US Korea Institute

Tuesday February 21st 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.

The Economics of Kaesong: Examining the Numbers

The Economics of Kaesong: Examining the Numbers

In response to my article on the Kaesong closure, I have received many helpful comments. In some cases, they confirmed my position; in others, they provided valid criticism that compelled me to check and rethink my arguments. Photo: Yonhap News. One of these comments has been published as a separate article at 38 North by Mr. William Brown. [...]

A Neighborly Concern: Russia’s Evolving Approach to Korean Problems

A Neighborly Concern: Russia’s Evolving Approach to Korean Problems

North Korea’s most recent nuclear test and “satellite launch” changed the Korean peninsula’s political landscape more than Pyongyang had probably anticipated, partly due to Moscow’s stronger-than-usual official criticism. The Kremlin explicitly protested the launch, asserting that Pyongyang had “ignored the global community’s appeals [...]

North Korea’s Expanding Foreign Press Corps

North Korea’s Expanding Foreign Press Corps

Four years after the Associated Press (AP) mounted its signboard on a wooden door inside an armed compound in Pyongyang, Agence France-Presse (AFP) announced that it would become the second global news agency to open a bureau in North Korea. “Good luck to @AFP on the wild ride ahead,” I tweeted after their announcement. I should know about [...]

Congressional Sanctions against North Korea: An Iran Re-do?

Congressional Sanctions against North Korea: An Iran Re-do?

For much of the past decade since North Korea first tested a nuclear device, there has been a debate over whether and how much to apply sanctions pressure on North Korea and those who do business with it. This debate has centered on views arrayed along two axes: 1) the degree to which North Korea can be influenced via sanctions; and 2) the degree [...]

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 [...]

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