US Korea Institute

Tuesday April 25th 2017
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Michael Madden

Michael Madden is Visiting Scholar at the US Korea Institute at the School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, and founder and director of NK Leadership Watch, an all-source analysis website focused on North Korea, its political culture and the organizational behavior of state and security organizations. He has authored over two dozen analytical products on North Korean politics and its national security community as well as over 200 biographical sketches and institutional profiles about key North Korean officials and institutions. A frequent contributor to 38 North, his writing on North Korean politics and elite culture has also appeared in the BBC, CNN, Foreign Policy and Korean Peninsula Through the Lens. From 2005 to 2011, he was the administrative and research assistant to Dr. David L. Robbins at Suffolk University, Boston and Charles University, Prague, and was administrator of intercultural studies and education programs in China, the Czech Republic and over 20 other countries in Europe, Africa and east Asia.

Has Kim Won Hong Sung His Swan Song?

Has Kim Won Hong Sung His Swan Song?

Kim Won Hong performs a duet of “Fascination and Admiration” with his wife during a 2012 concert to mark International Women’s Day (Photo: KCTV/NK Leadership Watch) South Korea’s Ministry of Unification (MOU) recently announced that General Kim Won Hong was dismissed from his position as North Korea’s Minister of State Security [...]

Under New Management: Shifts in North Korea’s Foreign Ministry and Nuclear Communications

Under New Management: Shifts in North Korea’s Foreign Ministry and Nuclear Communications

With rampant speculation about North Korea conducting another nuclear test in the near future, it is important to examine not only the technical aspects of the September test, but how it was communicated to the North’s allies—China and Russia. As such, it appears that key North Korean officials were dispatched just days before the test, who [...]

The Fourth Session of the 13th SPA: Tweaks at the Top

The Fourth Session of the 13th SPA: Tweaks at the Top

The 4th session of the 13th Supreme People’s Assembly (SPA), the DPRK’s rubber-stamp unicameral legislative body, replaced the country’s supreme power organization at its June 29 meeting. While underscoring the ruling party’s control over state and military affairs and further consolidating Kim Jong Un’s authority, the development [...]

The Death of a Diplomat: Kang Sok Ju

The Death of a Diplomat: Kang Sok Ju

On October 4, 2002, Kang Sok Ju participated in a historically ambiguous but relatively significant official interaction between the US and DPRK governments. At the DPRK Foreign Ministry building in Pyongyang, a delegation led by Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly confronted Kang, who was then North Korea’s First Vice Minister of Foreign [...]

Deciphering the 7th Party Congress: A Teaser for Greater Change?

Deciphering the 7th Party Congress: A Teaser for Greater Change?

From one perspective, the 7th Congress of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) was a monotonous event, long on rhetoric and short on major policy and personnel changes. No substantive policy announcements took place, and many top officials sat on a rostrum for four days and ultimately kept their jobs. Throughout hours of speeches, Kim Jong Un [...]

Let the Hawks Soar

Let the Hawks Soar

With less than three months left before the 7th Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) Congress is scheduled to convene in May, Kim Jong Un appears to be appointing hardliners to key national security positions. The growing prominence of these officials—party cadres and military officers who support a more belligerent policy toward the ROK, the United [...]

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