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Friday May 26th 2017
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Leon V. Sigal

Leon V. Sigal is the director of the Northeast Asia Cooperative Security Project at the Social Science Research Council and author of Disarming Strangers: Nuclear Diplomacy with North Korea.

He was a member of the "New York Times" Editorial Board from 1985 to 1995. Prior to that he was a professor of government at Wesleyan University from 1974 to 1988, an International Affairs Fellow in the Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs at the Department of State in 1979 and special assistant to the director in 1980.

Trump and Moon in Harmony for Now

Trump and Moon in Harmony for Now

Pundits who are predicting discord over North Korea policy with the newly elected Moon Jae-in government may be in for a surprise. Seoul and Washington seem to be singing from the same hymnal at the moment. While there are ample grounds for skepticism, the United States, South Korea and Japan may all be acting in concert to inch toward dialogue [...]

Misreading Tillerson

Misreading Tillerson

During Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s first visit to Asia, David Sanger’s lede in The New York Times coming on March 17 was ominous: Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson ruled out opening any negotiation with North Korea to freeze its nuclear and missile programs and said for the first time that the Trump administration might be forced to [...]

How North Korea Evades Financial Sanctions

How North Korea Evades Financial Sanctions

In response to North Korea’s third nuclear test in February 2013, the UN Security Council voted to tighten financial sanctions on North Korea to “prevent the provision of financial services” that could “contribute” to the North’s missile and nuclear programs. US financial sanctions dating back to September 2005 are more comprehensive [...]

In Deep Denial on North Korea

In Deep Denial on North Korea

Book Review:  Obama and China’s Rise: An Insider’s Account of America’s Asia Strategy By Jeff Bader, Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press, 2012. 171 pp. The Impossible State: North Korea, Past and Future By Victor Cha, New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2012. 530 pp. “History is bunk,” Henry Ford once proclaimed. [...]

WikiLeaks Reveals South Korean Hopes, Not North Korean Realities

WikiLeaks Reveals South Korean Hopes, Not North Korean Realities

Please note: this article contains excerpts of WikiLeaks cables. Press coverage of the WikiLeaks cable traffic between Seoul and Washington has taken many claims about North Korea at face value. Yet the cables disclosed so far may shed less light on North Korea than they do on South Korea’s policy toward the North under President Lee Myung [...]

Looking for Leverage in All the Wrong Places

Looking for Leverage in All the Wrong Places

It is an article of faith in Washington that sanctions have forced North Korea to become more pliable at the negotiating table in the past and are doing so now. This is self-delusion. To North Korea, sanctions are clear evidence of U.S. hostile intent. Not only has it found ways to evade them, but it has also retaliated for their imposition by [...]

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Credit for photo of young North Korean girl: T.M. All rights reserved, used with permission.