US Korea Institute

Monday February 8th 2016
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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.

Reality Check on North Korean Sanctions

Reality Check on North Korean Sanctions

A recent op-ed by Sung-Yoon Lee and Joshua Stanton highlights what should happen in dealing with North Korea. Unfortunately, for this long-time practitioner in the field of nonproliferation sanctions, it also highlights what cannot happen—or at least what cannot happen at an acceptable level of risk with the limited knowledge and the complex [...]

Steve Bosworth: An Appreciation

Steve Bosworth: An Appreciation

(Image: Pool/Getty Images AsiaPac) Steve Bosworth was my boss, my mentor and my friend. By the time I first met Steve, he had already had a highly successful first career as one of America’s most distinguished ambassadors. A mutual friend, Bob Gallucci, introduced us and asked if we would like to start a new organization, not even yet [...]

Thanks to the Banks: Counter-Proliferation Finance and the Chinpo Shipping Case

Thanks to the Banks: Counter-Proliferation Finance and the Chinpo Shipping Case

Tan Cheng Hoe had been doing business with North Korea since August 1970. His Singapore-registered companies, Chinpo Shipping Company (Private) Ltd. and Tonghae Shipping Agency (Private) Ltd., offered services relating to North Korean maritime trade, namely the handling and transmission of documentation and organization of supplies or equipment [...]

North Korea’s Foreign Trade

North Korea’s Foreign Trade

Foreign trade is, like elsewhere and for obvious reasons, one of the key indicators of North Korea’s economy. However, since the state is notoriously reluctant to provide related figures, we have to rely on external sources to obtain this data. The South Korean Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) is one institution that has for many years [...]

What is Left to Sanction? Options for Responding to the Next North Korean Provocation

What is Left to Sanction? Options for Responding to the Next North Korean Provocation

By design, the UN Security Council is a reactive architect of sanctions regimes; its measures addressing North Korean nuclear and missile programs demonstrates this clearly. The 15-country body created an initial round of sanctions in 2006 in response to the North’s first nuclear test, expanded on the measures after its second test in 2009, and [...]

China Ponders: Does the Iran Nuclear Deal Mean North Korea is Next?

China Ponders: Does the Iran Nuclear Deal Mean North Korea is Next?

As news spread in July of the freshly brokered multilateral plan on Iran’s nuclear program, some observers began to speculate that a North Korean nuclear deal might come next. Analysts pinned their hopes on China, as in past moments of optimism, when they suggested that the North Korean ally might be able to help reanimate the Six Party [...]

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