North Korean Railways and Reconnections? Wonsan Railway Rolling Stock Complex

Infrastructure & Energy
, by , and Commercial satellite imagery shows that the Wonsan Railway Rolling Stock Complex is currently active and appears to be well maintained by North Korean standards. In addition to its production and repair responsibilities, the complex serves as a center for North Korean railroad technical research and development.

What Hostile Policy?: North Korean Views of the United States

Analysis, Foreign Affairs
, by and With the Singapore Summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un on June 12, there is bound to be references made by the North Korean leader to the need to end U.S. “hostile policy” as a precondition for denuclearization. However, CSIS Beyond Parallel research shows that North Korean citizens do not hold uniformly negative impressions of the United States, contrary to the statements of North Korean leaders. A study commissioned by Beyond Parallel of North Koreans currently living inside the country found 68% North Korean respondents do not see the United States as North Korea's enemy.

Across the Tracks: North Korean Railcar Manufacturing and the 2018 Inter-Korean Agreement

Analysis, Infrastructure & Energy
, by , and Chongjin Railway Factory is one of three major railway manufacturing facilities in North Korea's eastern corridor. Analysis of this facility can be a brick-and-mortar sign-post of foundational infrastructure progress if the trust-building project of reconnecting the Koreas' railways is carried out.

The Devil’s Weapons: What Ordinary North Koreans Think about their Nuclear Program

Analysis, Nuclear Weapons
, by and Reports of ubiquitous celebrations of nuclear weapons accomplishments stand in stark contrast with a new micro-survey commissioned by Beyond Parallel of North Korean citizens. Conducted throughout the summer and fall of 2017 with a cross-section of North Korean citizens, the vast majority of North Korean respondents did not have a positive attitude toward their country’s nuclear weapons program.

Unification Transparency Index: Allied Views of China and Japan

Analysis, Economics, Environment, Foreign Affairs, Governance, Health, Human Rights, Humanitarian Aid, Infrastructure & Energy, Legal, Military, Nuclear Weapons, Refugees & Migration
, by South Korea and the United States generally share similar estimations of China’s and Japan’s blind spots in a unification scenario. Both believe that Beijing has the most prominent blind spot on domestic stabilization and refugees, and that Japan shares similar concerns, suggesting that all four powers could prioritize law and order in a unification scenario.

North Korea WMD Activity in December: Naughty or Nice?

Military
, by On November 22, predictive signals by Predata/CSIS Beyond Parallel indicate there is an elevated likelihood of a North Korean WMD activity in the next 14 to 30 day windows. The likelihood of WMD activity in the coming weeks is tempered by the fact that, historically, North Korea has not conducted many tests in the November and December timeframe.

Comparing South Korea and U.S. Perceptions of Korean Unification

Analysis, Economics, Environment, Foreign Affairs, Governance, Health, Human Rights, Humanitarian Aid, Infrastructure & Energy, Legal, Military, Nuclear Weapons, Refugees & Migration
, by Beyond Parallel’s first-ever survey of expert assessments on unification-related issues indicate South Korea and the United States share the common view that domestic stabilization and unification costs constitute the most critical unification blind spots with a high degree of concern but low levels of knowledge for both countries.

Unification Transparency Index: South Korea

Analysis, Economics, Environment, Foreign Affairs, Governance, Health, Human Rights, Humanitarian Aid, Infrastructure & Energy, Legal, Military, Nuclear Weapons, Refugees & Migration
, by Domestic stabilization is the most critical issue with unification for South Korean officials and experts, registering the highest composite score (i.e., high level of concern and low level of knowledge). This means civil-military relations, law and order, and stability in the North represent the issues for which Koreans see great consequences for national interests, but for which they have little prior knowledge or understanding. Hence, it is the greatest potential “blind spot” of unification. Costs related to unification rank a close second for South Koreans, followed by refugees, nuclear weapons, and human rights.