Living History with Ambassador Alexander Vershbow

Foreign Affairs
Ambassador Vershbow reflects on his time as the U.S. ambassador to South Korea and the various diplomatic methods he used to negotiate key policies and establish rapport with ROK citizens. .. This Living History interview features an interview with Alexander “Sandy” Vershbow, the former U.S. ambassador to South…

Database: North Korean Provocations

Military, Nuclear Weapons
The CSIS Beyond Parallel team compiled an original database of all North Korean provocations since the Korean War in 1953, beginning with the first provocation documented in 1958. There has been more than 280 instances of provocations, including from missile and nuclear tests, airplane hijackings, bombings, exchange of fire, to infiltration and territorial incursions into South Korea.

Living History with Ambassador Shin Kak-soo

Foreign Affairs
This Living History interview features Shin Kak-soo, former South Korean ambassador to Japan (2011-2013). Ambassador Shin reflects on the complexities of Korea’s relations with its neighbor Japan. He provides an overview of how entrenched partisan politics can prevent the successful resolution of crises between these two key U.S. allies.

Living History with Minister Song Min-soon

Foreign Affairs, Nuclear Weapons
This Living History interview features former South Korean minister of foreign affairs and trade, Song Min-soon. Song was director general for North American affairs and chief delegate during the six-party talks in 2005. He played a key role in the multilateral denuclearization agreement with North Korea, involving the United States, Japan, South Korea, China, and Russia, achieved in September 2005.

Living History with Ambassador Kathleen Stephens: Part II

Foreign Affairs
This Living History features an interview with Ambassador Kathleen Stephens who served as the United States Ambassador to the Republic of Korea from 2008 to 2011. In the second of this two-part interview series with Ambassador Stephens, she reflects on some key agreements and diplomatic achievements made between the U.S. and South Korea during her tenure as the top diplomat in Seoul.

Living History with Ambassador Kathleen Stephens: Part I

Foreign Affairs
This Living History features an interview with Ambassador Kathleen Stephens who served as the United States Ambassador to the Republic of Korea from 2008 to 2011. In the first of this two-part interview series with Ambassador Stephens, she reflects on her experience serving as a young Peace Corps volunteer from 1975 to 1977 in rural South Chungcheong province and as a junior diplomatic officer in the early 1980s at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul.

Living History with Ambassador Chung Chong Wook

Foreign Affairs, Nuclear Weapons
This Living History interview features Ambassador Chung Chong Wook, former Republic of Korea ambassador to China and former senior secretary to President Kim Young-sam for national security and foreign policy. Ambassador Chung recounts his personal experience serving as a senior government official during the summer of 1994 that was marked by a series of critical events in inter-Korean and U.S.-South Korea-North Korea relations.

Living History with Ambassador Joseph Yun

Foreign Affairs, Nuclear Weapons
Ambassador Yun
This Living History interview features Ambassador Joseph Yun, former U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Policy and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Korea and Japan at the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs. Ambassador Yun recounts his diplomatic experience negotiating with the North Koreans and a series of efforts to maintain a direct line of communication with his counterparts. He also discusses his role in bringing back a detained U.S. citizen, Otto Warmbier, from North Korea.

Yongbyon Declassified Part II: Progress on Building IRT-2000 Reactor

Nuclear Weapons
North Korea’s pursuit of a nuclear weapons program is nearly six decades old. While archival documents have previously provided some evidence of North Korea’s intent to build weapons of mass destruction at an early stage in the Cold War, newly declassified satellite imagery from the Central Intelligence Agency gives us a more precise picture of how and exactly when North Korea started developing the fundamental components of its nuclear weapons program.

Yongbyon Declassified: At Ground Zero

Analysis, Infrastructure & Energy, Nuclear Weapons
The exact origins of North Korea’s nuclear program are still shrouded in mystery despite being the object of study for over twenty-five years. Contrary to common perception, early satellite imagery from the Central Intelligence Agency, taken on December 15, 1962 and June 27, 1963, shows that construction on the Yongbyon Nuclear Research Center in North Korea started sometime after June 27, 1963 and before July 16, 1964.