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Korean Peninsula Risk and Advisory 04/24

Ceremony North Korea Launch of Submarine

Here is a brief review of developments on the Korean Peninsula with outline trajectory, risks and impact ahead.


South Korea’s ambassador to Russia attended Vladimir Putin’s inauguration ceremony as he was sworn in for a fifth term at the Kremlin at noon on May 09. Western countries, including the US and European Union members, declined to send representatives to the ceremony.

Meanwhile South Korea is in final consultations with China and Japan to hold a long-stalled trilateral summit of their leaders on May 26 and 27. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Chinese Premier Li Qiang are expected to visit Seoul to meet with President Yoon Suk Yeol as Korea is the current rotating chair.



U.S. Space Force Chief of Space Operations Gen. Chance Saltzman met government and military officials during a visit to Osan Air Base and Seoul May 5-7. Saltzman visited several Space Force units at Osan AB, witnessing firsthand the magnitude of the service’s mission in the region and its growth in recent years.

While tensions continue to simmer on the Korean Peninsula, South Korean officials are restarting  the oft-interrupted tourism program that brings civilians to border areas along the demilitarized zone known as the 10 DMZ Peace Trails accessible to the public on a trial basis,

"For the past 70 years after the armistice, relations between the two Koreas have been volatile," Kim said. "We have been striving very hard to protect this area, and that is a message we would like to send. We want to show tourists and civilians that this is a very safe place to come."



Some four months have passed since North Korean leader Kim Jong Un asserted that two states exist on the Korean Peninsula, denying the concept of national reunification, and ordered that the North’s constitution define South Korea as the “invariable principal enemy.”

The Supreme People’s Assembly (SPA) — the North’s legislature with the authority to amend the constitution — has yet to even hold elections for new deputies for the 15th Assembly, despite the five-year term of the 14th Assembly ending in March. This suggests that the matter is a conundrum with many factors to consider as per NK News.

South Korea’s economically active population is anticipated to plunge nearly 10 million by 2044 amid the country's critically low births. The number of people aged 15 to 64, which stood at 36.57 million in 2023, is projected to decrease to 27.17 million in 2044, according to a report from the Korean Peninsula Population Institute for the Future.

Risks and Impact

South Korean plans to open the DMZ trail hikes is expected to raise some concerns and the reactions by North Korea needs to be observed with caution. Meanwhile expansion of cooperation between the Space Forces of the United States and South Korea could provide the latter which is in its nascency capability development within a shorter time frame. Reasons for North Korea delaying the ratification of the amendment to the Constitution denying the concept of national reunification raises some hopes of revival of the same once the two countries reel back tensions.


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