US Korea Institute

Saturday February 28th 2015
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Foreign Affairs

Evil geniuses, stumbling fools, or something in between, we will attempt to divine the real motives behind Pyongyang’s foreign policy moves.

Talking Loud and Carrying a Small Stick: The Implications of America’s Sony Response for Extended Deterrence

Talking Loud and Carrying a Small Stick: The Implications of America’s Sony Response for Extended Deterrence

Discussions over the nature of the cyber attack against Sony Pictures Entertainment, launched in an attempt to prevent the release of “The Interview,” continue to spark heated debate, and the US response to it has been at the epicenter of these discussions. Indeed, the US course of action constitutes many significant “firsts,” with [...]

Obama Comes Out as an NK Collapsist

Obama Comes Out as an NK Collapsist

So now we know. The truth is out, from the horse’s mouth. On North Korea and its future, the President of the United States has revealed himself as a card-carrying collapsist. Retro rules. Ever wondered what lies behind President Barack Obama’s puzzling reluctance to seem to want to do much of anything—be it wield a stick or wave a [...]

Kim Jong Un’s Diplomatic Debut: A View from Russia

Kim Jong Un’s Diplomatic Debut: A View from Russia

What could be expected from a first foreign voyage of Kim Jong Un, who during his likely maiden visit to Russia this coming May will meet a host of foreign leaders—some of them eager to “look him in his eyes,” some reluctant to even come near him? What hopes might Kim have for this “coming of age” ball as well as from [...]

North Korea and Sony: Why So Much Doubt and What about Deterrence?

North Korea and Sony: Why So Much Doubt and What about Deterrence?

One of the joys of the internet is that anyone with a keyboard and a connection can be an expert. Opinion substitutes for research. The uninformed debate over the Sony cyber incident is the most recent example of the internet’s limitations. An earlier essay discussed why the evidence pointed to North Korea as the most likely suspect. Since then, [...]

Is Ethiopia Violating UN Sanctions against North Korea

Is Ethiopia Violating UN Sanctions against North Korea

Introduction Since the 1970s, Ethiopia has been in the company of North Korea’s most loyal military customers. Amongst other things, Pyongyang has been a source of munitions, armored personnel carriers, tanks and tank parts, artillery and rocket fuel. In addition to these forms of assistance, North Korea has helped Ethiopia construct, operate [...]

“Not Proven”

“Not Proven”

Courts and juries in Scotland can find a person guilty or innocent, but they have a third verdict, “Not Proven” that falls in between. “Not proven” means, colloquially, we believe they did it but there isn’t enough evidence to conclusively find the suspect guilty or to find them to be innocent. Not proven is a good description of the [...]

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