Topic:

North Korea

The Kim-Trump and Kim-Moon Summits

| July 15, 2018

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s summits with US President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in were important milestones in solving the Korean Peninsula crisis, but they are only the first step in a long negotiation process that will take at least two years and might face several obstacles. 

The Iranian-North Korean Nexus After the Singapore Summit

The summit that took place in Singapore in June 2018 between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un likely had a significant impact on the Pyongyang-Tehran nexus. Given the depth of strategic cooperation between the two countries, Iran can be expected to take steps to minimize any challenges that will be posed to that cooperation, either directly or indirectly, by the tentatively developing Pyongyang-Washington relationship.

The Korean Peninsula: Peaceful Change or Back to Square One?

| May 21, 2018

The Korean summit between Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in was full of encouraging optics, but it is too early to declare the success of the upcoming Trump-Kim summit a foregone conclusion. Nevertheless, there is reason for optimism.

The Kim-Trump Summit: “Do We Do Pearl Harbors?”

It is too soon to declare that peace is at hand in Korea. Donald Trump must exercise caution. He must study relevant history, his adversary’s negotiation pattern of deception, and the past follies of American leaders. It is essential that he maintain a viable military option and economic sanctions until strictly verifiable denuclearization has been accomplished.

Is Spring Coming to the Korean Peninsula?

| May 4, 2018

US President Donald Trump is expected to meet Kim Jong-un within two months. The Trump administration has little time to prepare, and it is unclear which Korean experts will be involved. It is also impossible to predict how Trump’s negotiating style will be received. Pyongyang will not give up all its nuclear weapons immediately. Kim will likely propose a phased negotiation and a step-by-step denuclearization on condition that the regime’s safety is guaranteed and the US-South Korean alliance is denuclearized beforehand.

Three Objectives for the Trump-Kim Summit

| March 26, 2018

Should President Trump meet Kim Jong-un as planned, there are three key but achievable objectives that President Trump’s team should emphasize. These objectives fall short of complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, but North Korea will never surrender its nuclear weapons or its ballistic missiles – not even if failure to do so leads to the starvation of much of its populace. Nevertheless, the objectives outlined here are both important and attainable.

The Trump-Kim Summit: The View from Seoul

| March 26, 2018

The prospective Donald Trump-Kim Jong-un summit has caused the Western media to focus primarily on Kim’s decision to initiate contact and Trump’s agreement to meet. South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s role in organizing and advocating for the summit has been largely ignored.

The Trump-Kim Jong-un Summit: Nuclear Disarmament for Regime Survival?

| March 19, 2018

Kim Jong-un’s invitation to US President Donald Trump to hold a summit was a big surprise, as was Trump’s immediate acceptance. While the road to a nuclear agreement will be difficult because of two decades of North Korean violations of understandings and agreements, the summit could nevertheless have dramatic ramifications for world and regional politics.

The 2018 Winter Olympics: Divided We Stand

| February 9, 2018

The PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea is a major political as well as sporting event. The Olympic spirit of peace will be on full display when the North and South Korean teams enter the stadium together and even play together. But the new euphoria on the Peninsula has reignited a political debate between Korean conservatives and liberals on policy towards North Korea. While liberals see the Olympics as an opportunity for negotiation, conservatives see Pyongyang’s agreement to attend as a tactic to gain benefits and not a genuine expression of warming relations.

The 2018 Winter Olympics and North Korea

| January 4, 2018

The good news is that the 2018 Winter Olympics, which will be held in PyeongChang, South Korea, might serve as a venue for confidence-building measures towards negotiations between South and North Korea. The bad news is that North Korea has no intention of giving up its nuclear and missile capabilities. Pyongyang is changing its strategy towards Seoul in order to earn credit that it can use to ease sanctions without sacrificing deterrence.