December 31, 2007

Korea: Reflections on 2007 and Outlook on 2008

2007 was an eventful year -- the year that showed many possibilities for inter-Korea reconciliation and multilateral approaches toward peaceful settlement in the Korean Peninsula. 2008 will be a crucial year when we will know whether or not these accomplishments will bear lasting fruits.

When Korea Report blog was launched on the New Year's Day of 2007 (see the first posting), the situation in the Korean Peninsula was not that optimistic, as symbolized by the unfulfilled promise of inter-Korea railway and prolonged failures of the six nation negotiations on nuclear disarmament and security issues. Then as the year progressed, things turned around with a series of remarkable events that brought renewed promises of peace and reconciliation in Korea, as covered in this blog.

Now as we greet the new year, another set of uncertainties looms over us. North Korea has "missed" the Dec. 31 deadline for declaring all of its nuclear activities as stipulated in the six nation agreement -- which in itself has not caused a great alarm by other nations, but this will require additional diplomatic efforts to ensure the continuity of multilateral efforts for negotiated settlement. In South Korea, a new president will take over in February, with new agendas and direction for inter-Korea relations. The US has been slow in meeting its obligations to the six-nation agreement and is uncertain how the Bush administration will push for warming of relations with North Korea during the presidential election year.

In the crucial coming year, Korea Report will continue to monitor, report and comment on the situation in the Korean Peninsula and multilateral efforts for peace and cooperation in Northeast Asia. Stay tuned. Thank you to the Korea Report readers for support and encouragements.
-- Wishing you a happy new year, from the Editor of Korea Report.

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