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Are Tensions Thawing on the Korean Peninsula?

23 January 2018 - 10:00am to 10:30am



Dr John Nilsson-Wright, Senior Research Fellow, Asia Programme, Chatham House; Senior Lecturer, Japanese Politics and International Relations, Cambridge University



Officials from North and South Korea met earlier this month at Panmunjom for the first formal talks between the neighbours in two years. The renewal of open dialogue between the nations came after Kim Jong-un’s New Year’s Day address alluded to the possibility of talks in relation to the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

On the bargaining table was North Korea’s participation in the Olympics and reducing military aggression on both sides - including discussions on Pyongyang’s nuclear tests and South Korea’s annual US-ROK military exercises. Do these recent talks, with more planned in the upcoming weeks, mark a thawing of relations? And why after a year of increasing nuclear aggression has Kim Jong-un chosen to do this?

John Nilsson-Wright unpacks this apparent change in direction by North Korea’s leader and consider what the upcoming Olympics means for talks between the two countries. South Korea’s president Moon Jae-in has staked great political capital on securing continued talks with North Korea but at what price might this come? And, furthermore, what will continued negotiations between the two mean for America’s alliance with South Korea under Trump?

Please note, this event is online only. Members will be able to watch the webinar from a computer or other internet-ready device and do not need to come to Chatham House to attend.

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