Living History


Living History with Ambassador Kathleen Stephens

Witnessing South Korea’s Post-War Economic and Democratic Growth Firsthand

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. Ambassador Stephens was the first female ambassador and one of the few Korean-speaking senior U.S. diplomats to serve in that position since the opening of the U.S. embassy in Seoul in 1949.

Ambassador Chung Chong Wook

Navigating Dangerous Waters: The 1994 North Korean Nuclear Crisis

This Living History interview features Ambassador Chung Chong Wook. Ambassador Chung served as the Republic of Korea’s ambassador to China from 1996 to 1998 and as a senior secretary to President Kim Young-sam for national security and foreign policy from 1993 to 1994. While serving in government, he witnessed and was involved in a series of dramatic and rapid developments in inter-Korean relations and U.S. policy toward North Korea.

Ambassador Joseph Yun

Efforts to Maintain a Channel of Diplomatic Engagement with North Korea

This Living History interview features Ambassador Joseph Yun who served as the 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 from October 2016 to March 2018. Prior to that position, he was the United States Ambassador to Malaysia from 2013 to 2016. From 2005 to 2008, Ambassador Yun also served as the Minister Counselor for Political Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul where he oversaw domestic, regional and bilateral policy coordination between the United States and South Korea.

Ambassador Chun Yung-woo

Multilateral Engagement to Resolve the North Korean Nuclear Issue

This Living History interview features Ambassador Chun Yung-woo. Ambassador Chun was National Security Advisor to ROK President Lee Myung-bak from 2010 to 2013 and was Second Vice Minister at the ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade from 2009 to 2010. Prior to that he served as ROK ambassador to the United Kingdom from 2008 to 2009 and head of the ROK delegation to the Six Party Talks from 2006 to 2008. In this interview, Chun reflects particularly upon his experience as Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs and head of the South Korean delegation to the Six Party Talks, a multilateral negotiation to denuclearize North Korea that resulted in two sets of agreements in 2005 and 2007.

Ambassador Christopher Hill

Negotiating the Six Party Talks and Dealing with North Korea’s Nuclear Program

In 2003, the Six Party Talks were launched to seek a peaceful resolution to the challenges posed by North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. The Six Party Talks were designed to be a multilateral mechanism for negotiations with all the relevant stakeholders in the region. The participating states included China, South Korea, North Korea, the United States, Japan, and Russia.

Former ROK Foreign Minister Han Sung-Joo

U.S.-ROK Allied Coordination in Negotiating 1994 AGREED FRAMEWORK

The 1994 Geneva Agreed Framework was signed between the United States and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) on October 21, 1994.

Michael Kirby


The United Nations Human Rights Council established the Commission of Inquiry (COI) on Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) on March 21, 2013. The mission of the Commission was to investigate the “systematic, widespread and grave violations of human rights” in the DPRK, otherwise known as North Korea. After countless hours of careful examination of the substantial evidence provided by hundreds of witnesses at public hearings, the commissioners launched the report in Geneva on February 17, 2014.

Ambassador Robert Gallucci

Negotiating the 1994 Agreed Framework

The 1994 Agreed Framework was the result of negotiations between the United States and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) over the course of nearly two years. Signed on October 21, 1994, the goal of the agreement was to freeze North Korea’s suspected nuclear weapons program.

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