US Korea Institute

Thursday May 28th 2015
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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.

Could the New Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank Change the Dynamics of Economic Engagement with North Korea?

Could the New Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank Change the Dynamics of Economic Engagement with North Korea?

The surprisingly robust emergence of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) through its recruitment of 57 founding member countries has transformed prospects for economic cooperation in Asia. The AIIB promises to become a credible multilateral financial institution capable of funding significant infrastructure projects across the region. [...]

Dilemmas in Financial Engagement with North Korea

Dilemmas in Financial Engagement with North Korea

Over the past few months, there have been a number of important developments concerning North Korea’s external finances. In early December 2014, North Korea announced that the law governing wages for workers at the Kaesong Industrial Complex had been revised, removing the upper limit without consultation with South Korean authorities. In [...]

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, [...]

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