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North Korea: Witness to Transformation





 



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...



The Song Tao Visit

Tue, 05 Dec 2017 11:00:00 -0500

Last year, Ankit Panda at The Diplomat noted the significance of a high-level North Korea–China meeting in June 2016. Ri Su-yong, Korean Workers’ Party (KWP) Politburo member and a former foreign minister, led a delegation with a North Korean briefing to Beijing following the KWP Congress that met...



Weekend Reading on Sanctions Implementation

Fri, 01 Dec 2017 14:15:00 -0500

“All nations must continue strong economic and diplomatic measures. In addition to implementing all existing UN sanctions, the international community must take additional measures to enhance maritime security, including the right to interdict maritime traffic transporting goods to and from the...



Noland on the Trade Talks Podcast: Sanctions on North Korea

Thu, 30 Nov 2017 12:30:00 -0500

This week NK launched an ICBM theoretically capable of hitting Washington. This podcast I recorded with Soumaya Keynes (The Economist) and Chad P. Bown (PIIE) examines the origins of the North Korean economy, and how its characteristics could be amenable (or not) to the use of economic sanctions...



The Hwasong-15 Missile Test

Wed, 29 Nov 2017 14:45:00 -0500

It is prudent to wait for more technical analysis of the launch before jumping to conclusions about its effective range. Yet some credible analysts—and the North Koreans—have already suggested this was the longest-range missile test to date, based on an estimated flight time and of roughly 50...



Academic Sources: Terence Roehrig, Japan, South Korea, and the United States Nuclear Umbrella

Tue, 28 Nov 2017 13:00:00 -0500

With important debates unfolding on the power of the US president to use nuclear weapons, it is worthwhile to go back to basics. Terence Roehrig has written the best book I have read in a while walking through the dilemmas of extended deterrence in Northeast Asia, with a thorough treatment of the...



Border Crossing, North and South

Mon, 27 Nov 2017 11:45:00 -0500

Two stories about border crossings happened to coincide last week, and provide their own little microcosm of the divided peninsula. South Korea has been transfixed by the story of the North Korean solider who defected in a hail of bullets at Panmunjom, the first shooting incident at the Joint...



New Refugee Testimony from Anna Fifield

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 10:15:00 -0500

Marc Noland and I have always argued that testimony from North Korean refugees—simply letting them tell their stories—speaks volumes more than any analysis outsiders can do (some previous posts on refugee narratives are linked below). Ann Fifield at the Washington Post proves this point with an...



North Korea Back on the Terrorism List

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 19:30:00 -0500

Yesterday President Donald Trump put North Korea back on the list of state sponsors of terrorism. (The country was originally listed in 1987 and removed in 2008.) Relisting will impose additional financial sanctions; remove sovereign immunity from civil lawsuits, making it possible for such suits...



Cyber Roundup: The Widening Gyre

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 09:45:00 -0500

Whether North Korea’s nuclear and missile test pause is a signal or just the standard lull before the winter training cycle remains to be seen. But one thing does seem to be constant: the steady drumbeat of news about North Korean cyber activity ( Adam Meyers at 38North recently undertook a...



Randall Ireson, 1945-2017

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 16:30:00 -0500

It is with sadness that we received news of the death of Randall Ireson. Trained at Cornell in development sociology, he became a pioneer in US humanitarian work with North Korea; I met him through the National Committee on North Korea. Randy was among the most dedicated and insightful analysts of...



Bruce Klingner moderates Daniel Blumenthal, Julian Ku, and Steph Haggard on North Korea

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 13:30:00 -0500

I had the pleasure to participate in a Federalist Society podcast on the Korean peninsula on Monday. Of particular interest to me were some of the legal discussions on the authority the US president may or may not have to initiate an attack on North Korea, a topic I took up here . Ku argued that...



David Hawk's "The Parallel Gulag"

Tue, 14 Nov 2017 13:15:00 -0500

David Hawk's 2003 The Hidden Gulag was a landmark in the study of North Korean human rights, which made a forceful appearance in President Trump's speech before the Korean National Assembly . Drawing on a combination of satellite imagery and defector and prison guard testimony, Hawk confirmed the...



Trump Unrestrained

Mon, 13 Nov 2017 09:30:00 -0500

In Korea, President Trump gave a barn-burning human rights speech on North Korea . He nonetheless showed restraint and largely reaffirmed the administration's variant of "strategic patience," now dubbed "maximum pressure and engagement." This strategy involves engaging China and seeking...



Michael Green on the Trump Trip and US-Asia Relations

Fri, 10 Nov 2017 07:00:00 -0500

Michael Green (senior vice president for Asia and Japan Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies) has written a truly remarkable book on US-East Asia relations: By More Than Providence: Grand Strategy and American Power in the Asia Pacific Since 1783 . As the title suggests, Mike...