US Korea Institute

Monday January 16th 2017
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Evil geniuses, stumbling fools, or something in between, we will attempt to divine the real motives behind Pyongyang’s foreign policy moves.

Do You Want Fries with That? Donald Trump Probably Won’t Be Inviting Kim Jong Un Over for Cheeseburgers

Do You Want Fries with That? Donald Trump Probably Won’t Be Inviting Kim Jong Un Over for Cheeseburgers

This is the second installment of a four-part series on what a Trump presidency could mean for US policy toward North Korea. (See Part 1 here.) With Donald Trump’s election as President of the United States, millions of despondent voters began looking for some silver lining to what seems like the end of the Republic. A few optimistic souls [...]

Recycling the Playbook: UNSCR 2321 and Its Coal Caps

Recycling the Playbook: UNSCR 2321 and Its Coal Caps

On November 30, UN Security Council members gathered for a familiar exercise: to pass a new resolution drafted by the United States and China to impose fresh sanctions on North Korea for its nuclear testing. It was the second such meeting in 10 months. UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2321 introduces clarifications and qualitatively new [...]

Did The Donald Suggest South Korea Build The Bomb? No, But That Might Be The Outcome Anyway

Did The Donald Suggest South Korea Build The Bomb? No, But That Might Be The Outcome Anyway

This is the first of a four-part series on what a Trump presidency could mean for US policy toward North Korea. One of the strangest aspects of the campaign that led to the election of Donald Trump as the next President of the United States was his repeated references to the possibility of letting Japan and South Korea build their own nuclear [...]

Multilateralizing Approaches to North Korea: The Canadian Case

Multilateralizing Approaches to North Korea: The Canadian Case

As North Korea began its 7th Worker’s Party Congress in May, it shepherded over 100 foreign journalists around to sites largely unrelated to the event they had come to see. One of these locations was the 326 Electric Cable Factory in Pyongyang, where the most noteworthy sight for reporters was a stack of boxes from Dow Canada—a shipment of [...]

The Challenge of Sharing on the Korean Peninsula

The Challenge of Sharing on the Korean Peninsula

Editor’s note: In 1995, devastating floods compounded an already dire economic downturn in North Korea due to the collapse of the Soviet Union and the resulting energy crisis. After negotiating quietly with Japan and South Korea for emergency food shipments, the DPRK government issued a general call for international food aid in the fall of that [...]

The “China Factor”

The “China Factor”

A new round of shadowboxing appears to have begun in Washington over North Korea policy in the wake of Pyongyang’s two latest nuclear tests and unrelenting series of missile tests. For some time, the Obama administration’s policy of “strategic patience” has found few defenders apart from its architects, and there is now a general consensus [...]

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