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 Adviser, Korea Chair


Marie DuMond

Associate Director & Associate Fellow, Korea Chair

Editorial Board

Choi KangAsan Institute for Policy Studies
Chun ChaesungSeoul National University
Chun Yung-wooKorean Peninsula Future Forum & Former ROK National Security Adviser
Chung Jae Ho, Seoul National University
Patrick Cronin, Center for a New American Security
Nicholas Eberstadt, American Enterprise Institute
Gordon Flake, Perth USAsia Centre
Stephan Haggard, University of California, San Diego
Ha Young-Sun, Seoul National University & East Asia Institute
Han Sung-Joo, Korea University & Former ROK Minister of Foreign Affairs
Dale Herspring, Kansas State University
Gary H. Jefferson, Brandeis University
Ju Chul Ki, Overseas Koreans Foundation & Former ROK Senior Secretary for Foreign Affairs and National Security
David C. Kang, University of Southern California
Kim Hun Joon, Korea University
Kim Sung-han, Korea University & Former ROK Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs
Bruce Klingner, Heritage Foundation
Lee Chung Min, Yonsei University & Former ROK Ambassador for National Security Affairs
Lee Geun, Seoul National University
Lee Jung-Hoon, Yonsei University & Former ROK Ambassador-at-Large for Human Rights
Jennifer Lind, Dartmouth College
Narushige Michishita, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies
Mo Jongryn, Yonsei University
Andrew Natsios, Texas A&M University
John Nilsson-Wright, Cambridge University
Nishino Junya, Keio University
Marcus Noland, Peterson Institute for International Economics
John S. Park, Harvard University & Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Gil Rozman, Princeton University & The Asan Forum
Ryoo Kihl-jae, University of North Korean Studies & Former ROK Minister of Unification
Greg Scarlatoiu, The Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK)
Walter L. Sharp, Dentons & Former Commander of UNC/CFC/USFK
Scott Snyder, Council on Foreign Relations
Soeya Yoshihide, Keio University
Lavinia Stan, St. Francis Xavier University
Wang Jisi, Peking University
Dennis Wilder, Georgetown University & Former Senior Director for East Asia, U.S. National Security Council
Leslie Vinjamuri, University of London
Alexander Vorontsov, Russian Academy of Sciences
Yoon Young-kwan, Seoul National University & Former ROK Minister of Foreign Affairs
Yang Xiyu, China Institute of International Studies
Zhu Feng, Nanjing University

CSIS Advisory Board

Anthony H. Cordesman, Arleigh A. Burke Chair in Strategy
Bonnie S. Glaser
, Senior Adviser for Asia, Director, China Power Project and Senior Associate, Pacific Forum
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
Kathleen H. Hicks
, Senior Vice President, Henry A. Kissinger Chair, and Director of the International Security Program
James A. Lewis,
Senior Vice President
Daniel F. Runde
, Senior Vice President; William A. Schreyer Chair and Director, Project on Prosperity and Development
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.

CSIS is currently soliciting corporate and foundation support. To learn more about how to support Beyond Parallel, please contact us.