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This week’s editors

“Francesc”

Francesc Badia i Dalmases is Editor and Director of democraciaAbierta.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Western countries are more secure without nuclear arms

NATO’s current nuclear strategy is untenable. Crises during the Cold War reveal that nuclear strategies become dangerous exactly in the circumstances they are intended to deter, in political confrontations.

What does North Korea want?

US-led war games may look like a defensive manoeuver to us, but from North Korea‘s perspective they do not look the same.

The United Kingdom is sleepwalking into renewing humanity’s deadliest weapons

The British public are tired of simplified, polarising campaign messages, and are fast losing faith in their elected representatives, setting the stage for a renewal of Trident by default.

From Northern Ireland to Korea: the power of nonviolence and love in action

As thirty international women peacemakers prepare to cross the DMZ with women from North and South Korea, Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire speaks in Pyongyang of the power of forgiveness.

Where your conscience can take you: North Korea

On 24 May, thirty women peacebuilders crossed the De-Militarized Zone that separates Korean families. Ann Wright describes her journey from serving in the US Army to citizen diplomat walking for peace.

Mairead Maguire: walking for peace between North and South Korea

Last month the North Korean government gave its permission for an international women's peace walk across the demilitarized zone which separates it from South Korea. The women are waiting to hear the South Korean government's decision. 

Walking together: imagining a new chapter in Korean history

The goal of the international women's walk across the De-Militarized Zone is to help bring peace and reunification to Korea, and to open a new dialogue marked by understanding, and -  ultimately - forgiveness.

Peace and reunification in Korea: in our life time

Women peacemakers are planning a peace walk across the De-Militarized Zone to bring global attention to the unresolved Korean War and amplify women’s leadership to help reunify the country.

North Korea: elite shame, world test

A credible United Nations report on North Korea demands a humane and practical response to its people's degradation, says Kerry Brown.

North Korea: totalitarianism in transition?

Periodically wracked by famine and lambasted in a UN human-rights inquiry, North Korea remains a state without parallel. What lies behind the regime’s latest purge?

North Korea's family purge

Kim Jong-un's execution of his uncle casts a revealing light on the tensions and weaknesses within the Pyongyang regime, says Charles K Armstrong.

North Korea, the cost of paralysis

A new study of the inner workings of North Korea's regime is an important account of its dark political genius. But big states in the international system share the blame for its success, says Kerry Brown.

Missed opportunities to rid the Middle East of WMD

Concerned by misrepresentation of Egypt’s withdrawal from the recent NPT meeting in Geneva, a retired Egyptian Ambassador puts the record straight and suggests ways to put the Conference on WMD in the Middle East back on track.

North Korea, the hand of history

All states involved in the Korean crisis are influenced by their historical experience, but the recent past weighs most heavily on Pyongyang.

Nuclear weapons, basketball diplomacy and war in Korea

While North Korea's nuclear threats towards the US remain in the realm of the absurd, the government's latest denunciation of the armistice agreement dangerously raises tensions between an inexperienced leader in Pyongyang and an untested president in Seoul.

North Korea: an opportunity lost is an opportunity gained

The recurring three-part drama, Unsuccessful Diplomacy-North Korean Belligerence-United Nations Sanctions, is airing on our screens once again. How do we we break the cycle - and finally get North Korea to change its behaviour?

North Korea’s missiles: peepholes into alien territory

It is here in South Korea where you will find the most prevalent sense of bitterness and anger towards the belligerent communist state.

North Korea: change of signs

Pyongyang looks and feels different under Kim Jong Un's leadership, but how much do new buildings, markets and facades reveal about the direction of policy? Charles K Armstrong, who recently visited North Korea, reflects.

Doubting North Korea’s ‘collapsists’

Commentators on North Korea have predicted the immanent downfall of its dictatorial regieme since its inception, but even after the second transition of power to another member of the Kim family it is yet to show any signs of wavering. Perhaps it is time for the international community to consider a more long-term, inclusive foreign policy toward this isolated and secretive regime 

China and North Korea after Kim Jong-il

Despite its strained relationship with North Korea in recent years, China has so far supported the ascendancy of Kim Jong-un. Francis Grove-White assesses China's prime economic and domestic reasons for backing the inexperienced leader

North Korea, the arts of succession

The aftermath of the death of Kim Jong-Il highlights the obstacles in the way of a clear assessment of North Korea's power dynamics, says JE Hoare.

Kim Jong-Il: leadership and legacy

North Korea's leader of almost two decades has died. What happens next will determine Kim Jong-Il's place in the country's history, says Charles K Armstrong.

N Korea food crisis set to continue

N Korea food crisis set to continue. Turkey and Iran to collaborate against Kurdish rebels. Southeast Asia flooding kills hundreds, displaces thousands. Obama announces US troop withdrawals from Iraq. All this in today’s security briefing...

Libyan rebels encircle Sirte as Gaddafi son presses for resistance

Libyan rebel forces encircle Sirte, as Saif al-Islam Gaddafi presses for resistance. South Korea appoints Yu Woo lk as its new unification minister. The Sri Lankan government introduces new anti-terrorism rules after emergency laws expire. And Iran plans to continue enriching 20 percent uranium. All this in today’s briefing…

Pakistan and India revive peace process after meeting of foreign ministers

Pakistan and India have revived the peace process after the foreign ministers of the two countries met in New Delhi. North Korean envoy is in New York to hold nuclear talks. Russian navy to commission eight Graney class nuclear submarines by 2020. Powerful bomb blast rocks Cotabato City, Southern Philippines. All this in today's security briefing...

Korea after reunification: challenges and opportunities

Last year’s deadly rise in tensions in the Korean peninsula put off any prospects of reunification. Young-II Kim, a North Korean defector and executive director of PSCORE, an organisation furthering the understanding between Seoul and Pyongyang, appears more optimistic. In an interview with Javier Delgado Rivera, he dissects the major issues the Korean Peninsula will face when reunification comes about.

International pressure on Gaddafi mounts

International pressure on Gaddafi mounts. Belarus violates Ivorian arms embargo as violence escalates. Rangoon bomb blast. Yemen to announce government of national unity within 24 hours. North Korea threatens war over leaflets. All this and more in today’s briefing...

North Korea makes direct food aid appeal

North Korea makes direct appeal for food aid, highlighting worsening food security situation. Tensions ease on Thai-Cambodian border as refugees return hom. India-Pakistani peace talks to resume, say sources. All this and more in today’s briefing…

Little optimism as Turkey hosts Iran nuclear talks

Expectations are low in latest round of Iranian nuclear talks. US threat to redeploy military forces instrumental in Beijing clamping down on Pyongyang. South Sudan set to ‘overwhelmingly’ vote for independence. All this and more, in today’s security update…

Assam rebels ready for peace talks

A leader of the Indian separatist group Ulfa indicates he is ready for peace talks with the government. Unconfirmed reports emerge that China has stationed troops in northeast North Korea. All this and more in today’s security briefing.

Drilling for war

Provocative demonstrations of US military might are no way to avert conflict in east Asia, argues Angel Gómez-de-Ágreda

North Korea reveals details of uranium enrichment plant

North Korea reveals details of new nuclear power plant. Iran blamed ‘Zionist regime’ for assassination of top nuclear scientist. Gaza blockade still 'crippling' Palestinians. Congolese army accused of instability and smuggling. All this and more in today’s security briefing.

Korean peninsula on ‘the brink of war’

On Friday, the official news service of North Korea accused the US and South Korea of pushing the peninsula to the brink of war. Israeli armed forces have been witnessed demolishing a mosque and other buildings in the occupied West Bank. Nouri al-Maliki has been asked by the Iraqi President to form a new government as bomb blasts across Iraq kill nine and injure over fifteen. All this and more, in today’s security update.

'Lord of War' arrives in US following extradition

Viktor Bout, the man at the centre of a long-standing war of words between US and Russia, finally arrives in NYC; Millions of North Koreans face food-shortages despite better harvest, says UN report; Serbia asks Interpol for help in the hunt for Ratko Mladic. All this and more in today's global security briefing.

Hizbollah chief urges Lebanese to boycott Hariri investigation

Hassan Nasrallah calls for a boycott of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. A diplomatic row between China and Japan over disputed island territories flares up at an Asean summit. Iran has agreed to renew negotiations over its nuclear programme. Gunfire breaks out along the border between North and South Korea. All this and more, in today’s security update…
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