Tom Fowdy looks back at 2016, when two defections made headlines around the world. He finds that, seemingly as usual, the pre-eminent concern on both sides of the DMZ appeared to be scoring geopolitical points.
Using archival material from the Woodrow Wilson Center, Eungseo Kim dissects the politics of Sino-US détente in 1972. He concludes that Pyongyang’s grievance against Beijing for its refusal to push preconditions for Sino-US diplomatic normalization was why Pyongyang decided it needed to deal directly with the United States.
In the second part of his series on Great Power politics in Northeast Asia, Anthony Rinna looks at the question of whether successful China-Russia defense relations in the region are possible beyond mere rhetoric.
A new working paper, “Shifting Hierarchy & Subordinate Sovereignty: The Carter-Reagan Transition and the US-South Korea Alliance” will be presented at a conference at the University of Texas on January 19-21. Author Clint Work explains more.
Did Kim Il-sung’s nationalism force the Chinese out of North Korea in the 1950s, or was it an agreed strategy meant to bolster anti-US propaganda? This post reviews new data on a pivotal moment in Chinese-North Korean relations.
Same Problem, Different Angles: Japan and South Korea’s Divergent Approaches to Cooperation with Russia
Russia’s comparatively hardline approach to North Korea in 2016 serves to highlight the generally pragmatic nature of interstate relations in Northeast Asia, argues Tony Rinna, Sino-NK’s Russia and Eurasia Analyst.
A Roundtable Review of Il Hyun Cho’s Global Rogues and Regional Orders: The Multidimensional Challenge of North Korea and Iran
Il Hyun Cho argues that the “rogue state” narrative is not wholly global, but is largely a creation of US security concerns in tandem with the role conceptions of regional actors. Van Jackson and Daniel Wertz consider the proposition in this roundtable review.
Inho Choi outlines the recent Sino-South Korean debate over THAAD and evaluates its implications for Chinese views (and possible revisions) of the Northeast Asian security order.