Konstantin Asmolov
24.04.2024 Konstantin Asmolov

On March 28, 2024, Russia vetoed the extension of the mandate of the UN panel of experts to monitor the sanctions against the DPRK until April 30, 2025. This is important, because according to the established procedure, the decision to extend the term of office of the so-called 1718 Sanctions Committee must be made by April 30, otherwise it will be unable to continue with its activities…

21.04.2024 Konstantin Asmolov

Parliamentary elections in South Korea have taken place, and their outcome partly matched this author’s predictions. Therefore, in this final block of articles on this topic, we will first recall how we thought the outcome would be, and then we will describe how the population actually voted, comparing the results of the 2024 election and the results of the 2020 election. We will touch on irregularities separately to remove interference factors…

17.04.2024 Konstantin Asmolov

In late March 2024, South Korea marked the 10th anniversary of the sinking of the ROKS Cheonan corvette near the western maritime boundary between North and South Korea. The March 26, 2010 tragedy claimed the lives of 46 out of the 104 sailors on board and was also politically significant, as it changed the course of relations between the two Koreas. After some deliberation the south Korean authorities announced that the corvette was sunk by a North Korean stealth midget submarine. This announcement triggered a further deterioration…

14.04.2024 Konstantin Asmolov

Japan and North Korea do not currently have any diplomatic relations, but Tokyo periodically tries to gain political capital by attempting to establish a dialog with Pyongyang. The most successful such attempt occurred in 2002, when, in a meeting with Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, DPRK leader Kim Jong Il admitted that 13 Japanese citizens had been abducted by North Korea’s intelligence services…

12.04.2024 Konstantin Asmolov

Contrary to the anticipation of anti-Pyongyang propaganda discussed in the previous part of this digest, there have been no direct provocations, including in the area of the disputed maritime border. Instead, the North conducted its own exercise and criticized the enemy’s. Already on the day the exercise began, March 4, a DPRK Ministry of Defense spokesman issued a press statement. “The frantic war drills by the ROK puppets and vassal forces led by the US make…

10.04.2024 Konstantin Asmolov

Parliamentary elections are taking place in South Korea today, and you can pay attention to the results of opinion polls and forecasts of politicians themselves. Of course, in the history of South Korean elections, force majeure situations are far from unusual and most of the groups are under the influence of one of the main parties (usually the Democratic Party). Moreover, often the results are distorted, even without taking…

07.04.2024 Konstantin Asmolov

From March 4 to 14, 2024, the Armed Forces of the United States and the Republic of Korea conducted the annual joint exercise Freedom Shield. This is a complex exercise involving many large and small maneuvers, so first it should be described the main points in which Freedom Shield 2024 differed from previous exercises. The stated objective was to improve interoperability and enhance the ability of alliance forces to conduct joint operations…

04.04.2024 Konstantin Asmolov

On February 10, 2024, the Lunar New Year holiday, Yoon Suk-yeol visited the Second Marine Corps Division in Gimpo, inspected the Cheonmoo multiple rocket launcher system, and urged troops to be prepared for any North Korean provocations. “If the enemy provokes, you have to sternly and overwhelmingly respond under the principle of ‘act first, report later’ to completely crush the enemy’s will.”…

02.04.2024 Konstantin Asmolov

On February 23, 2024, with less than two months to go before the parliamentary elections in April, the Republic of Korea’s presidential administration said it would respond strongly to the appearance of a fabricated video on the Internet “featuring” President Yoon Suk-yeol. “We express serious concern over the fact that … certain outlets are labeling the false and fabricated video as a satirical video or reporting on it as if it is okay because it is marked as fake.“…

30.03.2024 Konstantin Asmolov

As this text is being written, South Korea’s parliamentary elections are less than a month away. In this situation, both Democrats and Conservatives are engaged in a certain struggle for votes, and this struggle is largely reduced not so much to glorifying themselves, but to slinging mud at their opponents. At the same time, direct campaigning by officials is prohibited as the use of administrative resources, and under South Korea’s defamation laws, even the dissemination of truthful defamatory…

27.03.2024 Konstantin Asmolov

Preparations for the elections have reached the stage of determining the candidates who will represent a party in specific electoral districts. With factional infighting presenting a serious problem for both parties, this is an important point. First, the parties need to select candidates in such a way that “their” people are in the majority, and second, the selected candidates need to be nominated in the right electoral districts…

24.03.2024 Konstantin Asmolov

On 11 March 2024, Russian media reported that a 53-year-old South Korean citizen named Baek (the detainee’s name varies – Baek Won Sung, less frequently Baek Kwang-soon) had been arrested for espionage and was currently being held in Moscow’s Lefortovo prison, normally reserved for high-level political prisoners. The news raised eyebrows both in Russia and abroad, as it is the first time a South Korean citizen has been arrested in Russia…