Living History with Ambassador Joseph Yun

Foreign Affairs, Nuclear Weapons
Ambassador Yun
, by 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

Analysis, Nuclear Weapons
, by and 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.

Summit Silver Lining: Absence of North Korean Provocations Continue

Analysis, Foreign Affairs, Nuclear Weapons
, by There has been much criticism of President Trump's impulsive actions and the unconventionality of the Singapore Summit. However, absent a complete breakdown of the encounter between the leaders, the summit is likely to produce a negotiation process between the United States and North Korea that will implement the mandates laid out by the leaders on denuclearization, security assurances, and a peace process on the Korean peninsula.

Seven Takeaways from the April 27 Inter-Korean Summit: Issues and Assessments

Analysis, Foreign Affairs, Nuclear Weapons
, by The absence of specifics on the nuclear issue in the Panmunjeom Declaration means that the inter-Korean summit has passed the nuclear buck on to the U.S.-DPRK summit. In particular, by introducing measures for promoting bilateral relations that are contingent on satisfactorily addressing the nuclear issue, the Panmunjom Declaration makes settling the nuclear issue a precondition for improving inter-Korean relations.

Yongbyon Declassified: At Ground Zero

Analysis, Infrastructure & Energy, Nuclear Weapons
, by and 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.

Yongbyon Declassified Part I: Early Work on First Nuclear Research Reactor

Nuclear Weapons
, by and Despite being the subject of intense study for almost 60 years there is remarkably little independently verifiable information concerning the development of North Korea’s nuclear infrastructure available at the unclassified level. This series of reports entitled "Yongbyon Declassified," tries to rectify that by examining high-resolution satellite imagery acquired by early U.S. reconnaissance programs.

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.

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.