Featured Essays

Righter Than You Think: National Security Conservatism and Moon Jae-in

By and | April 03, 2018

Moon Jae-in’s policy toward the North is not the Sunshine Policy of his progressive forebears. Indeed, South Korean political culture leans conservative, especially regarding national security. Steven Denney and Christopher Green make the case.

The Road to Pyongyang: Inter-Korean Summits and North Korean Media

By | March 31, 2018

How were previous inter-Korean summits covered by North Korean media? In part one of a two-part series, Kyle Pope digs into material at the Ministry of Unification’s North Korea Documents Center for answers.

A Complicated Story: Why the United States Needs A North Korea Roadmap

By | March 27, 2018

If you are going on a long journey, you should pack a map. Then, why would the US enter into a diplomatic process with North Korea without any discernible strategic outline of how it will get to its goals? Mintaro Oba calls for a Korean peninsula roadmap.

Korean Reunification: Unlikely Despite Olympic Thaw

By | March 06, 2018

A lecturer in Finance and Economics at Dongbei University, Tom Eck is skeptical about the inter-Korean thaw of early 2018 for several reasons. Drawing on the German example and public opinion data from the 2017 Unification Perception Survey, he explains why.

North and South Korea Are Talking: Keep Expectations Low

By | January 23, 2018

It should have surprised nobody that Pyongyang would seek to capitalize on South Korea’s desire to host a positive, peaceful and perhaps even profitable Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang next month. But how does the South Korean public feel about it?

Moon’s Hedging Strategy: Foreign Policy in South Korea

By | December 18, 2017

Squeezed between Pyongyang’s nuclear trajectory, Trump and Abe’s enthusiastic pursuit of “maximum pressure,” and THAAD-induced bilateral stress emanating from Beijing, Moon Jae-in is attempting to protect not only the interests of the Republic of Korea, but also its place in the world.

Policy Distortions: How the American Right Frames Donald Trump’s Policy on North Korea

By | July 19, 2017

Sam Swash looks at how the North Korean population is conditioned to read for conspiracies that may or may not be there. In the process he reminds us that we may be just as much if not more open to misinformation that shows their leadership to be infallible. 

The Russian Sanctions Policy: Reflecting the Long View

By | July 10, 2017

It makes little sense for Russia to divest itself of economic ties to the northern half of Korea at the request of the United States. What Putin and his government fear is that new sanctions will cut Russia off from having a presence in a reunified Korea. Anthony Rinna looks at Russia’s long game.

The Past and Present of North Korean Belligerence: Rangoon 1983

By | July 07, 2017

The Rangoon Bombing of 1983 remains a piece of hidden history, only to be fully illuminated when the division of the two Koreas comes to an end. In the meantime, the archives of the ROK government give evidence of what motivated the attack. Let Eungseo Kim look back and be your guide.

Translation in Isolation: The Rare, the Bad, and the Weird

By | July 06, 2017

In his third installation of a multipart series, Martin Weiser returns to the question of translation. By tracing the process by which translations come into being, he highlights the limitations and bottlenecks that are created by the need to translate into multiple languages on a daily basis.