“The lull before the storm: the worst may be yet to come in the Korean Peninsula”, Antoine Bondaz (Elcano, Spain)

It would be both an analytical and a political mistake to believe the situation in the Korean Peninsula is stable and lastingly improved thanks to the diplomatic efforts initiated in 2018. Despite the political stage-setting, the very problems on the Peninsula remain: inter-Korean relations are not improving and agreements reached in both Panmunjom and Pyongyang are not implemented while cooperation and even communications are at a standstill; North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programmes are ongoing and have significantly strengthened North Korean capacities while negotiations are at a dead-end. The upcoming 2020 US presidential election in November and the 8th Congress of the Workers Party of Korea (WPK) in January 2021 will be two major events shaping the coming events. It is essential for the EU and its member states to be more proactive, and move from a strategy of critical engagement to implementing a strategy of credible commitments.

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