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North Korea and South Korea have been on different paths since World War II. The North has remained isolated and poor, its regime inspired by Soviet structures, with a centrally planned economy. The South, meanwhile, after alternating periods of autocratic and democratic rule, made a clear choice at the end of the 1980s in favour of democracy and a market economy, a choice that has led the country to success in several sectors. North and South Korea are still technically at war, as the military conflict ...

US President Donald Trump met North Korean leader Kim Jong-un for a historic summit in Singapore on 12 June 2018. They reached a short agreement that emphasised the North's commitment to 'work toward complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula', but provided no details on when Pyongyang would give up nuclear weapons or how that might be verified. Following the summit, the United States announced it had agreed with South Korea to suspend all planning on joint military exercises. This note offers ...

Within their partnership, the EU and Japan recognise each other as being essentially civilian (or ‘soft’) powers that share the same values and act in the international arena solely with diplomatic means. However, the evolution of the threats they face and the unpredictability now shown by their strategic ally, the US, have led both the EU and Japan to reconsider the option of ‘soft power-only’ for ensuring their security. They have both begun the — albeit long —process of seeking greater strategic ...

The US President, Donald Trump, and North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, are preparing for a high-stakes summit on the latter country’s nuclear programme, following Trump’s decision on 1 June to revive the meeting after having cancelled it the previous week. At the summit, due to take place on 12 June in Singapore, Trump is expected to press for denuclearisation of North Korea in exchange for easing economic sanctions and, possibly some aid. The main sticking point lies on the meaning the two countries ...

North Korea: No summit for the moment

At a Glance 24-05-2018

Following fears in 2017 of an escalation of the North Korean crisis, an unexpected detente has come in early 2018. North Korean athletes took part in the Winter Olympics in South Korea, and Pyongyang undertook a charm offensive followed by a successful historic inter-Korean summit in late April, which may prompt long-awaited peace talks. A summit between US President Trump and North Korean Leader Kim Jong un had been scheduled for 12 June in Singapore, but Trump called it off on 24 May. The main ...

Sanctions have become an increasingly central element of the EU's common and foreign security policy. At present, the EU has 42 sanctions programmes in place, making it the world's second-most active user of restrictive measures, after the US. Unlike the comprehensive trade embargoes used in the past, the EU has moved towards asset freezes and visa bans targeted at individual persons and companies, aiming to influence foreign governments while avoiding humanitarian costs for the general population ...

Donald Trump has made a number of highly controversial decisions during his first 13 months as US President – whether on foreign trade, climate change, migration, taxation or healthcare. His unorthodox communication style, often using emotional tweets, has frequently confused both domestic and international audiences. Although his 'America First' polices have not gone as far as some had feared, and he has presided over a period of continued economic growth, there remains very considerable anxiety ...

North Korean human rights abuses

At a Glance 22-02-2018

In February 2018, the world was exposed to cheerful images of Kim Jong-un's sister, Kim Yo-jong, smiling and shaking hands with the South Korean president Moon Jae-in, and of North and South Koreans marching together under the same flag, while an all-female squad of cheerleaders dressed in red occasionally upstaged the athletes at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. Against this charm offensive, a few dozen kilometres north, far from the spotlight, up to 120 000 political prisoners continued experiencing ...

Ten issues to watch in 2018

In-Depth Analysis 08-01-2018

This is the second edition of an annual EPRS publication designed to identify key issues and policy areas that are likely to feature prominently on the political agenda of the European Union over the coming year. Topics presented include: the implications for the EU of the terrorism threat, the North Korean issue, the security challenges posed by disinformation, fake news and cyber-crime, the ongoing migration crisis and rising inequalities. Other important policy areas covered are youth empowerment ...

The United States is the world's second largest nuclear power, coming close behind Russia. Together the two states account for 93 % of the world's nuclear weapons. Since the end of the Cold War, the US has followed a policy of reducing its nuclear arsenal, while maintaining a nuclear triad. Under President Obama, it embarked on an intense nuclear modernisation programme, while making commitments towards nuclear non-proliferation and – as a long-term goal – nuclear disarmament. President Donald Trump ...