Beyond Parallel is a nonpartisan and authoritative analytic vehicle for delivering greater clarity and understanding to policymakers, strategists, and opinion leaders about Korean unification. The project will address issues that hold strategic significance for unification and functional issues such as economic development, migration, food security, transitional justice, human rights, and health that will be at the heart of how unification is carried out.

Beyond Parallel addresses the issues intrinsic to long-term planning rather than the short-term specifics of any particular unification scenario. The range of plausible scenarios under which unification might take place is wide and questions of North Korean contingencies or state collapse plague many discussions in both the public and private sectors. While one cannot possibly trace how each disparate detail of all the various unification scenarios will affect long-term unification issues without entering the realm of speculation and punditry, failing to plan is planning to fail. The absence of transparency and knowledge of long-term unification issues is a recipe for disaster. Beyond Parallel presents a 360-degree view of unification by examining the practical issues and opportunities that will arise irrespective of the specific scenario that unites the peninsula.

The primary objective of Beyond Parallel is to prepare the international public for Korean unification with new evidence, analytic tools, and data. The project goals are to:

  • Bring greater transparency and understanding to the policy challenges and opportunities associated with Korean unification.
  • Create a central source for comprehensive, factual, unbiased information in English on Korean unification to provide an authoritative focus for all countries in the region and help to shape, inform, and define public policy discussions about the Korean peninsula around the world.
  • Form a community of experts, opinion makers, and policy leaders who closely examine the range of issues associated with Korean unification, and develop a corpus of policy-relevant resources for governments, the private sector, and policy institutions.
  • Generate original, cutting-edge, and objective analysis for global and regional stakeholders to facilitate and improve policymaking in spite of the lack of open dialogue or formal engagement on unification issues.
  • Utilize cutting-edge methodology and data visualization, including big data, opinion polling, imagery, oral history, and interactive graphics to increase the level of international understanding about unification.
  • Expand the reach of discussion on Korean unification through online application, social media, and virtual media that go beyond conventional dissemination through books and pamphlets.
  • Promote the latest and best studies on issues related to Korean unification, including migration, refugees, nuclear safety, health infrastructure, pandemics, denuclearization, transitional justice, environment, human rights, reconciliation, North Korean security and stability, and regional views of Korean unification issues.

The Beyond Parallel advisory board and editorial contributors conduct their analysis in their personal capacity using the judgment and expertise acquired as scholars and officials. All contributors have complete intellectual independence in their commentary, and have been invited to share their personal and national perspectives. Beyond Parallel seeks not to promote a particular point of view, but to serve as a clearinghouse for divergent views based on the same facts.

The Team

CSIS Beyond Parallel Leadership


Victor Cha

Senior Vice President, Korea Chair

Editorial Board

Choi KangVice President (Acting President) and Principal Fellow, The Asan Institute for Policy Studies
Chun ChaesungProfessor, Department of Political Science and International Relations, Seoul National University
Chun Yung-wooChairman, Korean Peninsula Future Forum; Former National Security Adviser to the Republic of Korea
Chung Jae Ho, Professor, Department of Political Science and International Relations, College of Social Sciences, Seoul National University
Patrick Cronin, Former Senior Advisor and Senior Director, Asia-Pacific Security Program, Center for a New American Security
Nicholas Eberstadt, Henry Wendt Chair in Political Economy, American Enterprise Institute; Senior Adviser to the National Bureau of Asian Research
Gordon Flake, CEO, Perth USAsia Centre, University of Western Australia; Governor of the American Chamber of Commerce in Australia; Co-Chair of the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea
Stephan Haggard, Lawrence and Sallye Krause Professor of Korea-Pacific Studies and Director of the Korea-Pacific Program, University of California, San Diego
Ha Young-Sun, Chairman, East Asia Institute; Professor Emeritus, Department of Political Science and International Relations, College of Social Sciences, Seoul National University
Han Sung-Joo, Professor Emeritus and Former President, Korea University; Chairman, The Asan Institute; Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea
Dale Herspring, Emeritus University Distinguished Professor, Political Science Department, Kansas State University
Gary H. Jefferson, Carl Marks Professor of International Trade and Finance, Brandeis University
David C. Kang, Maria Crutcher Professor in International Relations, Business and East Asian Languages and Cultures, Director of the Korean Studies Institute , University of Southern California
Kim Hun Joon, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science and International Relations, Korea University
Kim Sung-han, Director, Ilmin International Relations Institute and Professor, International Relations, Graduate School of International Studies, Korea University; Former Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade to the Republic of Korea
Bruce Klingner, Senior Research Fellow, Northeast Asia, The Heritage Foundation
Lee Chung Min, Senior Fellow, Asia Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; Council Member, International Institute for Strategic Studies; Professor of Twenty Years, the Graduate School of International Studies, Yonsei University; Former Ambassador for National Security Affairs to the Republic of Korea
Lee Geun, President, Korea Foundation
Lee Jung-Hoon, Dean and Professor of International Relations, Graduate School of International Studies, Yonsei University; Inaugural Ambassador for North Korean Human Rights
Jennifer Lind, Associate Professor, Department of Government, Dartmouth College; Faculty Associate,  Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, Harvard University; Associate Fellow, Chatham House, London
Narushige Michishita, Vice President, Deputy Director, Global Leadership Development Program, Professor, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies; Former Japan Scholar, Asia Program, Woodrow Wilson Center; Former Senior Research Fellow at the National Institute for Defense Studies
Mo Jongryn, Professor of International Political Economy, Graduate School of International Studies, Yonsei University
Andrew S. Natsios, Director, Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs, Executive Professor, Bush School of Government and Public Service, Texas A&M University
John Nilsson-Wright, Korea Fellow, Korea Foundation; Fuji Bank University Senior Lecturer, Modern Japanese Politics and International Relations, Fellow, Darwin College, Cambridge; Senior Research Fellow for Northeast Asia, Asia-Pacific Programme, Chatham House
Nishino Junya, Professor, Faculty of Law and Department of Political Science, Keio University
Marcus Noland, Executive Vice President and Director of Studies, Peterson Institute for International Economics; Non-Resident Senior Fellow, East-West Center
John S. Park, Director of the Korea Project and Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School 
Gilbert Rozman, Emeritus Musgrave Professor of Sociology, Princeton University; Editor-in-Chief, The Asan Forum
Greg Scarlatoiu, Executive Director, The Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK)
Walter L. Sharp, Chairman, Military Officers Association of America; Senior Advisor, Dentons; Former Commander of United Nations Forces, ROK-U.S. Combined Forces and U.S. Forces Korea; Former Director, Joint Staff, Pentagon
Scott Snyder, Senior Fellow for Korea Studies and Director, Program on U.S.-Korea Policy, Council on Foreign Relations
Soeya Yoshihide, Professor of Political Science and International Relations, Faculty of Law, Keio University
Lavinia Stan, Professor of Political Science, St. Francis Xavier University
Wang Jisi, Professor, School of International Studies and President, Institute of the International and Strategic Studies, Peking University; Distinguished Fellow, Asia Society Policy Institute
Dennis Wilder, Managing Director and Senior Fellow, Initiative for U.S.-China Dialogue on Global Issues and Assistant Professor of Practice in Asian Studies, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University; Former Senior Director for East Asian Affairs, National Security Council
Leslie Vinjamuri, Dean, Queen Elizabeth II Academy for Leadership in International Affairs and Director, US and the Americas Program, Chatham House; Associate Professor, Department of Politics and International Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
Alexander Vorontsov, Head of the Korea and Mongolia Department, Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences
Yoon Young-kwan, Professor Emeritus, Department of Political Science and International Relations, Seoul National University; Former Foreign Minister to the Republic of Korea; Northeast Asia Chair, Asian Views on America’s Role in Asia, The Asia Foundation
Yang Xiyu, Senior Fellow, China Institute of International Studies
Zhu Feng, Executive Director, China Center for Collaborative Studies of the South China Sea, Nanjing University

CSIS Advisory Board

Anthony H. Cordesman, Arleigh A. Burke ChEmeritus Chair in Strategy
Matthew P. Goodman
, Senior Vice President; William E. Simon Chair in Political Economy and Senior Adviser for Asian Economics
Michael J. Green
, Senior Vice President for Asia and Japan Chair
John J. Hamre
, President and CEO; Langone Chair in American Leadership
James A. Lewis,
Senior Vice President and Director, Strategic Technologies Program
Daniel F. Runde
, Senior Vice President; William A. Schreyer Chair and Director, Project on Prosperity and Development; Director, Americas Program
Rick Rossow
, Senior Adviser and Wadhwani Chair in U.S.-India Policy Studies

Development Team

Beyond Parallel is a product of the Andreas C. Dracopoulos iDeas Lab, the in-house digital, multimedia, and design agency at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

About CSIS

Established in Washington, D.C. nearly 60 years ago, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) is a bipartisan, nonprofit policy research organization dedicated to advancing practical ideas that address the world’s greatest challenges. CSIS is ranked the number one think tank in the United States by the University of Pennsylvania’s annual think tank report. To learn more about CSIS, visit www.csis.org.


Beyond Parallel is made possible by Korea Chair funding in addition to generous support from the Brzezinski Institute on Geostrategy, The Korea Foundation, and the UniKorea Foundation.

To learn more about how to support Beyond Parallel, please contact us.