May 14, 2018 Joseph Bermudez and Beyond Parallel—
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.
April 27, 2018 Victor Cha—
The inter-Korean summit is an integral piece in a network of summits and high-level diplomacy springing up across the region. The summit between the two Koreas is another positive step in diplomacy that keeps the situation around the Korean peninsula peaceful, moving away from last year’s atmosphere of crisis.
March 28, 2018 Victor Cha and Sue Mi Terry—
On March 25-28, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un traveled with his wife Ri Sol-ju to Beijing to meet Chinese president Xi Jinping. This was Kim Jong-un’s first foreign visit as the head of state and his first visit to China since becoming North Korea’s supreme leader in December 2011.
March 7, 2018 Victor Cha and Gordon LaForge—
According to Predata analytics, Korean internet users showed relative indifference toward the high level inter-Korean exchanges this week. Instead, they appeared to care more about upcoming talks with the Americans. All sides would be well-served to know that public attention to this issue, despite other newsbreaking events around the peninsula these days, is focused and significant.
March 2, 2018 Victor Cha and Marie DuMond—
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.
February 8, 2018 Victor Cha and Marie DuMond—
A study commissioned by Beyond Parallel of North Koreans currently living inside the country found that 34 of 36 of respondents, or 94.4%, felt that unification is necessary. The majority of respondents, 44.1%, cited the shared ethnicity between North and South Korean’s as the main reason unification should occur.
December 5, 2017 Joseph Bermudez and Lisa Collins—
On November 24, 2017, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang told reporters that the Sino-North Korean Friendship Bridge will be closed temporarily in the “near future” for repairs. A detailed analysis of DigitalGlobe satellite imagery from November 24th shows no activity on the bridge—repair or otherwise.
December 4, 2017 Marie DuMond—
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.
November 13, 2017 Marie DuMond—
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.
October 18, 2017 Marie DuMond—
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.