It would seem that the Korean Peninsula has been a little quieter lately in terms of North Korea's provocations, but there is plenty going on in terms of diplomacy.
North Korea was discussed at a meeting this week between the South Korean and Chinese foreign ministers.
South Korea's also strengthening its military ties with the United States.
And we're coming up on Liberation Day next week a major public observance in both South and North Korea.
For a closer look at the state of affairs on the Korean Peninsula, we are pleased to welcome back our go-to expert on the subject, Dr. Go Myong-hyun Senior Fellow at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies.
Q1. South Korea's Foreign Minister Park Jin met on Tuesday with his Chinese counterpart. As expected, one big topic was THAAD, the U.S. missile defense system and South Korea potentially expanding its deployment of the system. The South Korean side said they simply restated their position on the issue. But now China is saying that South Korea agreed to limit the operation of the missile defense system. What's going on here?
Q2. South Korea's Defense Minister was recently in the United States where he met with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. They agreed to restart their dialogue on extended deterrence. They're also going to step up joint training. Specifically, what will it mean for them to resume this dialogue on extended deterrence? What will be North Korea's reaction?
Q3. There was a claim about a week ago in the Russian media that North Korea has offered to send a hundred thousand troops to help Russia in its war in Ukraine. It sounds absurd. North Korea would presumably welcome the chance to get battle experience for its troops. Is there anything to this claim at all? Hypothetically, how would that scenario play out?
Q4. Next Monday is August 15th, which South and North both mark as the anniversary of Korea's liberation from Japanese imperial rule. Can we expect any provocative gestures from the North?
Q5. What's been the impact on North Korea of this extreme rainfall we've been having?
Q6. North Korea continues to claim it has zero cases of COVID. Has the regime simply decided that it's moving on from COVID and is trying to get its economy back on track?