The Korean Peninsula: Ways Forward after Cheonan?

Issue & Policy Briefs June 24, 2010, No. 33

In the aftermath of the investigation into the sinking of the Cheonan, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has become isolated to such an extent that the only interaction with the outside world will take place on the football pitch during this year’s World Cup. Its relations with the outside world have gone from bad to worse in the past year and a half. As it turns out, the wrecked Six-Party Talks, in hindsight, turned out to be only the tip of the iceberg, with the repercussions from the Cheonan incident triggering a downward spiral in DPRK’s external relations that has the potential to reach the lowest levels in decades.