Korea Chair Monitor | Vol 4 Issue 11
July 18, 2016
The Korea Chair team takes a biweekly look back at events of interest in Washington, Seoul, and the region from June 30 – July 13, 2016.
U.S.-ROK Relations | U.S.-ROK to Deploy THAAD on the Korean Peninsula
On July 8, the United States and ROK announced their joint decision to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System (THAAD) to the Korean peninsula to protect the ROK from North Korea's nuclear and missile threats. On July 13, ROK deputy minister for defense policy Yoo Jeh-seung announced THAAD will be deployed in Seongju county.
Regional Relations | Lee Joon-gyu Becomes New Ambassador to Japan
On July 8, Lee Joon-gyu began serving as the newly appointed ambassador to Japan. After receiving a formal letter of credence from President Park on July 1, he succeeded Yoo Heung-soo who stepped down in April. Ambassador Lee expressed that his main priority would be to normalize strained bilateral relations and dialogue channels, and work to enhance the success of the landmark comfort women agreement signed December 2015. Lee also stated he desires to work closely with the Japanese people.
Domestic Politics | New Secretary-General Appointed to National Unification Advisory Council
On July 6, ROK president Park appointed Kwon Tae-oh as the new secretary-general of the National Unification Advisory Council. Previous to his appointment, Secretary-General Kwon served in the ROK Army for 38 years and served in the North Korea Democratization Council after his retirement as an ROK Army major general.
International Relations | UN OHCHR Newly Appointed Special Rapporteur
On July 8, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) appointed Tomas Ojea Quintana of Argentina as special rapporteur on human rights in the DPRK. Mr. Quintana formerly served as the special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar. Current special rapporteur Marzuki Darusman is expected to finish his term of office on July 10, and the newly selected special rapporteur will start his term on August 1.