February 15, 2018

An episode of the Global Journalist podcast takes a realistic look at the impact of the Olympics on the relationship between North Korea and South Korea.

For nearly six decades, South Korea's (ROK) approach to security has focused on sustaining the status quo: Maintaining deterrence and a robust defence posture in order to prevent another major conflict on the Korean Peninsula.

On February 12, 2013, North Korea carried out its third nuclear test in the run-up to the inauguration of a new administration – my own – in the South. Around that time, the Presidential Transition Committee adopted the “Trust-Building Process on the Korean Peninsula” as a key policy of the new administration. Though the North’s nuclear test created pressure to revise the trust-building process, I made it clear that I would stay the course.

On Oct. 24, 1995, as a man now known as Kim Dong-sik hiked up a rain-slick mountain road in Buyeo, about 95 miles south of Seoul, he could not shake off a foreboding. He and another North Korean agent had sneaked into South Korea by boat 52 days earlier on a mission to bring home a Communist spy who had been working in the South for 15 years.