Showing posts with label Korea. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Korea. Show all posts

11 July 2018

North Korea Declares U.S. Diplomacy “Gangster-Like”

By Robin Wright

The first sign that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s trip to Pyongyang wasn’t going quite as expected came in a casual but pointed question from the lead North Korean negotiator on Saturday morning. Had the Secretary slept well? Kim Yong Chol wanted to know. “I did, I did,” Pompeo replied, adding his gratitude for the accommodations at a government guesthouse. As a pool of American reporters looked on, the North Korean shot back, “But we did have very serious discussions on very important matters yesterday. So, thinking about those discussions, you might have not slept well last night.” Pompeo replied that he had “slept just fine.” The American reporters noted an edge in his voice, however.

Lessons Learned From 25 Years of Negotiating with North Korea

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is resetting expectations for a denuclearization timeline for North Korea, saying Monday that it will take ‘decades’ to get North Korea to dismantle its nuclear program. 

In a Tweet on Monday, President Donald Trump reaffirmed his confidence in the North Korean leader, saying that he believes Kim Jung Un will keep his promises.

Ambassador Joseph DeTrani is one of the few people who has decades of experience negotiating with North Korean leaders. The former Director of the Counterproliferation Center and Former Special Envoy for Six Party Talks with North Korea filed this Cipher Brief, focused on what he has learned from those years of experience:

10 July 2018

Breaking News: North Korea reveals that two days of nuclear talks with SecState Mike Pompeo in Pyongyang did not go well

Gardiner Harris and Choe Sang-Hun 

PYONGYANG, North Korea — North Korea accused the Trump administration on Saturday of pushing a “unilateral and gangster-like demand for denuclearization” and called it “deeply regrettable,” hours after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said his two days of talks in the North Korean capital were “productive.” Despite North Korea’s criticism, its Foreign Ministry said leader Kim Jong-un still wanted to build on the “friendly relationship and trust” forged with President Trump during their summit meeting in Singapore on June 12. The ministry also said Mr. Kim had written a personal letter to Mr. Trump, which was handed to Mr. Pompeo to deliver.

9 July 2018

Trump’s North Korea diplomacy aims to contain China

Brahma Chellaney

U.S. President Donald Trump, by seeking to clinch a deal directly with Pyongyang, is attempting to effectively cut out the traditional middleman, China. Beijing’s growing anxieties over the engagement between Washington and Pyongyang have prompted it to host North Korean strongman Kim Jong Un for the third time in less than three months. In fact, the White House has already eroded China’s role as an essential conduit in U.S. diplomacy with Pyongyang by establishing direct connections, including a virtual hotline, to Kim, while Chinese President Xi Jinping has no hotline with him.

7 July 2018

India and North Korea: A Strategic Friendship?

by Tanya Sen

India’s recent revelation that it had sent a junior foreign minister to meet with counterparts in North Korea was greeted with surprise. According to V.K. Singh, India’s Minister of State for External Affairs, the two unlikely candidates came together to discuss "political, regional, economic, educational and cultural cooperation between the two countries." The two don’t seem to have many policy issues in common. Why, then, did India send a senior diplomat to Pyongyang for the first time in twenty years? While the motives of both actors are open to interpretation, it is useful to speculate how this visit fits into India’s broader strategic goals.

Why the U.S. Must Trust but Verify with North Korea


As Secretary of State Mike Pompeo heads to North Korea seeking signs of progress after the recent Singapore summit, some of his colleagues in the U.S. Intelligence community are doubting whether actions will meet up to words when it comes to North Korea’s promise to denuclearize. Ambassador Joe DeTrani has just returned from South Korea, where he attended two conferences that addressed the issue and spent time with representatives from the U.S., China, Russia and Japan, while meeting with South Korean government and former government officials, and academics. The focus was on developments with North Korea and the path ahead. This is what he filed exclusively for The Cipher Brief:

5 July 2018

Trump’s North Korea diplomacy aims to contain China

Brahma Chellaney
Source Link

U.S. President Donald Trump, by seeking to clinch a deal directly with Pyongyang, is attempting to effectively cut out the traditional middleman, China. Beijing’s growing anxieties over the engagement between Washington and Pyongyang have prompted it to host North Korean strongman Kim Jong Un for the third time in less than three months. In fact, the White House has already eroded China’s role as an essential conduit in U.S. diplomacy with Pyongyang by establishing direct connections, including a virtual hotline, to Kim, while Chinese President Xi Jinping has no hotline with him.

2 July 2018

What is a Big Enough Win on the Korean Peninsula?


Summary: Although Senate Democrats and others are calling for complete dismantlement and removal of nuclear and chemical weapons from North Korea, the North Koreans have entirely different expectations. Political leaders in the United States should clarify what progress looks like, rather than attempting to negotiate a perfect deal. Senate Democratic leaders on Monday tried to set unrealistically high expectations for a nuclear agreement to be negotiated by President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. It is easy to call for “the dismantlement and removal of all nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons from North Korea,” and withholding “sanctions relief for anything other than this,” as the seven senators did. But posing perfect outcomes will impede efforts to persuade North Korean leaders that the Congress will provide the cooperation necessary to fulfill the terms of an agreement that actually can be negotiated in the real world.

Security Spillover: Regional Implications of Evolving Deterrence on the Korean Peninsula

Regardless of the prospects of denuclearizing North Korea, the United States and South Korea (ROK) are likely to continue strengthening capabilities to deter North Korean coercive behavior. Yet, as they do this, it will become increasingly important to assess the regional implications of their actions. Their efforts have already had, and will continue to have, broad spillover effects, potentially creating new tensions with China and complicating alliance relations with Japan. All of the prospective deterrence options could fuel misperception and lead to further instability in the region.

The Current Situation

26 June 2018

Why It’s Nearly Impossible to Denuclearize North Korea

By Cui Lei

After the historic summit in Singapore between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump on June 12, it seems the odds of denuclearizing North Korea are increasing. There are some reasons to be optimistic about the prospect of denuclearization: The sanctions imposed on North Korea seem to have worked and will probably continue to force Pyongyang to comply if not easily relieved. Moreover, the mood in the U.S. Congress seems favorable to facilitating the conclusion of a potential peace treaty that can make security assurances to North Korea legally binding and therefore more credible. However, despite the above arguments, we have more reasons to be pessimistic.

25 June 2018

Putin Reentering Korea Conflict in Big Way

By: Paul Goble

Some, especially in the West, have argued that United States President Donald Trump has effectively sidelined Russia from the rapidly evolving Korean situation by his rapprochement with North Korea’s dictator, Kim Jong-un, at the recent summit in Singapore. But such suggestions cloud years of Russian activity. For one thing, they fail to take into consideration past Russian actions, including assistance to Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs over the last decade and help in allowing North Korea to evade international trade sanctions (, December 28, 2017; Ekho Moskvy, December 30, 2017; Kommersant, January 26, 2018;, December 30, 2017, January 26, 2018). Moreover, assertions of the Kremlin having been sidelined over Korea miss at least two recent, potentially game-changing moves: the announcement that Moscow plans to build a new natural gas pipeline through North Korea as well as diplomatic preparations for a visit by Kim to Russia and one by Vladimir Putin to Pyongyang later this year.

22 June 2018

There Were No Losers at the Singapore Summit

By Chung-in Moon

Immediately after U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un signed a joint declaration at the end of last week’s summit in Singapore, I received a harsh assessment of the meeting from a conservative colleague in South Korea. In his view, the summit was “a total failure. They failed to agree on CVID [complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization]. It is a victory for North Korea.” Other experts in Seoul raised concerns about the future of the U.S.–South Korean alliance following Trump’s abrupt announcement that South Korean–U.S. “war games” would be suspended, as well as his decision not to raise the issue of human rights with Kim. In this sense, there is a paradoxical similarity between South Korean conservatives’ and the American liberal mainstream’s criticisms of Trump and his agreement with the North Korean leader.

Too Late for North Korea Denuclearization

WEST LAFAYETTE, INDIANA: After canceling a summit with North Korea, President Donald Trump must set realistic goals. Most urgently, he must back off from the idea that Pyongyang might be amenable to discarding its nuclear weapons or missile-delivery systems. At best, Kim Jung-un's definition of "denuclearization" is limited to temporarily halting his country's already effectively completed schedule of nuclear testing. Although Kim has made vague hints in the past that his country would consider eliminating its nuclear weapons in tandem with "denuclearization" of the Korean Peninsula, there is little reason to believe that he would go meaningfully beyond a promised cessation of nuclear weapons testing.

21 June 2018

A conversation about the North Korea summit with Sig Hecker

By Janice Sinclaire

Siegfried Hecker talks about his first-hand interactions with North Korean nuclear scientists, what went wrong in past dealings with Kim dynasty, and the best possible outcome of the Trump/Kim summit, in a 27-minute conversation with Lynn Eden of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ Science and Security Board.

Inside the early days of North Korea's cyberwar factory

North Korea is a bizarre country that almost seems frozen in time -- a bizarre, frozen-in-time, armed-to-the-teeth, crazy-dangerous country. We take a deep look at the early cyberwar efforts of an increasingly aggressive cyberwar player. Today's security threats have expanded in scope and seriousness. There can now be millions -- or even billions -- of dollars at risk when information security isn't handled properly. Author's note: This article was originally published in Counterterrorism Magazine in 2012, reprinted here with permission. Although Kim Jung-Un's leadership has solidified since that time, our knowledge of the rogue nation's cyberwar operations remain quite similar to what was explored in this briefing, except that, if anything, Kim Jung-Un's cyber efforts have increased dramatically.

Foreign influences on North Korea’s ballistic missile program

Rahul Krishna

In November 2017, North Korea conducted the last of many missile tests that year, launching the powerful Hwasong-15 into Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone. US Defense Secretary James Mattis acknowledged that this missile poses a worldwide threat and demonstrates the extent of North Korea’s progress in missile development. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, if Japanese reports on the test missile’s trajectory are correct, they indicate that the Hwasong-15 has sufficient range to hit “any part of the continental United States.” While there is still some debate over whether North Korea has the capability to deploy a nuclear warhead on this missile, reports suggest that, according to American and Japanese intelligence assessments, Pyongyang may be able to miniaturize a warhead fit for deployment.

Trump and Kim Break With the Past

By Rodger Baker

Summits are not contests to determine winners or losers. What the U.S.-North Korea summit did was change the way the two countries manage relations — and crises — offering a respite from the heightened unease on the Korean Peninsula. In breaking past the barrier of demanding change before dialogue, the United States is in a better position to manage tensions with North Korea even if denuclearization is never completed. North Korea appears to have empowered its negotiators to make concessions without having to come back to Pyongyang, allowing for more meaningful and productive talks.

What About the Decybernization of North Korea?

James Carlini

Donald J. Trump made history with his Singapore Summit with Kim Jong-Un of North Korea, but did their promise for total denuclearization of North Korea exclude the promise for its decybernization of its electronic cyber weapons? That is a huge question to pose to the President, his diplomatic staff, and to all his critics who have no idea of what weapons we should be concerned about. It is also a question for the Mainstream Media to ponder as all their criticism seems devoid of any valid questions about this real and growing threat.

20 June 2018

A CIA agent, North Korea and Pak. bomb

Kallol Bhattacherjee

When he met the North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, U.S. President Donald Trump remarked that the nuclear standoff with Pyongyang could have been dealt with long ago. Indeed, 30 years ago, Richard Barlow, an officer with the CIA detected the nuclear supply chain that ultimately would travel from the U.S. to Pakistan and further to North Korea. For exposing this clandestine network, Mr. Barlow says he was victimised and made to live like a pauper in a motorhome.

19 June 2018

Grading the Singapore Summit: Compared to What?

Graham Allison
Source Link

In the hyperpolarized state of American politics and policy debate, both critics and supporters of the Trump administration have become so predictable that they are now background noise. If required to summarize my assessment of the Trump-Kim summit in one line, it would be: oversold and undervalued. Despite their best efforts, his critics haven’t come close to matching Trump’s preposterous claim that “There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea.” The critical test in assessing moves on the international chessboard is the question: “compared to what?” Against the bottom line of American national interests, how does the sum of what we just witnessed in Singapore compare to all the feasible alternatives?