North Korea today conducted its third nuclear weapons test at its test site at Punggye-ri in the country’s north, coming in the wake of its successful long-range rocket launch in […]
It has been a busy month in politics on the Korean peninsula, beginning with North Korea’s missile launch on 12th December followed by the South Korean presidential poll which saw […]
***This article appeared originally in The Conversation, 10 January 2013. — Bill Richardson, former governor of New Mexico and American ambassador to the United Nations and Google chairman Eric Schmidt […]
By Benjamin Habib, Special to CNN December 12, 2012 — Updated 0218 GMT (1018 HKT) — Melbourne (CNN) — The curious timing of North Korea’s Unha-3 rocket launch, outside of […]
My interview on Radio Australia this morning with Liam Cochrane on Connect Asia… *** Listen to interview here *** — North Korea attention seeking from region in transition (Credit: ABC) […]
By Benjamin Habib, La Trobe University This article was originally published at The Conversation. Read the original article. — As the first anniversary of Great Leader Kim Jong Il’s death […]
La Trobe University Climate and Society (ENV1CSS) Plennary Lecture #2 Thursday 6th September, La Trobe University Albury-Wodonga Campus — It was my great privilege to deliver the second Climate and […]
BY BEN HABIB. The North Korean government has every reason to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and participate in the global climate change mitigation project. As early as August 2002, […]
BY BEN HABIB. North Korea has recommenced construction of an experimental light water nuclear reactor (LWR) at its nuclear facility at Yongbyon, with completion slated for late 2013. The Kim […]
BY BEN HABIB. This photo gallery documents my trip to the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea in July 2012.
BY BEN HABIB. On Monday 7th May 2012, I delivered a guest lecture entilted Korea: A Fractured Nation to second and third year students studying the subject Contemporary Politics of the Asia-Pacific Region (POL2/3CPA) at La Trobe University’s Melbourne campus. The content of this lecture, along with other lectures in this subject, will form the basis for an international conflict negotiation simulation workshop structured around a hypothetical security crisis on the Korean peninsula.
BY BEN HABIB. The technical aspects of the failed Unha-3 rocket launch are less interesting than the political undercurrents swirling around this event. The rocket’s explosion has spared the United States and its regional allies some loss of face while for North Korea, it represents a missed opportunity for Pyongyang to maximise its diplomatic and strategic leverage, over and above any threat to Kim Jong-un’s legitimacy as leader.
BY BEN HABIB. The North’s Kwangmyongsong-3 rocket launch is likely to yield important insights in three areas of interest to North Korea watchers. First, the relative success of North Korea’s rocket launch is likely to yield insights into the operability of the North’s overall nuclear weapons capability and specifically its ability to deliver a nuclear payload to targets at distances beyond 1,000 kilometres. Second, it would appear to fit with a longer trend of provocations dating back to the Cheonan incident in 2010 that have been linked to the legitimisation of Kim Jong-un’s leadership credentials. Finally, with the potential restart of negotiations with Washington in the offing, the launch indicates that coercive bargaining is likely to remain Pyongyang’s modus operandi in international negotiations under the new leadership.
BY BEN HABIB. On Wednesday 7th March 2012 I made a presentation to the Rotary Club of Albury entitled Peering into the Hermit Kingdom: My Experiences on the Fringes of North Korea. In this presentation I gave a brief chronology of my experiences in and around Korea, touching on some of the interesting things I learnt along the way about Korean history, culture and the North Korean state.
BY BEN HABIB. The death of North Korea’s ‘Dear Leader’ Kim Jong-il casts a cloud over the future of the already weak North Korean state and the stability of Northeast Asian security environment. Speculation about the future of a post-Kim Jong-il North Korea has been mounting since reports about Kim’s ill-health surfaced in 2008, raising questions about leadership succession, the viability of North Korea’s unique political system and political stability on the Korean peninsula. With Kim’s passing, those questions will be answered in short order.
BY BEN HABIB. On 26 March 2010, a South Korean navy corvette named the ROKS Cheonan sank in the Yellow Sea after an explosion pierced its hull, killing 46 seamen. […]