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North Korea: Witness to Transformation





 



Stephan Haggard on Vice President Pence in Korea

Wed, 14 Feb 2018 17:30:00 -0500

While on pause, we are posting commentary that Marc Noland and Steph Haggard are writing on the peninsula. The latest edition is an analysis by Stephan Haggard NKNews on Vice President Trump’s Olympic foray. Much of the coverage has been negative, and with some reason. But in the end, any US...



Stephan Haggard on Developmental States

Tue, 13 Feb 2018 11:30:00 -0500

While on pause, we are posting commentary and new work by Marc Noland and Stephan Haggard on the Korean peninsula. Both of us cut our teeth on the political economy of the region, with Haggard's first book— Pathways from the Periphery —detailing the transition to export-led growth in the region and...



Haggard at NKNews on Expectations and the Diplomatic State of Play

Wed, 31 Jan 2018 09:45:00 -0500

While on pause, we are posting commentary that Marc Noland and Steph Haggard are writing on the peninsula. The latest edition is an analysis by Stephan Haggard at NKNews of the lack of attention to the parameters for possible talks, not only on the part of the United States but of China and South...



Stephan Haggard at Lawfare Podcast on the Hawaii Missile Scare

Fri, 26 Jan 2018 15:15:00 -0500

While on leave, we will be posting links to some commentary that may be of interest to readers. First up: Shannon Togawa Mercer interviewed a diverse group of observers on the event for the Lawfare podcast, with many focusing on the civilian defense angle: Garrett Graff, author and journalist;...



Witness to Transformation Takes a Pause

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 12:30:00 -0500

This blog was launched prior to publication of our second collaborative effort on North Korea, Witness to Transformation: Refugee Insights into North Korea (2011). It then kept us current during the writing of our third collaborative effort, Hard Target: Sanctions, Inducements and the Case of North...



Asia Society Panel on the Alliance and North Korea

Sat, 06 Jan 2018 07:00:00 -0500

In mid-December I participated on a panel at the Asia Society in San Francisco on the theme of "Trump, Moon and the 'Ironclad' Alliance: Responding to North Korea’s Nuclear Ambitions." Introduced by Tom Gold (UC Berkeley) and moderated by Margaret Conley, the panel included Deputy Consul General...



The Significance of Small Gestures: The Decision on Military Exercises

Fri, 05 Jan 2018 13:45:00 -0500

The PyeongChan Winter Olympics open on February 9 and close February 25. Last year, the Foal Eagle military training exercise began on March 1 and ran for about two months. The year before that, the largest and most visible of the joint Key Resolve and Foal Eagle exercises in years also kicked off...



Trump in Asia: The Year in Review

Thu, 04 Jan 2018 07:00:00 -0500

Donald Trump campaigned on a platform that included fundamental changes in the US posture toward Asia. He cast doubt on the utility of the alliances with Japan and South Korea and questioned the One China policy, and thus the longstanding policy of "strategic ambiguity" over Taiwan. He mused aloud...



Kim Jong-un's 2018 New Year's Address

Tue, 02 Jan 2018 12:00:00 -0500

After a homey introduction—wishing "the families across the country good health, happiness, success and prosperity"—Kim Jong-un quickly got to the first of the three main points in his New Year's Address. The year before he announced that the country had "entered the final stage of preparation for...



"UN Security Council Imposes Tough New Sanctions on North Korea": UNSC Resolution 2397

Fri, 29 Dec 2017 17:15:00 -0500

How many times have we read that headline? This iteration—from NBC News, but it could have been a dozen others —is correct; UNSC Resolution 2397 does mark yet another incremental turning of the screw, and with both Russia and China on board. But rather than simply reiterating what is in the...



The National Security Strategy

Wed, 20 Dec 2017 14:45:00 -0500

National Security Strategy (NSS) documents come and go. They can crystallize thinking and messaging for an administration, but they are frequently overtaken by events. Yet they do outline a broad worldview and this one is getting more attention than usual (read the NSS ; view President Trump's...



Jean Lee on North Korean Soap Operas

Tue, 19 Dec 2017 14:00:00 -0500

Those of us with our noses in the strategic and diplomatic issues surrounding the Korean peninsula don't pay anywhere near enough attention to popular culture and what it can tell us about the regime. Jean Lee , who opened the Associated Press bureau in Pyongyang and is now a fellow at the Wilson...



Great New Work on Sanctions from (the Good) ISIS and C4ADS

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 16:45:00 -0500

A surprising development in sanctions enforcement is the rise of high-quality open-source reporting on North Korean trade and investment. If these activities and their enablers are identified, it generates new targets for the diplomacy of enforcement. Two new reports are exemplary of this sort of...



Tillerson at the Atlantic Council and United Nations

Mon, 18 Dec 2017 10:00:00 -0500

Note: This post updates a version posted on December 13, 2017. When I first watched Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s outing at the Atlantic Council , it struck me as the most detailed formulation of US policy on the DPRK to date. Yet two fundamental problems quickly became apparent. The first had...



Andrei Lankov: Global Rethinker

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 10:30:00 -0500

I have always found the community of North Korea watchers highly collegial. We have divergent priorities but are all walking in the dark and know that the chances we are right on any given issue are nearly random. There is thus some collective cheer at recognition of our troupe. Andrei Lankov—in...