Diplomacy

The Korean Peninsula and Great Power Geopolitics: Then and Now

By | November 05, 2018

Anthony Rinna returns with a look at how the history of international relations in late 19th and early 20th Northeast Asia can help inform us of the possible future trajectory of Beijing-Moscow ties.

China and Russia on a Nuclear North Korea: Policy Alignment, Divergent Relationships

By | September 12, 2018

What is the state of Sino-DPRK and Russia-DPRK relations? A quick glance might led one to think there is total Chinese and Russian policy convergence vis-a-vis Korea, but the evidence indicates significant differences in how Moscow and Beijing see the DPRK. Anthony Rinna explains.

Dual Perspective: Reading Thae Yong-ho

By | August 15, 2018

Thae Yong-ho’s memoir marks a bold attempt to push back the tide of South Korean public ambivalence toward North Korea, a sprawling 500-page narrative of his experiences in the DPRK diplomatic corps over twenty years and ending with his 2016 defection. Robert Lauler takes a look at this essential, if flawed, text.

On Contradiction: The PRC Foreign Ministry and “China Responsibility Theory”

By | July 15, 2017

When a spokesman pushed back against the Trump administration assertions that China is in the driver’s seat with North Korea, Washington had no response. What was between the lines of this statement from Beijing?

A Roundtable Review of Van Jackson’s Rival Reputations: Coercion and Credibility in U.S.-North Korea Relations

By | June 19, 2017

Adam Mount (Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress), Daniel Pinkston (Troy University), and Martin Weiser (graduate of Korea University) provide different evaluations of Van Jackson’s analysis of the history of the US-North Korea relationship in his newly published book, Rival Reputations: Coercion and Credibility in U.S.-North Korea Relations.

Prominent Defections in 2016: How North and South Korea Responded

By | March 29, 2017

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.

The Sino-DPRK Split and Origins of US-DPRK Bilateralism

By | February 20, 2017

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.

THAAD and the Great Power Context II: Missile Defense and China-Russia Defense Cooperation

By | February 13, 2017

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.