The historic ouster of President Park Geun-hye on Friday means that South Korea will hold elections within 60 days to elect a new leader. That will come as a relief for South Koreans, exhausted by months of scandal and impeachment proceedings, but it should also assuage U.S. policymakers. In the three months since Park was suspended over corruption allegations, plunging the country into limbo, the regime in North Korea has launched five ballistic missiles and a volley of threats. Add to that China’s anger anger over the deployment of a U.S. missile defense system to South Korea and uncertainty about the change in administration in Washington, and the lack of leadership in South Korea could hardly have come at a more sensitive time.
North Korea has fired four ballistic missiles, with at least three landing in Japanese-controlled waters, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has told his parliament. “North Korea today fired four ballistic missiles almost simultaneously, and they flew some 1,000 kilometers”, Abe said on March 6. He said three of them landed in the sea area of Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The South Korean military said that ‘several missiles’ were fired into the Sea of Japan. It said South Korea and the United States were analyzing flight data to ascertain further details
Due to a number of limitations the THAAD missile defense system doesn’t directly pose a major risk to Russia and China. However, Moscow and Beijing still see a potential threat, which does not come from the missiles but the system’s radars that would allow U.S. to monitor launches of Russian and Chinese intercontinental missiles. Despite the U.S. and South Korea repeatedly claiming that THAAD poses no threats to China or Russia, and is being deployed to defend the South from North Korean missile launches, Moscow and Beijing still harbor serious concerns about the deployment.
SEOUL–In response to the heightened threat from North Korea, the United States and South Korea will conduct large-scale joint military exercises for the second consecutive year this spring, rather than biennially. The decision comes in the face of a combative North Korea, which has been engaged in nuclear and missile development programs, several U.S. and South Korean military sources said on Feb. 25. The joint military drills have been held annually in the spring to coordinate their operations, including dispatch of U.S. troops for reinforcements. In even-numbered years, landing operations, a key component of the joint drill, have been conducted on a large-scale basis, while they have been run on a smaller basis in odd-numbered years.
North Korea conducted a missile test today, according to the South Korean government the rocket launched from the city of Banghyon, certainly there is only that the missile landed in the waters between Japan and South Korea. The reactions of Seoul and Tokyo have been very strong, both prime ministers have spoken of “unacceptable action” on the topic is also addressed by President Trump who assured full support to Japan, speaking before the press conference of Prime Minister Abe who is visiting the United States. According to analysts of the Institute for Far Eastern Studies in Seoul the test has been done by the North Koreans with the objective to gain further knowledge to develop intercontinental rockets capable of striking the United States.
North Korea fired a ballistic missile into waters off its east coast on sunday, the first provocation since the inauguration of U.S. President Donald Trump, according to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS). The JCS said the missile was believed to be an ungraded version of the Musudan intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM), considering its speed. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is currently visiting the U.S., condemned the North’s missile launch in a hurriedly arranged joint news conference with Trump hours after the surprise provocation. Trump said he fully sides with Shinzo Abe in condemnation of the North, but fell short of disclosing how he would react to the North’s provocations.
Top nuclear envoys of South Korea, the United States and Japan vowed on Tuesday to closely cooperate in carrying out the latest sanctions imposed on North Korea following its September nuclear test. In their trilateral talks in Seoul, they also pledged to try to verify whether the punitive measures are faithfully implemented as part of efforts to curb Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile development. The meeting was attended by Kim Hong-kyun, special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs at the Foreign Ministry, and his U.S. and Japanese counterparts, Joseph Yun and Kenji Kanasugi, respectively.
President Park Geun-hye said Tuesday that she will accept the result of an impeachment vote on Friday and will wait for the Constitutional Court’s verdict if the motion is passed. Instead of making a much-expected fourth national address on the scandal involving her and her friend Choi Soon-sil, Park met with Saenuri Party Chairman Rep. Lee Jung-hyun and floor leader Rep. Chung Jin-suk, and said she will “calmly” accept the result of the vote.
South Korean President Park Geun-hye said Tuesday that she will resign — if parliament arranges the technical details — in her latest attempt to fend off impeachment efforts and massive street protests amid prosecution claims that a corrupt confidante wielded government power from the shadows. Opponents immediately called Park’s conditional resignation offer a stalling tactic, and analysts said her steadfast denial that she has done anything wrong could embolden her enemies. The country’s largest opposition party, the Minjoo Party, said it would not let Park’s “ploy to avoid impeachment” interfere with a planned vote on impeachment on Friday
More than 100,000 people took to streets to hold an anti-president rally at the Gwanghwamun Plaza in downtown Seoul, Saturday evening. They are chanting anti-president slogans with placards that read “Park Geun-hye must step down.”