Introduction

The four years from 2016 through 2019 were the most eventful in the post-democratization and post-Cold War period of South Korean history. Three goals had defined the entirety […]

Great Hopes, Shattered Dreams

President Park Geun-hye entered office with high hopes of making progress with the North by pursuing a more balanced, middle-of-the-road policy than her predecessors. Yet, her so-called “trustpolitik” […]

Candlelight Mandate, Moonshine Diplomacy, and Partisan Narratives

In 2016, conservative president Park Geun-hye’s trustpolitik crumbled with North Korea’s nuclear tests. This triggered a barrage of policy reversals, including decisions to (1) deploy the US anti-ballistic […]

Gambling on Great Power Relations

The four years from 2016 to 2019 saw both a high point in expectations that Seoul could reshape geopolitics in Northeast Asia and a low point in awareness […]

Moon’s Failed Balancing Act

The mood was decidedly upbeat in South Korea around this time last year: following the “historic summit” between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un in Singapore, many praised Moon […]

Trump’s Illusions

In the eyes of US observers, the G20 summit was more a series of bilateral meetings than a multilateral summit, more a prelude to Trump’s visit to the […]