Stories Filed Under “North Korea”

Open Source Research on North Korea: Challenges and Opportunities

SSDC US-Korea Institute at SAIS

The U.S.-Korea Institute at SAIS and the Sejong Society of Washington, D.C. present:

Open Source Research on North Korea: Challenges and Opportunities


Joseph S. Bermudez Jr.
Co-Founder and Chief Analytics Officer
AllSource Analysis, Inc.

Michael Madden
Author and Editor
North Korea Leadership Watch

Curtis Melvin
U.S.-Korea Institute at SAIS, Johns Hopkins

Moderated by:
Jenny Town
Assistant Director, USKI
Managing Editor and Producer, 38North

The persistent lack of reliable information on North Korea poses unique and significant challenges for policymakers, researchers, academics, and businesses who have an interest in understanding North Korea. With limits on the integrity and diversity of information coming out of the country, we are often driven to make decisions under conditions of information asymmetry and false perceptions, or sometimes fail to make a decision at all because no information is available. This challenge has not only affected our decision-making with regards to North Korea’s nuclear program and human rights issues, but has also hindered us from gaining a strategic understanding of the country’s leadership, politics, and economy.

Over the past decade, however, the advent of new technologies and methods has opened new opportunities to mitigate this information gap through open source research. Several analytical websites on North Korea have also begun to provide an open forum for disseminating and discussing the research and information. This type of open source information has often become the foundation for further research, analysis, and policy decisions, and therefore merits further discussion.

 On June 3, Joseph S. Bermudez Jr., Michael Madden, and Curtis Melvin will share their experience conducting research and analysis on North Korea and will offer perspectives on enhancing open source research on the reclusive country.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

*Light dinner provided at 6:00pm, event will start 6:30pm

Room 500
Bernstein-Offit Building (BOB)
Johns Hopkins SAIS
1717 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, D.C., 20036

This event is on the record.

Please RSVP here


Joseph S. Bermudez Jr. is an internationally recognized analyst, award winning author and lecturer on North Korean defense and intelligence affairs and ballistic missile development in the Third World. He is Chief Analytics Officer and co-founder of AllSource Analysis, Inc. and has served as: senior all-source analyst for DigitalGlobe’s Analysis Center; senior analyst, consultant and author for IHS Jane’s (formerly the Jane’s Information Group); the publisher and editor of KPA Journal; author and consultant for the US-Korea Institute at SAIS’s 38North and other related positions. Mr. Bermudez has consulted and lectured extensively in academic and government environments and worked as a consultant, both in the US and overseas. He has also testified before the United Nations and U.S. Congress as a subject matter expert concerning North Korea’s ballistic missile and nuclear, chemical and biological warfare programs, and the use of satellite imagery to monitor North Korean political prisoner camps.

Michael Madden is the author and editor of the website NK Leadership Watch, and is a Leadership Specialist at NK News Pro. NK Leadership Watch focuses on North Korea’s leadership and political culture and the political and military organizations and institutions under the leadership’s direct and indirect control including the Korean Worker’s Party (KWP), the National Defense Commission (NDC), and the North Korean government.

Curtis Melvin is the author and editor of North Korean Economy Watch since 2006 and is a researcher at the U.S.-Korea Institute at SAIS, Johns Hopkins University and a contributor to 38 North. Among other numerous research and analysis on North Korea, Curtis is a chief contributor to 38 North’s Digital Atlas, the most comprehensive satellite mapping project of North Korea. Curtis received his BBA in Economics from the University of Georgia and his MA in Economics from George Mason University. He is a doctoral candidate in Economics at George Mason University.

Open Source Research on North Korea: Challenges and Opportunities

Wednesday, Jun 3, 2015 – Open Source Research on North Korea: Challenges and Opportunities

Defector Empowerment in South Korea: Implications for North Korea’s Future

logos for event

The U.S.-Korea institute at SAIS, North Korea Strategy Center, and the Sejong Society of Washington, D.C. are pleased to present “Defector empowerment in South Korea: Implications for North Korea’s future.”   Please join us for a discussion with North Korean defectors and activists Cheol Hwan Kang, Se Jun Park and Eunju Kim to talk about some of the programs and projects the defector community has undertaken, and how they hope to affect the future of the DPRK.



Cheol Hwan Kang| Executive Director, North Korea Strategy Center; Former political prisoner in North Korea; Author, “Aquariums of Pyongyang”

Eunju Kim| North Korean defector; Author, “An Eleven Year Old’s Will”

  Se Jun Park| President of Woorihana; Former North Korean doctor

Wednesday, March 4
6:00 – 8:00 PM
(Refreshments provided)
Rome Auditorium
1619 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC 20036

Please RSVP here.

*This event will be webcast HERE.



Defector Empowerment in South Korea: Implications for North Korea’s Future

Wednesday, Mar 4, 2015 – Defector Empowerment in South Korea: Implications for North Korea’s Future

Seeking Program & Research Interns

The US-Korea Institute at SAIS is seeking program and research interns for immediate hire. Multiple positions are open, duties will vary. Current areas of research include: North Korea political, economic, and social development, North Korean WMD issues, US-ROK nuclear cooperation, US-ROK cooperation in Southeast Asia, US-ROK cooperation nuclear security, US foreign policy to both Koreas, energy security cooperation in Northeast Asia, ROK renewable energy policies, and more. Candidates with a background in security and Asia issues preferred for immediate open positions.

Interns generally are asked to work on a variety of tasks including research assistance, event attendance and reporting, logistical support for events and projects, and other things as necessary. They may work with USKI staff and/or Visiting Scholars on various projects.

Successful candidates should have an interest in Korea and/or East Asia policy and be at least a sophomore in college or higher; graduate students and post-grads are encouraged to apply. Foreign language skills are a plus, but not necessary. Strong writing and editing skillls are preferred. Must be able to multitask, prioritize, meet deadlines, and work well both independently and in small groups.

USKI internships are unpaid and interns are expected to work at least 4 days a week.

To apply, please email cover letter, resume and short writing sample to Michelle Kae, Research Assistant at Only those chosen for interview will be contacted. No phone calls please.

Getting Beyond Politics: Creating Lasting Impact in North Korea

Wednesday, Feb 4, 2015 – Getting Beyond Politics: Creating Lasting Impact in North Korea

Human Rights in North Korea and US Policy

Monday, Dec 8, 2014 – Human Rights in North Korea and US Policy