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This week’s front page editor


Francesc Badia i Dalmases is Editor and Director of democraciaAbierta.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

As Trump and Kim shake hands, what does this mean for Koreans?

To implement the Singapore and Panmunjom commitments, what is needed is a collective plan to denuclearize security relations across North-East Asia. 

Japan's military sexual slavery: whose agreement?

The South Korea-Japan agreement on Japan’s military sexual slavery was announced on 28 December, 2015, but it ignores the  efforts by the victim-survivors movement to seek justice for their suffering. 

Jeju island and the war mindset in Asia and the Pacific

Jeju is called the Island of Peace, but in spite of seven years of constant large protests it's where the South Korean military has almost finished construction of a new naval base. 

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.

Space shrinking for freedom of expression in South Korea

‘National security’ is often the card played by states denying human rights. With the North Korean dictatorship next door, in South Korea it is a regular trump.

South Korea: rail workers, repression and resistance

An almost unreported strike in South Korea, which has just come to an end, epitomises how a ‘free’ market can be incompatible with the liberty of workers to defend their own security.

Climate leadership in the developing world

There is a level of political dynamism at the national level that seems all but absent from global negotiations. But what is particularly interesting about this growing trend is that it appears to be strongest in the developing world.

Authentic foon

Authentic FoonOur Sunday Comics author recalls three experiences of intense culinary and self-transportation

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’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.

Apple vs. Samsung: something doesn’t quite fit!

The patent war between Apple and Samsung made a great deal of headlines over the past weeks. This article argues that both have much to gain from this big fuss, while the losers seem to be consumers and patent law itself.

One for the money Two for the show Three to get ready Go kid go

In Ryoo we have an outsider, a self-taught filmmaker from a small town far removed from the Seoul-based film industry who by his talent and will to succeed has carved out a place for himself. A review of the Ryoo Seung-wan Retrospective at the 2011 London Korean Film Festival.

A scorecard from Busan: did the High Level Forum contribute to aid effectiveness in conflict-affected countries?

The high ambition of getting global agreement tends to lead to an unambitious convergence on the least demanding positions and commitments. How did Busan fare?

On the eve of the summit…

Amy Barry who is reporting back for us waits for the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, in Busan, South Korea to begin.

South Korea: destroying the lives of the Haenyo ‘sea women’

A naval base being built on Jeju Island threatens to destroy the livelihoods of the iconic women shellfish divers and raise levels of rape and prostitution in the surrounding villages. On her return from Jeju, Rebecca Johnson says international action is needed to stop the military construction

India, Pakistan strike friendly tones, but Afghan endgame likely to affect relations

Recent improvements in ties between India and Pakistan might be jeopardized as both compete for influence in post-2014 Afghanistan. Nepal's political parties conclude a deal over reintegration of former rebels. Britain allows armed guards on vessels to fight pirate attacks, and the United States and South Korea strengthen ties to meet future challenges from the North. 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.

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.

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…

South Africa poised to boost AU troops in Somalia

South African cabinet meet to discuss the possibility of sending peacekeeping troops to Somalia. North Korea expresses further anger as Seoul and Washington carry out further military drills. Secular Palestinian groups join Hamas, saying that a return to direct talks with Israel would be ‘dangerous’. US Defence Secretary gives concrete dates for the beginning of US withdrawal from Afghanistan. All this and more in today's security briefing.

US imposes fresh sanctions on North Korea

US imposes fresh sanctions on North Korea. Sudan's Bashir defies arrest warrant. British PM concludes his first visit to Washington. Suspected rebels attack Russian power plant. All this and more in today’s security briefing.

Bomb attack in Uganda kills 64 people

Somalian insurgents suspected of bombing Ugandan capital. Israel prepares for further attempts to break the Gaza blockade as Eiland report is released. North Korea maintains innocence as it meets with UN. US and Serbia join in calls for justice over Srebrenica massacre. Russia expresses concern over Iranian nuclear potential. All this and more in today's security briefing.

Ex-hacker exposes suspected "Collateral Murder" wiki-leaker

Ex-hacker exposes suspected wiki-leaker. Iran announces plans for aid convoy to Gaza. Somalis flee clashes in central provinces. US considers sanctions in response to Cheonan crisis. All this and more in today's security briefing

Curfews across Thailand anticipate further unrest

Curfew extended in Bangkok after Red Shirts dispersed. International investigation reports South Korean Cheonan sunk by North Korean torpedo. State of emergency imposed in southern Kygyzstan. Pakistan prepares for offensive in North Waziristan. Maoist attacks prompt strategy rethink in India. All this and more in today's briefing.

US walks diplomatic tightrope in Arab-Israeli conflict

The United States treads a narrow tightrope in Middle East diplomacy. Over a hundred insurgents are killed in a bloody clash in Chad. South Korean and Chinese Presidents discuss the sinking of the Cheonan. Five rebels are killed in the Philippines ahead of national elections. All this and more, in today’s security update…

Middle east peace unlikely, acknowledges Obama

The US president confesses inability to influence the Israel-Palestine conflict. South Korean investigators confirm that the Cheonan was sunk by an ‘external explosion’. A UN commission concludes Benazir Bhutto’s death could have been avoided. Ousted Kyrgyz President Bakiyev resigns. All this and more, in today’s security update.

US appeals to China over Iran sanctions

Obama calls Hu Jintao to urge a tougher stance on Iran. Israel threatens another military operation against Gaza. Harmid Karzai launches an unprecedented attack on the international community. The South Korean President urges restraint over the sinking of a warship in the waters off North Korea. All this and more, in today’s security update…
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