soul." For all the ...

Commentary / World Sep 28, 2000

Koreas need peace, not a peace treaty

SEOUL-- This week's defense minister-level meeting on Cheju Island is welcome news as the two Koreas take another historic step forward in their rapidly developing rapprochement. But the road ahead will be long and convoluted. According to one well-placed South Korean official, "we are ...

Commentary / World Sep 9, 2000

The two Koreas and the great powers

The multifaceted character of the Korean problem and the uneven progress made by its protagonists were once again on display last week. U.S., Japanese and South Korean officials sat down in Seoul to plan strategy regarding North Korea, while South Korea's emissaries headed north to ...

Commentary / World Aug 6, 2000

A step forward in Asian cooperation

SEOUL -- Asia is gradually moving toward a security framework dramatically different from that in Europe, consisting of processes rather than institutions between and among nation-states -- many of which have outstanding political, ideological or territorial conflicts. And in Asia, unlike the case in ...

Commentary / World Jul 26, 2000

Russia gets back into the Korean fray

At the end of World War II, the Soviet Union re-established itself as a major player on the Korean Peninsula largely as a result of U.S. initiatives in dividing the country, for administrative convenience, between two zones of military occupation. In doing so, the ...

Commentary / World Jun 21, 2000

Two Kims now face a win-win situation

SEOUL -- Both North Korea's Kim Jong Il, the younger host, and South Korean President Kim Dae Jung, his older guest, have come off last week's world-dazzling summit with a bounce. But can they keep the momentum going? Converting this impressive symbolic achievement into real ...

Commentary / World Jun 4, 2000

Korean summit expectations vs. reality

SEOUL -- When the two leaders of the two Koreas meet for the first time in Pyongyang in less than two weeks, the possibility of creating conditions for genuine reconciliation will also come into play for the first time. The downside, however, is that ...

Commentary / World Apr 25, 2000

Kim unscathed in parliamentary vote

SEOUL -- South Korea's 16th general election for the National Assembly held two weeks ago was hardly a mandate for President Kim Dae Jung's ruling Millennium Democratic Party. Although it forced Kim to reach out to the opposition Grand National Party, it has not ...

Commentary / World Apr 14, 2000

Behind the surprise inter-Korean summit

"Hold on to your hat. Korea is full of surprises," Don Oberdorfer advises us in the conclusion to his recent book, "The Two Koreas." And not since Egyptian President Anwar Sadat flew into Jerusalem more than two decades ago to mend fences with his ...