Country Report: South Korea (January 2022)
As the 2022 presidential election slated for next March looms large, South Korean newspaper headlines in November and December were dominated by coverage of the election campaign trails mudslinging politics, and a sharp surge in COVID caseloads. In this array, President Moon and his foreign policy team seem to be a lone voice advocating for enacting an end-of-war declaration intended to end one of the longest armistices once and for all and transition to peace. Moon’s last-ditch effort to salvage the Korean Peace Process, however, has been overshadowed by domestic politics and frayed domestic socioeconomic conditions due to a multiplicity of COVID variants.
This was an eventful autumn: for ROK-US consultations with an eye on China; with Moon in attendance at the Summit for Democracy but more cautious in his language than Biden and some other leaders and rather focused on “fake news” about North Korea with an appeal to the Pope to visit North Korea; with diplomatic efforts to win support for an end-of-war declaration; with concern about new US sanctions on North Korea; with assessments of Kim Jong-un’s first decade in office; with reactions to the first Xi-Biden summit, virtual as it was, and to the US diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics; with a crisis in supplies of urea, with Japan’s refusal to take part in a planned trilateral news conference over a South Korean visit to Dokdo; and with controversy over Moon’s pledge at the climate conference. None of these events rose to the level of high drama, but conservatives and progressives bickered over them.
53rd Security Consultative Meeting
On December 2, Seoul and Washington held their first Security Consultative Meeting (SCM) since Joe Biden’s inauguration. During a joint press conference, Minister of National Defense Suh Wook addressed major achievements of the meeting with his US counterpart Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin, including reaffirmation of the US commitment to maintain the current US Forces Korea (USFK), agreement on conducting a Full Operation Capability (FOC) assessment of the Future Combined Forces Command (F-CFC) in 2022, and approval of new Strategic Planning Guidance (SPG).1
As the 53rd SCM underscored changes to the strategic environment and growing security challenges, major media outlets shed light on imminent geopolitical issues, including North Korea’s evolving nuclear threat, an end-of-war declaration, and the US-China strategic competition.
The FOC assessment to be held in 2022 is the second part of a three-phase program to verify whether South Korea is ready to lead the allies’ combined forces during wartime. Since the next presidential election is scheduled to be held in March, Donga Ilbo noted that the transition process of wartime operation control (OPCON) will be handed over to the next administration.2
Concerning approving the new SPG, Kukmin Ilbo said it was “a natural outcome” in a situation where North Korea has increased the scope of its nuclear weapons program, ranging from short-range ballistic missiles (SRBMs) to hypersonic missiles.3 Calling the decision to establish a new strategic plan “desirable,” Segye Ilbo expected that it would provoke stiff opposition from North Korea and affect the future dialogue between North Korea and the US.4
With respect to the link between the new SPG and an end-of-war declaration, Joongang Ilbo argued that the government should focus on securing extended deterrence to defend South Korea rather than a declaration of an end to the war, which is a “fictional peace.”5 Hankyoreh, on the other hand, addressed “the importance of preserving peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait” mentioned in the joint communique as a signal of Seoul and Washington strengthening cooperation to counter North Korea and China. Thus, it said, the new SPG seemed far from an end- of-war declaration pushed by the Moon administration.6
However, Chosun Ilbo expected a backlash from Beijing against the joint communique as it considers foreign intervention in the Taiwan issue as interference in its internal affairs.7 Hankook Ilbo expressed concern over mentioning the Taiwan issue in the joint communique and considered it “inappropriate,” even though it was a reiteration of the joint statement at the ROK-US summit in May.8
The Summit for Democracy
On December 9-10, the US held its first Summit for Democracy with leaders from 110 countries, including South Korea. The virtual summit took aim at announcing collective commitments to defend democracy against authoritarianism, address and fight corruption, and prompt respect for human rights. As the summit was widely seen as a US effort to counter two uninvited countries, China and Russia, media outlets raised concerns over the growing tension between the US and China, and President Moon Jae-in’s attendance at the meeting.
Maeil Kyungjae reported the Chinese Ambassador to South Korea Xing Haiming’s response to the US-led Summit for Democracy that “China resolutely opposes fake democracy that weaponizes democracy, interferes with internal affairs of other countries and suppresses development.”9 Amidst growing tension between the US and China, Moon refrained from remarks pointing to China but pointed out populism, extremism, and fake news as major threats against democracy.10
Chosun Ilbo noted that Moon’s emphasis on fake news is not aligned with Joe Biden’s call for countering authoritarianism.11 With intensifying US-China rivalry, Seoul Kyungjae (Sedaily) editorialized that South Korea’s “tightrope diplomacy,” attempting to maintain a balance between two superpowers, would result in the loss of trust from both sides.12 On the other hand, Hankyoreh expressed concern over the negative impact of the summit on the “good and evil” dichotomy, dividing the world into two sides and depriving other countries of opportunities to cooperate on imminent threats, including the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.13
On October 31, Cheong Wa Dae, the presidential office of South Korea, announced that Moon Jae-in who was visiting Rome for the G20 Summit met with Pope Francis and asked him to visit North Korea to which the pope said he was willing to do so for peace. On the announcement, the conservative Segye Ilbo editorialized that although the papal visit to the North would certainly add momentum to peace across the Korean Peninsula and the international community, its feasibility was in serious doubt as the North upped its pace of provocations, conducting eight missile tests with indications of preparing for SLBM tests. The newspaper requested Moon to focus attention on resuming talks rather than on staging another diplomatic high-profile event.14
The conservative Maeil Kyungjae urged the North to seize the opportunity to allow the visit of the pope, which would be an epochal event and could provide much needed relief to its economic and diplomatic isolation.15 Kukmin Ilbo chimed in commenting that the papal visit could make a decisive breakthrough in the ongoing efforts by the US and South Korea to bring the North to the negotiating table, calling on the North not to miss the opportunity.16 Chosun Ilbo severely criticized Cheong Wa Dae, whose account of the meeting between Moon and the pope was different from that of the Vatican. Pointing out that three years ago the Vatican denied Cheong Wa Dae’s similar announcement that the pope indicated he would visit the North upon the invitation of Kim Jong-un, the newspaper concluded that if Moon’s office continues to give untruthful accounts of meetings with foreign dignitaries, it would put into question the credibility of the nation he represents.17
On September 24, during a speech addressing the 76th UN General Assembly, Moon called for either the two Koreas and the US or the two Koreas, the US, and China to declare an end of the Korean War to “make irreversible progress in denuclearization and usher in an era of complete peace.”18 Since then, the South Korean government has diplomatically engaged the US and China to float the idea.
The conservative Donga Ilbo editorialized that although South Korea and the US were narrowing their grounds on drafting the end-of-war declaration, they still had disagreements on the timing and conditions of the declaration. The newspaper warned that the declaration could lead to another diplomatic show and become scraps of paper unless it was linked to the goal of denuclearizing the North.19 Segye Ilbo warned that the South Korean government’s continued push for what it called an unrealistic end-of-war declaration would not only weaken the alliance with the US, but would divert necessary attention and resources away from preparing to cope with any fallout from the ongoing competition between the US and China.20
“Fake News” on North Korea
In his remarks at the Leaders’ Plenary of the Summit for Democracy hosted by Joe Biden, Moon Jae-in stressed the negative impact of fake news, such as spreading hatred, populism, and extremism. He said, “We still have not found appropriate measures to deter these acts because they might collide with a democratic value – freedom of expression.”21
On December 3, six days before the meeting was held, the National Assembly passed the 2022 budget for the Ministry of Unification, which exceeds 1.5 trillion won. Other than the increased budget scale, what attracted media attention the most was the ministry’s plan to allocate 200 million won to “monitoring fake news” on North Korea. Lee Jong-joo, the ministry’s spokesperson, told reporters during her daily press briefing that systematic monitoring for fake news became necessary as false information spreads through new media and distorts the policy environment.22
Although details, including the scope, method, and participants of monitoring activities, are not decided yet, the unification ministry’s plan drew criticism for two reasons. Firstly, Kukmin Ilbo questioned the necessity and reliability of the new initiative to monitor fake news on North Korea, which could be used as political abuse, arguing that the Ministry of Unification already has sufficient authority to counter fake news.23 Secondly, Chosun Ilbo strongly warned that the new initiative could be seen as another attempt of the Moon administration’s to win the favor of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and his sister Kim Yo-jong, following its ban on sending leaflets to North Korea.24
Biden Administration’s New Sanctions on North Korea
After Biden took the oath of office, his administration had maintained the existing sanctions regime against North Korea but had not newly imposed any sanctions until December 2021. However, on International Human Rights Day, the US Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated individuals and entities from Myanmar, Bangladesh, China, and North Korea for serious human rights abuses. The OFAC’s designation included Ri Yong-gil, North Korean Minister of the People’s Armed Forces, and two North Korean entities, the Central Public Prosecutors’ Office and the children’s animation film studio named SEK Studio.25
Concerning the implications of the new sanctions, Kyunghyang Shinmun highlighted the significance of human rights issues in the Biden administration’s foreign policy, implying that the US “human rights diplomacy” can be further applied to its North Korea policy.26 Echoing this view, Hankook Ilbo noted that it was an “unfavorable factor” in Seoul’s efforts to restore conversation with Pyongyang, but urged the government to advocate a restrained response for preventing further deterioration of the situation on the Korean Peninsula.27
Conservative media outlets shed light on the difference between Seoul and Washington in their responses to human rights issues. Segye Ilbo lashed out at the government and the ruling Democratic Party for remaining silent on North Korea’s human rights abuses but allocating 200 million won to monitor fake news about North Korea.28 Kukmin Ilbo argued that the longer the Moon administration remains silent on North Korea’s human rights issues, the harder it becomes to elicit the US support and cooperation for an end-of-war declaration.29
10th Anniversary of Kim Jong-un’s Rise to Power
On December 17, North Korea commemorated the 10th anniversary of former leader Kim Jong-il’s death, marking his successor Kim Jong-un’s first decade in power. A day before the memorial held in Pyongyang where Kim Jong-un called for “absolute trust” in him,30 the UN General Assembly passed a resolution condemning North Korea for its human rights violations for the 17th consecutive year.
Calling the first decade of Kim Jong-un’s leadership a “brutal fearocracy,” Seoul Shinmun argued that North Korea has had to pay the price for his obsession with nuclear weapons, suffering from economic deterioration and isolation from the international community.31 Joongang Ilbo said that Kim Jong-un’s failure to achieve both nuclear and economic development not only proved those two were incompatible from the beginning but also revealed the leader had no will to abandon nuclear weapons in the first place.32
As a result, Kukmin Ilbo insisted that Pyongyang shake off its illusion of being a nuclear power and choose the path of reform and opening up.33 With respect to Seoul’s response, Segye Ilbo pointed out that South Korea declined to co-sponsor the UN resolution on North Korea’s human rights violations for the 3rd consecutive year and urged that the government align its North Korea policy with its allies.34
US-China Strategic Competition
The First US-China Summit
On November 15, Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping held their first summit virtually. During the meeting that ran for about three hours, the two leaders discussed a wide range of issues facing their countries including sovereignty of Taiwan, human rights, and trade35 The centrist Yonhap News editorialized that the summit foreshadowed a continued and likely-to-be long-running competition and conflict between the two great powers and that South Korea, which needs the support of both powers for its security and economy, should seek to secure strategic room for itself.36 The progressive Hankook Ilbo also positively assessed that the two leaders had agreed on addressing the global energy shortage and preventing an escalation of an accidental clash, expressing its hope that the summit would serve as a starting point for their cooperation to solve global issues while engaging in competition.37 The centrist Financial News cast the current competition between the two powers as the Thucydides Trap akin to the relationship between a declining power Sparta and a rising power Greece. Describing the situation of South Korea as a shrimp in a fight between whales, the newspaper urged the country to prepare against any fallout from the conflict between the two powers.
The conservative Segye Ilbo editorialized that faced with what appeared to be a long-run great power competition, South Korea should shy away from walking a diplomatic tightrope between the two and rather strengthen ties with countries like the US that share the values of democracy, market economy, and human rights while reducing reliance on imports from China.38 The conservative Joongang Ilbo editorialized that the tense verbal tit-for-tat between the two leaders foreshadowed an intensifying competition and conflict between their respective countries and that South Korea, which cannot afford to dispense with either its alliance with the US or economic cooperation with China, should keep a careful watch on the developments and craft an adequate strategy.39 The conservative Donga Ilbo also editorialized that the summit portended an irreversibly protracted and broad-based conflict between the two powers, and South Korea could be stretched between competing demands in the security and economy realms, a situation that behooves South Korea to craft a sophisticated diplomatic strategy .40
The progressive Kyunghyang Shinmun commented that it was reassuring that the two leaders, despite their standoff on many issues including human rights issues in Hong Kong and Xinjiang, freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, and trade practices, agreed on crisis and risk management to avoid the escalation of a conflict and urged the two leaders to continue to strengthen communications and engage in responsible behavior and examine the North Korean issue proactively.41 The progressive Hankyoreh editorialized that amid an intensifying arms race in Northeast Asia, the verbal exchange between the leaders on the sovereignty issue of Taiwan was worrisome, adding that cooperation between the US, China, and the international community would be required to maintain peace in Taiwan and Northeast Asia.42
US Diplomatic Boycott of 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics
On November 18, Biden said that he is considering a diplomatic boycott of the 2020 Beijing Winter Olympics. The conservative Segye Ilbo editorialized that the foreign policy team of the Moon administration was intent on using the Beijing Olympics as a venue for another high-profile event with the North. Mentioning that other countries and regional blocs including the UK, Australia, the European Parliament, and Japan were considering joining the US in boycotting the Olympics, the newspaper called on the team to pay attention to the diplomatic currents and voice concern over the human rights issues in North Korea and China.43 AsiaToday commented that the strategic competition between the US and China has spilled over to almost all realms and the potential US diplomatic boycott would particularly put South Korea in a bind. Envisioning that the call for coalescing against China’s repressive policies against the Uighur minority could grow stronger, the newspaper urged the government and National Assembly to find ways to minimize the risks stemming from the competition.44
The progressive Kyunghyang Shinmun editorialized that the diplomatic boycott would throw cold water on South Korea’s initiative to improve relations with the North in the short-run and to achieve denuclearization in the long-run. The newspaper called on the South Korean government to prepare for a long-term competition between the US and China and look for new and innovative responses.
In December, unlike Japan, South Korea remained supportive of the Beijing Winter Olympics. On December 2, during a meeting with Yang Jiechi, member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, South Korea’s National Security Advisor Suh Hoon expressed support for the Beijing Olympics.45 When asked about his position on the diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics at a joint press conference in Canberra, Moon said that South Korea has not received a request from any other country, including the US, to participate in a diplomatic boycott and was not considering it.46
Media outlets assumed that the Moon administration’s support for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics was an extension of its efforts to elicit support from China on an end-of-war declaration. Calling it an “inevitable choice,” Hankyoreh struck a cautious tone in editorializing that South Korea should carefully prepare for a delegation to the Beijing Olympics, considering both its alliance with the US and the economic ties with China.47
However, conservative media outlets remained skeptical even after Moon’s remarks that the US, China, and North Korea agreed in principle to declare a formal end to the Korean War. Segye Ilbo argued that Seoul’s decline to join the diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympic Games would only lead to isolation and shake the ROK-US alliance, putting more pressure on the next government.48 Highlighting the importance of strategic ambiguity, Joongang Ilbo criticized Moon’s remarks as made in haste, leaving little room for further diplomatic maneuvers.49
Urea Crisis and Supply Chain Vulnerabilities
From early to mid-November, South Korea suffered an acute shortage of urea, a key chemical ingredient used to make diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) for reducing emissions in diesel engines. The shortage, induced by China’s decision in mid-October to restrict urea exports on which South Korea was dependent for 97 percent of its imports, threatened to disrupt commercial transport by grounding to a halt about four million passenger cars and freight vehicles. To cope with the shortage, the South Korean government secured a two-and-a-half-month reserve of which 18,700 tons were from China, 5,200 tons from Vietnam, and 27,000 liters from Australia, imposed emergency control measures on the domestic production, shipment, and sale of urea, and started rationing urea at designated gas stations with a cap of up to 10 and 30 liters for each passenger car and commercial cargo truck.50
Commentaries from the newspapers focused on the vulnerabilities of the raw material supply chain due to heavy reliance on China and the government’s ineptitude in handing the shortage crisis. On the supply chain vulnerabilities, the conservative Chosun Ilbo pointed out that although South Korea was dependent on China for supplying 80 percent or more for each 1,850 product, it has not acted to reduce dependency on China and diversify its sources of supply as Japan did through the China plus one strategy.51 The conservative Donga Ilbo also commented that the crisis laid bare the danger of over-dependence on Chinese raw materials and intermediary goods, calling for revamping the government organization and establishing a new mechanism to manage and address the supply chain vulnerabilities.52
On the government’s incompetence, the centrist Hankook Ilbo highlighted the ensuing confusion of vehicle drivers with the locations and specified amounts of urea solutions, which were rationed by the government ,and criticized the government’s slow response to China’s announcement on restricting urea exports.53 The centrist Seoul Shinmun criticized the government for repeating the mistake of failing to act preemptively and institute a stopgap measure as it had failed did during the mask shortage in the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic in March last year.54 The conservative Chosun Ilbo pointed out the slow response of the South Korea government, mentioning that although the Chinese government announced export restriction on October 11, it took ten days for the news to reach the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from the embassy in China and another ten days for the first government-wide meeting to take place. Commenting further that although rationing can be instituted in a time of natural disaster or economic depression under the 1974 Price Stabilization Act, there was not a single instance where the law was previously invoked, it concluded with a rhetorical question why the current government had to implement rationing twice, for masks last year and urea this time.55 The progressive Kyunghyang Shinmun also criticized the ineptitude of the government by pointing out the long queues formed at the distribution points and that private companies, rather than the government, utilized their global networks to secure emergency shipments of urea from foreign countries.56
Cancellation of Joint Press Conference for US-Korea-Japan Trilateral Talks
On November 17, the trilateral meeting of deputy foreign ministers of the US, South Korea, and Japan was held in Washington D.C. Their joint press conference after the meeting was boycotted by Japanese Deputy Foreign Minister Mori Takeo on the grounds that on the same day, the South Korean National Police Agency’s Commissioner-General made a public visit to the islet of Dokdo.
Both conservative and progressive newspapers criticized Japan’s boycott. The conservative Donga Ilbo claimed that the South Korean police chief has every right to visit the islet where the police staff are stationed, and that Japan’s boycott was an unacceptably frivolous act. On South Korea-Japan relations, the newspaper commented that although the Kishida cabinet continued bolstering right-wing policies contrary to the initial expectations in South Korea of mending the strained ties, the South Korean government should work to turn the page in its worst relations with Japan.57 The center-right Hankook Ilbo cast the boycott as cowardly, worrying about its consequences for trilateral cooperation on security issues in the Indo-Pacific region.58 The conservative Segye Ilbo commented that Japan’s claim over the Dokdo islet has been growing stronger as shown by its listing Dokdo as its own territory in the Defense White Paper, school textbooks, and the map on the website of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Organizing Committee. Describing the bilateral relationship with Japan as crucial to resolving the security issues on the Korean Peninsula, the newspaper questioned whether South Korea has heretofore neglected ties with Japan at the expense of strengthening the alliance with the US.59
The progressive Hankyoreh also cast the Japanese Deputy Foreign Minister’s act as not only a violation of protocol but a dangerous act that destabilizea Korea-Japan relations and stability in Northeast Asia, expressing concern over Japan’s growing tendency to make the Dokdo islet a disputed territory. The newspaper called on the Japanese government to refrain from widening the fissures in their bilateral relations and to work with the South Korean counterpart to find a way out from the ongoing standoff.60
Rome G20 Summit and COP26
On October 31, the leaders of the Group of 20 announced their final communique after having met in Rome for two days. On climate change, the communique said the countries underlined the importance of reaching net zero by or around the middle of the century and would take action to keep the world from warming no more than 1.5 degree Celsius above the pre-industrial level. The summit was followed by the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) held from October 31 to November in Glasgow. Moon, who was visiting Europe to participate in the two summits, asserted at the COP26 that South Korea would update its 2030 Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) by pledging to cut its greenhouse gas by 40 percent relative to the 2018 level and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
Conservative newspapers expressed concern about the pledge announced by Moon. The conservative Joongang Ilbo editorialized that the pledge might have been welcomed by the leaders present at the meeting, but it lacks an adequate implementation strategy and timeline. Citing the study by the Green Technology Center of the National Research Council of Science and Technology that South Korea’s green technology lagged advanced countries and pointing out that other advanced countries, unlike South Korea, envisioned an increased role for nuclear energy in their net zero emissions strategy, the newspaper pointed out that a pledge without a realistic and achievable strategy would be an irresponsible act of kicking the can down the road.61 Donga Ilbo also criticized the pledge as unrealistic citing the study by the Korea Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade that the producers of South Korea’s top six export products would spend an extra 199 trillion won to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.62 Chosun Ilbo echoed the view, denouncing a reckless and irresponsible act of Moon. It commented that by sticking with the 40 percent cut, which it says would be more onerous than those made by almost all the countries other than the G7, the president imposed significant burdens on business and the people to save face in front of world leaders.63
The progressive Hankyoreh took on the criticisms made by the conservative newspapers claiming that South Korea had been procrastinating in cutting carbon emissions and had to make the 40% cut pledge to catch up to the pace of the US and the EU. While conceding that there would need to be measures in place to protect the businesses and laborers who may be adversely affected by decarbonization, it claimed that postponing achieving carbon neutrality to later than 2050 would be an irresponsible act.64
1. “한미 SCM 공동 기자회견,” 대한민국정책브리핑, December 2, 2021, https://www.korea.kr/news/policyBriefingView.do?newsId=156484098.
2. “韓美 새 작전계획 착수… 전작권 포함 대북태세 다시 짜라,” Donga Ilbo, December 3, 2021, https://www.Donga.com/news/Opinion/article/all/20211202/110577792/1.
3. “굳건한 한·미 동맹 재확인한 53차 SCM,” Kukmin Ilbo, December 3, 2021, http://news.kmib.co.kr/article/view.asp?arcid=0924221144&code=11171111&cp=nv.
4. “한·미 새 ‘작계’, 북핵 고도화에 완벽 대응할 수 있어야,” Segye Ilbo, December 2, 2021, https://segye.com/view/20211202517260.
5. “한·미, 북핵 대응 작전계획 차질 없이 만들기를,” Joongang Ilbo, December 3, 2021, https://www.Joongang.co.kr/article/25029020#home.
6. “한미 안보회의에 첫 등장한 ‘대만 문제’ 의미 숙고해야,” Hankyoreh, December 2, 2021, https://www.hani.co.kr/arti/opinion/editorial/1021793.html.
7. “한미, 북핵 대응 위해 작계 최신화한다…공동성명에 ‘대만’ 첫 명시,” Chosun Ilbo, December 2, 2021, https://biz.chosun.com/policy/politics/2021/12/02/T5ICWFPSTZBZPLOXTLRHQCF6I4/.
8. “북핵 대응 위해 새 작전계획 수립에 합의한 韓美,” Hankook Ilbo, December 3, 2021, https://www.hankookilbo.com/News/Read/A2021120216460005513.
9. “미국에 각세운 中 싱하이밍…바이든 주도 회의체 맹비난,” Maeil Kyungjae, December 8, 2021, https://www.mk.co.kr/news/politics/view/2021/12/1124211/.
10. “Remarks by President Moon Jae-in at Virtual Summit for Democracy,” 대한민국정책브리핑, December 11, 2021, https://english1.president.go.kr/BriefingSpeeches/Speeches/1118.
11. “美는 ‘외교적 보이콧’하는데…‘중국’ 발언조차 피하는 文대통령,” Chosun Ilbo, December 11, 2021, https://biz.chosun.com/policy/politics/2021/12/11/E36RI2XBSZEN5E7ODZ55HLOL2E/.
12. “종전선언보다 민주주의 가치동맹이 우선이다,” Sedaily, December 10, 2021, https://www.sedaily.com/NewsVIew/22V8JG0XRI.
13. “‘민주주의 정상회의’로 갈라진 세계,” Hankyoreh, December 10, 2021, https://www.hani.co.kr/arti/opinion/editorial/1022888.html.
14. “文대통령이 제안한 ‘교황 북한방문’, 실현 가능성 있나,” Segye Ilbo, October 31, 2021, http://m.segye.com/view/20211031508973.
15. “교황방북 3년간 무시한 북한 마지막 기회 걷어차지 말라,” Maeil Kyungjae, November 1, 2021, https://www.mk.co.kr/opinion/editorial/view/2021/11/1031419/.
16. “프란치스코 교황 방북, 이제 북한이 적극 화답할 때다,” Kukmin Ilbo, November 1, 2021, http://news.kmib.co.kr/article/view.asp?arcid=0924216036&code=11171111&sid1=al.
17. “‘교황, 訪北 수락했다’는데 교황청은 다른 발표, 3년 전과 판박이,” Chosun Ilbo, November 1, 2021, https://www.chosun.com/opinion/editorial/2021/11/01/AGGDTBP6VFFTRHYVLDM7VH4BQU/.
18. “Address by President Moon Jae-in at 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly,” Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Korea, September 24, 2021, https://www.mofa.go.kr/eng/brd/m_5674/view.do?seq=320659.
19. “한미 조율 終戰선언, 비핵화 연결고리 없인 휴지조각 될 것,” Donga Ilbo, November 23, 2021, https://www.Donga.com/news/Opinion/article/all/20211122/110406133/1.
20. “한·미동맹 흔들 종전선언에 언제까지 매달릴 건가,” Segye Ilbo, November 17, 2021, http://www.segye.com/newsView/20211117515712.
21. “Remarks by President Moon Jae-in at Virtual Summit for Democracy,” 대한민국정책브리핑, December 11, 2021, https://english1.president.go.kr/BriefingSpeeches/Speeches/1118.
22. “통일부 ‘북한관련 가짜뉴스 정책환경 왜곡…모니터링 심화 필요’,” Yonhap News Agency, December 6, 2021, https://www.yna.co.kr/view/AKR20211206067400504.
23. “북한 가짜 뉴스 모니터링 사업의 실체는 뭔가,” Kukmin Ilbo, December 6, 2021, http://news.kmib.co.kr/article/view.asp?arcid=0924221429&code=11171111&sid1=opi.
24. “이제는 北이 싫어할 ‘가짜 뉴스’ 잡는 데 우리 세금 쓴다고 한다,” Chosun Ilbo, December 8, 2021, https://www.chosun.com/opinion/editorial/2021/12/08/D3SS467YCZF3TBSRUBVD7AXQII/.
25. “Global Magnitsky Designations; North Korea Designations; Burma-related Designations; Non-SDN Chinese Military-Industrial Complex Companies (NS-CMIC) List Update,” US Department of the Treasury, December 10, 2021, https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/recent-actions/20211210.
26. “첫 대북 제재 바이든 행정부, 대화도 포기 말아야,” Kyunghyang Shinmun, December 12, 2021, https://www.khan.co.kr/opinion/editorial/article/202112122040025.
27. “바이든 첫 북한 제재, 종전선언 추진에 또 악재,” Hankook Ilbo, December 13, 2021, https://www.hankookilbo.com/News/Read/A2021121215460002368.
28. “美, 北 인권유린 또 제재… 외면 급급한 정부 부끄럽지 않나,” Segye Ilbo, December 12, 2021, https://segye.com/view/20211212508019.
29. “바이든 정부 첫 대북제재… 멀어지는 종전선언,” Kukmin Ilbo, December 13, 2021, http://news.kmib.co.kr/article/view.asp?arcid=0924222453&code=11171111&cp=nv.
30. “Kim’s decade of rule,” The Korea Times, December 19, 2021, https://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/opinion/2021/12/202_320815.html.
31. “김정은 집권 10년, 핵 포기하고 민생·경제개혁 주력해야,” Seoul Shinmun, December 18, 2021, https://www.seoul.co.kr/news/newsView.php?id=20211217500105.
32. “핵 고집으로 주민에 고통 안긴 김정은 집권 10년,” Joongang Ilbo, December 18, 2021, https://www.Joongang.co.kr/article/25033314.
33. “김정은 10년… 핵 포기하고 개혁·개방으로 나와라,” Kukmin Ilbo, December 20, 2021., http://news.kmib.co.kr/article/view.asp?arcid=0924223451&code=11171111&sid1=ce.
34. “‘숙청·공포정치’ 김정은 집권 10년, 北 인권에 눈감은 정부,” Segye Ilbo, December 19, 2021, http://news.kmib.co.kr/article/view.asp?arcid=0924223451&code=11171111&sid1=ce.
35. “Readout of President Biden’s Virtual Meeting with President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China,” The White House, November 16, 2021, https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/11/16/readout-of-president-bidens-virtual-meeting-with-president-xi-jinping-of-the-peoples-republic-of-china/.
36. “G1·G2 간극 재확인한 바이든·시진핑 첫 정상회담,” Yonhap News, November 16, 2021, https://www.yna.co.kr/view/AKR20211116158500022.
37. “‘충돌’ 대신 ‘대화’ 택한 바이든·시진핑 정상회담,” Hankook Ilbo, November 17, 2021, https://www.hankookilbo.com/News/Read/A2021111613390001628.
38. “지속되는 미중 패권전쟁···중국 의존 접고 우리 실력 키워야,” Seoul Kyungjae, November 17, 2021, https://www.sedaily.com/NewsVIew/22U1TEKOJR.
39. “바이든·시진핑 첫 정상회담…경쟁과 협력의 공존,” Joongang Ilbo, November 17, 2021, https://www.Joongang.co.kr/article/25024342#home.
40. “194분간 제 할 말만 한 美中 정상… 칼날 위에 선 韓 외교,” Donga Ilbo, November 17, 2021, https://www.Donga.com/news/Opinion/article/all/20211116/110280982/1.
41. “회담 194분 동안 맞서면서도 협력 다짐한 바이든과 시진핑,” Kyunghyang Shinmun, November 16, 2021, https://m.khan.co.kr/opinion/editorial/article/202111162044015#c2b.
42. “‘치열한 경쟁’ 확인한 미-중 정상, 평화 흔들지 말아야,” Hankyoreh, November 17, 2021, https://www.hani.co.kr/arti/opinion/editorial/1019582.html#csidx8ad751bd1672aae8161d93fbc98e049.
43. “‘외교적 보이콧論’ 확산···베이징 이벤트 매달릴 때 아니다,” Seoul Kyungjae, November 29, 2021, https://www.sedaily.com/NewsVIew/22U7C8H8SS.
44. “미·중 패권 리스크 본격화, 선제 대응 급하다,” AsiaToday, November 21, 2021, https://www.asiatoday.co.kr/view.php?key=20211121010012559.
45. “杨洁篪同韩国国家安保室长徐薰举行磋商,” Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, December 2, 2021, https://www.fmprc.gov.cn/web/zyxw/202112/t20211202_10461514.shtml.
46. “한-호주 공동기자회견 질의응답,” Chungwadae, December 13, 2021, https://www.korea.kr/news/blueHouseView.do?newsId=148896742.
47. “‘올림픽 보이콧 검토 안 한다’는 문 대통령의 선택,” Hankyoreh, December 13, 2021, https://www.hani.co.kr/arti/opinion/editorial/1023166.html.
48. “文 ‘올림픽 보이콧 검토 안 해’, 종전선언 이벤트용 아닌가,” Segye Ilbo, December 13, 2021, https://www.segye.com/newsView/20211213514737.
49. “‘올림픽 보이콧 검토 않는다’는 대통령의 섣부른 발언,” Joongang Ilbo, December 14, 2021, https://www.Joongang.co.kr/article/25031968.
50. “정부 ‘차량용 요소수 3개월치 확보’…12일부터 530만ℓ 푼다(종합),” Yonhap News, November 10, 2021, https://www.yna.co.kr/view/AKR20211110106251002.
51. “위험한 중국 의존 체질, 中은 언제든 상대 약점 이용하는 나라다,” Chosun Ilbo, November 11, 2021, https://www.chosun.com/opinion/editorial/2021/11/11/TFEGGU2PXZFELPWWOE6HRBUNAE/.
52. “중국만 바라보는 전략물자 대책 ‘제2 요소수 대란’ 못 막는다,” Donga Ilbo, November 11, 2021, https://www.Donga.com/news/Opinion/article/all/20211110/110185537/1.
53. “산업부-환경부, 요소 및 요소수 긴급수급조정조치 시행,” 대한민국정책브리핑(Korea.kr), November 11, 2021, https://www.korea.kr/news/policyBriefingView.do?newsId=156480186.
54. “요소수 이번엔 유통혼란, 비싼 수업료 대체 언제까지,” Seoul Shinmun, November 14, 2021, https://www.seoul.co.kr/news/newsView.php?id=20211115031015.
55. “45년 동안 배급제 단 2번, 모두 文정부에서만 벌어진 이유,” Chosun Ilbo, November 12, 2021, https://www.chosun.com/opinion/editorial/2021/11/12/44AVCD4Y2VGFHDCD2N3Q4JITPY/.
56. “긴급조치가 무색한 요소수 현장 대란, 행정력은 어디 있나,” Kyunghyang Shinmun, November 14, 2021, https://m.khan.co.kr/opinion/editorial/article/202111142043005#c2b.
57. “의제와 무관한 문제로 한미일 공동회견 무산시킨 日,” Donga Ilbo, November 19, 2021, https://www.Donga.com/news/Opinion/article/all/20211118/110325828/1.
58. “독도 방문 트집 잡아 기자회견 무산시킨 日 졸렬함,” Hankook Ilbo, November 19, 2021, https://m.hankookilbo.com/News/Read/A2021111815590003722.
59. “‘독도 분쟁화’ 노리고 한·미·일 공동 회견 무산시킨 日,” Hankook Ilbo, November 18, 2021, https://m.segye.com/view/20211118516116.
60. “외교 일정까지 무산시킨 일본의 ‘독도 트집잡기’,” Donga Ilbo, November 18, 2021, https://www.hani.co.kr/arti/opinion/editorial/1019895.html#csidxf570b944eac97218fa799924c0b7d26.
61. “과학자·기업인 우려에 귀 막은 정부의 탄소중립 질주,” Joongang Ilbo, November 3, 2021, https://www.Joongang.co.kr/article/25020470#home.
62. “미래전략도 안 보이고 현실성도 없는 온실가스 감축안,” Donga Ilbo, November 3, 2021, https://www.Donga.com/news/Opinion/article/all/20211102/110047246/1.
63. “‘온실가스 40% 감축’, 文 체면 값으로 기업·국민에 엄청난 부담,” Chosun Ilbo, November 3, 2021, https://www.chosun.com/opinion/editorial/2021/11/03/LUIWH6PNSRFMBMJ4L67BMUHYCM/.
64. “‘지금도 늦은’ 탄소중립, ‘더 늦추자’는 무책임한 주장들,” Hakyoreh, November 2, 2021, https://www.hani.co.kr/arti/opinion/editorial/1017681.html.