US Korea Institute

Tuesday June 30th 2015
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The Great 2010 DPRK Nuclear Test Debate

The Great 2010 DPRK Nuclear Test Debate

  * This article was modified by May 1, 2015, updating footnote 12.  In 2010, two radionuclide stations in Northeast Asia detected radioactive particles that seemed to indicate that a nuclear explosion had taken place. While there are other possible explanations, other evidence seemed to suggest that North Korea had conducted a very [...]

“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 [...]

Russia-North Korea Economic Ties Gain Traction

Russia-North Korea Economic Ties Gain Traction

In a new global situation unfortunately characterized by increased big power rivalry—where Russia has suddenly become the chief opponent, if not enemy, of the United States—Russia’s involvement in Korean peninsular affairs has increased political implications for Moscow. The Korean peninsula, centered in a crucial neighboring area, has [...]

The NDC’s Fall Lineup: Results of the 13th SPA

The NDC’s Fall Lineup: Results of the 13th SPA

The second session of the 13th Supreme People’s Assembly, held at Mansudae Assembly Hall in Pyongyang on September 25, 2014, appointed a new Vice Chairman and two new members to the DPRK National Defense Commission (NDC), the country’s supreme power organization. NDC appointments are an opportunity for Kim Jong Un to show off his authority. In [...]

Tiptoeing Past Vesuvius

Tiptoeing Past Vesuvius

While several other areas in the world have gone completely to hell, Northeast Asia seems only to be rumbling, like Mt. Vesuvius in a long-ago August. The situation now, as then, looks grim, but many people apparently cling to the hope that the little earth tremors and the noxious gas venting from the various fissures will stop in a couple of [...]

North Korea’s Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site: All Quiet for the Moment

North Korea’s Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site: All Quiet for the Moment

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Jack Liu Since speculation that North Korea was on the verge of conducting its fourth nuclear test in late April 2014, activity at the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site has come to a standstill. Recent commercial satellite imagery indicates that there is virtually no activity at either area where North Korea might [...]

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