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.
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
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.
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.