North Korea

US President Joe Biden meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, 14 November 2022. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

Xi-Biden meeting: Nobody wants war over Taiwan Strait

The long-awaited face-to-face meeting between US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping finally took place this week on the sidelines of the G20 summit. While both sides expectedly reiterated their stance on key issues such as climate change, North Korea and the Russia-Ukraine war, the Taiwan issue continues to be the highlight, with Xi marking it as the “first red line’’ that must not be crossed. Zaobao journalists Miao Zong-Han and Daryl Lim tell us more.
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends an exhibition marking the anniversary of a historical parade in 1941, when Soviet soldiers marched towards the front lines during World War Two, in Red Square in central Moscow, Russia, 8 November 2022. (Aleksey Nikolskyi/Kremlin/Sputnik via Reuters)

The world is no longer safe from a nuclear war

Lianhe Zaobao associate editor Peter Ong remarks that the likelihood of a nuclear war has suddenly increased manyfold since the start of the Russia-Ukraine war. Besides Russia, the US has also become the main actor that could initiate the use of nuclear weapons. He shares his thoughts on these major powers’ historic and present-day views of nuclear weapons. Are they willing to risk it all?
A man walks past a television report showing a news broadcast with file footage of a North Korean missile test, at a railway station in Seoul, South Korea, on 6 October 2022. (Anthony Wallace/AFP)

What to make of Kim Jong-un's missile launch spree

The spate of missile launches by North Korea over the past month has shown Kim Jong-un’s unrelenting strategic thinking to hold nuclear weapons and keep growing nuclear power at all costs. With spillover effects on the US, South Korea and Japan, the security situation in the Korean peninsula is spiralling downward amid mutual aggravation. How will the region respond to the increasing nuclear threat?
A vintage doll is pictured near a damaged kindergarten following recent Russian shelling in the city of Slovyansk, Ukraine, as Russia's attack in Ukraine continues, on 2 September 2022 (Ammar Awad/Reuters)

In the China-US-Russia confrontation, it is military power that counts in the end

The Russia-Ukraine war has turned into a stage for the US and Russian militaries to flex their muscles, and so too in the case of the Taiwan Strait for the People’s Liberation Army and the US military. Against this backdrop, says political commentator Jin Jian Guo, the arms race in East Asia is quickening its pace, with Japan seeking to revise its constitution, Taiwan aiming to raise military spending next year, and North Korea holding firm to its nuclear programme. How will these developments affect geopolitics and security in the region?
A man uses an umbrella to shield himself from the rain while walking past shops along a street during a downpour in Seoul, South Korea, on 30 June 2022. (Anthony Wallace/AFP)

China should avoid labelling South Korea as a Western nation

It would be rather extreme of China to peg South Korea as a key member of the Western camp because of its political system and values, says US academic Wu Guo. South Korea and China are inseparable in terms of culture, history, economy and people ties. It might be more accurate to view South Korea as a buffer between China and the West.
In April 1943, the Koreans in China held a rally in Chongqing. The photo shows a Korean revolutionary giving a rousing speech while standing in front of a slogan that says “Up with an independent great Korea”. The meeting included a resolution to ask for other countries to support an independent Korea.

[Photo story] How Korea and China fought together against Japanese colonial control

The Korean independence movement actually began soon after the Russo-Japanese war, when Korea and China fought together against Japanese colonial control. For some 30 years, Korean activists carried out resistance movements against the ruling Japanese government, until the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea was established with Kim Gu as one of its most important leaders. Historical photo collector Hsu Chung-mao gives a glimpse into the period.
US President Joe Biden and Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at a joint news conference after their bilateral meeting at Akasaka Palace in Tokyo, Japan, 23 May 2022. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

The US is winning at building relationships with China's neighbours

Academic Zhu Ying notes that the war in Ukraine has brought the US, Japan and South Korea closer together on issues such as Taiwan and the nuclear threat from North Korea, thus strengthening the US’s strategy of working with alliances. In exchange for the US’s support in forms such as a nuclear umbrella, Japan and South Korea will align with the US in its competition with China.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un meets troops who have taken part in the military parade to mark the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Korean People's Revolutionary Army, in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), 29 April 2022. (KCNA via Reuters)

Can South Korea’s Yoon and China’s Xi denuclearise North Korea?

North Korea conducted an unprecedented seven missile tests in January and continues to test boundaries as it isolates itself from the world amid the Ukraine war. Yoon Suk-yeol, who becomes South Korea’s president on 10 May, has every reason to work with Chinese President Xi Jinping on denuclearising North Korea. But will joint efforts be a casualty of tectonic shifts in the global landscape?
South Korea's president-elect Yoon Seok-youl speaks during a news conference at his transition team office, in Seoul, South Korea, 20 March 2022. (Jung Yeon-je/Pool via Reuters)

South Korea’s new president needs to avoid predecessor’s mistakes and reframe foreign policy priorities

South Korean academic Kang Jun-young notes that the incoming Yoon Seok-youl administration in South Korea will have to rectify several diplomatic missteps of the previous administration, including by restoring ties with Japan and adjusting its policies towards China and the US, while dealing with the nuclear issue with North Korea. Will Yoon’s administration be able to juggle all this while maintaining its national dignity and not giving in to external pressure?