Categories for South Korea

27,538. 8/16/2019

MILITARY/NORTH KOREA/SOUTH KOREA/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “North Korea launched at least two short-range ballistic missiles on Friday [8-16-19], South Korea’s military said, shortly after Pyongyang described South Korea’s president as ‘impudent’ and vowed that inter-Korean talks are over. The North has protested against joint U.S.-South Korea military drills, largely computer-simulated, which kicked off last week, calling them a rehearsal for war. It has also fired several short-range missiles in recent weeks. North Korea fired two more short-range projectiles into the sea off its east coast on Friday morning, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said in a statement. Japan’s defense ministry said it did not see any imminent security threat from the latest projectile launch. A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said initial information indicated at least one projectile was fired by North Korea and appeared to be similar to the short-range missiles fired in previous weeks. Another official said the United States was consulting with South Korea and Japan.”

Josh Smith and Jack Kim, “North Korea fires missiles, derides South Korea’s Moon as ‘impudent’,” Reuters, August 16, 2019

27,368. 8/12/2019

JAPAN/SOUTH KOREA/TRADE DEALS/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “South Korea retaliated against Japan on Monday [8-12-19] in a diplomatic and trade dispute between the two key American allies, deciding to remove its neighbor from its list of countries entitled to preferential treatment in trade. South Korea’s tit-for-tat action had been expected since Japan took a similar action against South Korea on Aug. 2. Still, the move provided Washington with fresh evidence that neither South Korea nor Japan would back down anytime soon, even though President Trump has urged them both to ‘sit down and get along with each other.’ The removal of Japan from South Korea’s ‘white list’ of 29 most-trusted trading partners will take effect in September, said Sung Yun-mo, South Korea’s minister of trade, industry and energy. It was not immediately clear how the tightened export controls South Korea and Japan have introduced against each other would affect bilateral trade, because the measures do not ban certain kinds of trade outright. Rather, they simply give the countries a tool to slow down or stop shipments of sensitive goods.”

Choe Sang-Hun, “South Korea Retaliates Against Japan in Trade and Diplomatic Rift,” The New York Times online, August 12, 2019

27,331. 8/10/2019

NORTH KOREA/SOUTH KOREA/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “In a letter to me sent by Kim Jong Un, he stated, very nicely, that he would like to meet and start negotiations as soon as the joint U.S./South Korea joint exercise are over. It was a long letter, much of it complaining about the ridiculous and expensive exercises. It was…..”

Donald Trump, Twitter.com, August 10, 2019 6:58 am

27,327. 8/9/2019

NORTH KOREA/NUCLEAR/SOUTH KOREA/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “North Korea fired two projectiles off its east coast on Saturday [8-10-19], hours after President Trump said he had received a ‘very beautiful letter’ from the North’s leader, Kim Jong-un. The projectiles were launched from Hamhung, a coastal town northeast of Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, the South Korean military said in a brief statement. The North’s missiles flew 248 miles, the South’s military said. It was the second weapons test by North Korea this week. North Korea launched what South Korea called two short-range ballistic missiles on Tuesday, part of a series of tests of short-range ballistic missiles and large-caliber multiple rocket launchers that began late last month. North Korea has been carrying out the tests to express its anger at a joint military drill the United States and South Korea are scheduled to begin on Sunday and to gain leverage in bilateral talks that Washington hopes to start soon with the North, analysts said.”

Choe Sang-Hun, “North Korea Launches Projectiles Despite ‘Beautiful Letter’ From Kim Jong-un to Trump,” The New York Times online, August 9, 2019

27,326. 8/9/2019

CIA/MEDIA/NORTH KOREA/SOUTH KOREA/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Kim Dong-chul, an American businessman in Rason, a North Korean special economic zone near the border with Russia, was leaving a local government office on Oct. 2, 2015, when he was stopped by a 34-year-old army veteran he had hired as a secret informant…Mr. Kim knew he had just been set up, but it was too late. It was the beginning of a 31-month incarceration in North Korea that included torture, a conviction on espionage charges and forced labor in a prison camp. Mr. Kim was the longest-held American in North Korea when Secretary of State Mike Pompeo flew there in May last year. Mr. Pompeo returned home with Mr. Kim and two other American hostages, a triumphant moment for President Trump. Now, in a memoir entitled ‘Border Rider,’ published in South Korea in June, Mr. Kim, 65, recounts how he became a decorated foreign investor in North Korea, then spied for the Central Intelligence Agency and South Korea’s National Intelligence Service, and ended up as Prisoner No. 429.”

Choe Sang-Hun, “Missionary, Businessman, Prisoner, Spy: An American’s Odyssey in North Korea,” The New York Times online, August 9, 2019

27,241. 8/7/2019

NORTH KOREA/SOUTH KOREA/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “South Korea has agreed to pay substantially more money to the United States in order to defend itself from North Korea. Over the past many decades, the U.S. has been paid very little by South Korea, but last year, at the request of President Trump, South Korea paid $990,000,000..”

Donald Trump, Twitter.com, August 7, 2019 5:21 am

27,242. 8/7/2019

MILITARY/SOUTH KOREA/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “…Talks have begun to further increase payments to the United States. South Korea is a very wealthy nation that now feels an obligation to contribute to the military defense provided by the United States of America. The relationship between the two countries is a very good one!” 

Donald Trump, Twitter.com, August 7, 2019 5:21 am

26,954. 7/26/2019

NORTH KOREA/NUCLEAR/SOUTH KOREA/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “President Donald Trump on Friday [7-26-19] downplayed North Korea’s missile tests that took place the day before, saying he wasn’t surprised by the short range launches and shrugging off the volatile nation’s warning to South Korea. Despite North Korea calling the tests a ‘solemn warning’ to its southern neighbors, Trump argued to reporters in the Oval Office that he didn’t view the incident as a setback to potential nuclear talks with leader Kim Jong Un because ‘many people have those missiles’…A reporter then said the president didn’t sound surprised by the tests, to which Trump responded: ‘Not at all.’ The Associated Press reported that North Korea called the tests a ‘solemn warning’ targeted at ‘South Korean military warmongers.’ Though Pyongyang pointedly avoided calling out the U.S., the test of ‘a new type of tactical guided weapon’ came as the U.S. and South Korea planned to hold joint military drills in the region. But the president brushed off those concerns, as well, asserting that they weren’t his problem.”

Caitlin Oprysko, “Trump downplays latest North Korean missile tests,” Politico, July 26, 2019 5:53 pm

26,180. 7/1/2019

ETHICS/SOUTH KOREA/TRUMP BUSINESS: “While visiting South Korea over the weekend, President Donald Trump tried to strike a deal with President Moon Jae-in to get more companies to invest in the United States. But even as he pushed American interests, a partner of Trump’s namesake company is aggressively expanding plans to build luxury Trump-branded resorts in Indonesia — and the project involves a construction company partly owned by the South Korean government. It’s not clear whether Trump brought up the Indonesia projects during his talks with Moon. But the meeting represented the latest example of the blurred lines between Trump’s official diplomatic work and his business interests. The expansion of the project that now has the South Korean government attached to it seems to run afoul — at least in spirit — of Trump’s pledge that the Trump Organization will not enter into any new foreign deals while in office. The project in question got more complicated, ethics-wise, when the developer of a Trump luxury resort signed a previously unreported $120 million contract last September with a construction company — partly owned by the South Korean government — to build a six-star hotel, an 18-hole golf course and theme park that has been compared to Disney World.”

Anita Kumar, “Trump’s foreign luxury resorts collide with his South Korea diplomacy,” Politico, July 1, 2019 4:31 pm

26,174. 7/1/2019

IVANKA/NORTH KOREA/SOUTH KOREA/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Set against a tense, eerie silence in the landmine-riddled mountains separating South and North Korea, the Demilitarized Zone may be the highest-stakes negotiation site on earth. It’s not the sort of place for mistakes. It is the latest spot where Ivanka Trump has tried her hand at statecraft. On Sunday [6-30-19], Ms. Trump, the president’s elder daughter, used an impromptu meeting between her father and Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, to further slip into the role of unofficial spokeswoman and budding stateswoman for the Trump administration. With her husband, fellow senior adviser Jared Kushner, at her side, Ms. Trump delivered news interviews, posed for photos and met Mr. Kim. Earlier in the day, Ms. Trump had repeated what her father has often said about dealing with the North: that it would be free of crippling sanctions and clear for an economic boom if Mr. Kim were to dismantle his nuclear program. Scant evidence suggests that Mr. Kim is taking the steps to do this, but on Sunday, two Trumps rewarded him with a visit.”

Katie Rogers, “Ivanka Trump Tests Her Diplomatic Chops and Riles a Legion of Critics,” The New York Times online, July 1, 2019

26,162. 7/1/2019

G20/NORTH KOREA/SOUTH KOREA/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Thank you to President Moon of South Korea for hosting the American Delegation and me immediately following the very successful G-20 in Japan. While there, it was great to call on Chairman Kim of North Korea to have our very well covered meeting. Good things can happen for all!” 

Donald Trump, Twitter.com, July 1, 2019 9:57 am

26,153. 6/30/2019

NORTH KOREA/SOUTH KOREA/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Leaving South Korea after a wonderful meeting with Chairman Kim Jong Un. Stood on the soil of North Korea, an important statement for all, and a great honor!”

Donald Trump, Twitter.com, June 30, 2019 5:21 am

26,150. 6/29/2019

SOUTH KOREA/TRADE DEALS/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “I am in South Korea now. President Moon and I have ‘toasted’ our new Trade Deal, a far better one for us than that which it replaced. Today I will visit with, and speak to, our Troops – and also go to the the DMZ (long planned). My meeting with President Moon went very well!”

Donald Trump, Twitter.com, June 29, 2019 5:35 pm

26,146. 6/29/2019

SOUTH KOREA/TRADE DEALS/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “I am in South Korea now. President Moon and I have ‘toasted’ our new Trade Deal, a far better one for us than that which it replaced. Today I will visit with, and speak to, our Troops – and also go the the DMZ (long planned). My meeting with President Moon went very well!”

Donald Trump, Twitter.com, June 29, 2019 4:32 pm

26,139. 6/28/2019

CHINA/JAPAN/NORTH KOREA/SOUTH KOREA/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “After some very important meetings, including my meeting with President Xi of China, I will be leaving Japan for South Korea (with President Moon). While there, if Chairman Kim of North Korea sees this, I would meet him at the Border/DMZ just to shake his hand and say Hello(?)!”

Donald Trump, Twitter.com, June 28, 2019 5:51 pm

24,969. 5/13/2019

JOBS/SOUTH KOREA/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Great to welcome Chairman Shin from Lotte Group to the WH. They just invested $3.1 BILLION into Louisiana-biggest investment in U.S. EVER from a South Korean company, & thousands more jobs for Americans. Great partners like ROK know the U.S. economy is running stronger than ever! https://t.co/WaJxDeTuxj 

-Donald Trump, Twitter.com, May 13, 2019 4:53 pm

24,135. 4/19/2019

NORTH KOREA/SOUTH KOREA/SUMMIT/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “South Korean President Moon Jae-in has a message from President Donald Trump to relay to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, South Korean diplomatic sources told CNN Friday…Trump and Moon met at the White House a week ago to discuss plans for reviving the diplomatic process between the US and North Korea. At the meeting, South Korea and the US ‘identified we are on the same page and on what needs to be done,’ noting that ‘the utility of the top down approach is still there,’ adding that ‘there is no daylight between the US and South Korea,’ a source said. The Blue House believes that South Korea is ‘the architect’ of the diplomatic process, a source said, and it is trying to reignite the momentum of dialogue toward another North Korea-South Korea summit which would could then lead to a third US-North Korea summit.”

Paula Hancocks, “South Korean President Moon has a message for Kim Jong Un from Trump, sources say,” CNN Politics, CNN.com, April 19, 2019 7:36 am

23,937. 4/11/2019

NORTH KOREA/SANCTIONS/SOUTH KOREA/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “In an Oval Office meeting with his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in, President Donald Trump said Thursday [4-11-19] that he wants sanctions on North Korea to remain in place but doesn’t want to increase them…Trump’s mention of holding back on increasing sanctions appeared to be a reference to a tweet he sent last month saying he was withdrawing new measures aimed at North Korea that were just issued by his own administration. The tweet triggered confusion among his own aides and administration officials who were unsure what sanctions Trump was referring to and what the policy implications of the announcement might be. Trump’s meeting with Moon at the White House on Thursday comes after Kim issued a stark warning seemingly aimed at the US, saying North Korea needed to ‘deal a telling blow to the hostile forces who go with bloodshot eyes miscalculating that sanctions can bring the (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) to its knees,’ according to North Korean state media reports.”

Zachary Cohen, “Trump says sanctions on North Korea are at a ‘fair level’,” CNN Politics, CNN.com, April 11, 2019 9:38 pm

23,926. 4/11/2019

NORTH KOREA/NUCLEAR/SOUTH KOREA/SUMMIT/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/VIETNAM: “President Trump said on Thursday [4-11-19] that he would be open to a third summit meeting with North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, suggesting he is keen to revive a high-stakes engagement that was abruptly suspended six weeks ago after the two leaders failed to strike a nuclear disarmament deal in Vietnam. Speaking before an Oval Office meeting with President Moon Jae-in of South Korea, Mr. Trump also opened the door to a series of smaller deals with North Korea — a piecemeal approach that could allow the two leaders to resurrect negotiations that had foundered on their inability to seal a blockbuster agreement…Mr. Trump drew the line at easing sanctions on North Korea for anything short of a commitment to give up its entire nuclear arsenal. But he also said he had decided not to impose additional sanctions on Pyongyang — a testament, he said, to his warm relationship with Mr. Kim. The president’s conciliatory tone was a modest victory for Mr. Moon, who has made rapprochement with North Korea the centerpiece of his administration and who is eager to entice Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim back to the table. He heaped praise on the president for not closing the door to future meetings.”

Mark Landler, “Trump Says He’s Open to Third North Korea Meeting, and ‘Smaller Deals’ Are Possible,” The New York Times online, April 11, 2019

23,588. 3/29/2019

NORTH KOREA/NUCLEAR/SANCTIONS/SOUTH KOREA/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “President Moon Jae-in of South Korea will meet with President Trump in Washington on April 11, his office announced on Friday [3-29-19], as Mr. Moon struggles to salvage his role as a mediator between Mr. Trump and North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un. Mr. Moon has devoted his government’s diplomatic efforts to facilitating a deal between Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim on dismantling North Korea’s nuclear arms program and building lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula. But those efforts hit a wall when Mr. Kim and Mr. Trump ended their summit meeting in Vietnam last month without a deal, confirming how far apart they were on the terms of denuclearization. Mr. Moon has since vowed to continue to work as a mediator, with his office saying that Mr. Trump had asked for that. But Washington wants Mr. Moon to focus on persuading Mr. Kim to denuclearize before expecting the United States to lift sanctions. The North, conversely, wants Mr. Moon to help ease sanctions first.”

Choe Sang-Hun, “South Korean Leader to Meet With Trump, Hoping to Salvage His Role as Mediator,” The New York Times online, March 29, 2019

23,536. 3/28/2019

NORTH KOREA/NUCLEAR/SOUTH KOREA/SUMMIT/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “United States President Donald Trump and his South Korean counterpart, Moon Jae-in, are set to meet for a summit next month amid uncertainty over the future of nuclear negotiations with North Korea. Moon and Trump are scheduled to hold talks April 11 in Washington to ‘discuss the latest developments regarding the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) as well as bilateral matters,’ White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement. Their face-to-face will take place a little more than a month after Trump held his second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Hanoi. The talks fell apart over disagreements on exchanging sanctions relief for steps toward the dismantling of North Korea’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs. Though the summit ended abruptly, the White House has maintained the leaders left on good terms…Senior officials from Pyongyang, however, have been less optimistic. Choe Son Hui, one of North Korea’s top diplomats, told reporters on a recent trip to Russia that her country was considering suspending talks. A South Korean government official said Trump proposed the meeting with Moon in a call to him made from Air Force One after leaving Hanoi. Trump ‘proposed to discuss the issues related to North Korea over lunch. ”

Joshua Berlinger and Yoonjung Seo, “Trump and Moon to meet in Washington amid North Korea impasse,” CNN Politics, CNN.com, March 28, 2019 7:31 am

23,021. 3/3/2019

MILITARY/NORTH KOREA/SOUTH KOREA/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “The reason I do not want military drills with South Korea is to save hundreds of millions of dollars for the U.S. for which we are not reimbursed. That was my position long before I became President. Also, reducing tensions with North Korea at this time is a good thing!”

Donald Trump, Twitter.com, March 3, 2019 3:18 pm 

22,610. 2/15/2019

JAPAN/OBAMA/SOUTH KOREA/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “President Donald Trump claimed Friday [2-15-19] that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe nominated him for a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to broker peace between North and South Korea. Trump said Abe showed the president ‘the most beautiful five-page letter’ that he sent to the Norwegian committee that awards the prestigious diplomatic prize each year…The Japanese embassy in Washington did not immediately return an email seeking confirmation that Abe had, in fact, submitted Trump’s name for the peace prize. Trump said he would ‘probably would never get’ the prize, but that he had thanked the Japanese prime minster…Former President Barack Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize for his ‘extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples’ in 2009, a year he worked to curb the spread of nuclear weapons. He was the fourth U.S. president to be honored by the Nobel committee.”

Katie Galioto, “Trump says Japanese prime minister nominated him for Nobel Peace Prize,” Politico, February 15, 2019 12:30 pm

22,398. 2/4/2019

MILITARY/NORTH KOREA/SOUTH KOREA/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “The US and South Korea have reached a preliminary agreement on the cost of keeping nearly 30,000 troops in South Korea, two State Department officials said, alleviating fears among President Donald Trump’s advisers that he could move to withdraw US troops during his upcoming summit with North Korea’s leader. Under the revised Special Measures Agreement, South Korea would boost its financial contribution to nearly $1 billion, according to a State Department official and South Korean media. That’s an increase on the about $800 million South Korea had been paying per year during the previous five-year commitment. The most recent agreement lapsed at the end of last year. Since then, Trump had been pressuring South Korea to double its financial support to $1.6 billion, making some of his own administration officials worry that the President might offer to withdraw US forces from South Korea during his second summit with Kim Jong Un later this month.”

Kylie Atwood, Jeremy Diamond and Kevin Liptak, “US-South Korea reach agreement over cost of US troops in region,” CNN Politics, CNN.com, February 4, 2019 9:24 pm

20,888. 11/30/2018

CHINA/ECONOMY/SOUTH KOREA/TRADE DEALS/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “South Korean exports sustained growth in annual terms in November but missed expectations, official data showed on Saturday 12-1-18], as the first drop in shipments to China in over two years underlined cooling global demand. Exports by Asia’s fourth-largest economy grew 4.5 percent last month from a year earlier, missing market expectations as sales of computer memory chips slowed while demand from neighboring China shrank, the trade ministry data showed. Exports rose to $51.92 billion in November from $49.70 billion a year earlier while imports grew 11.4 percent to $46.78 billion, the preliminary data showed. As a result, South Korea posted a trade surplus of $5.14 billion. The bleak November foreign trade data, the first November data from a major exporting economy, came shortly before U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jin ping are due to hold a meeting in Buenos Aires, at which they are expected to discuss their trade dispute.”

Hayoung Choi, Choonsik Yoo, “South Korea November exports grow less than expected as Trump-Xi summit eyed,” Reuters, November 30, 2018 6:25 pm