Stories Filed Under “U.S.-DPRK relations”

4/3: Nuclear Proliferation: the Case of North Korea

GLF_Jonathan Pollack Invite w border

3/7: A Russian Perspective on the Korean Peninsula

The US-Korea Institute at SAIS presents

A Russian Perspective on the Korean Peninsula

 Tuesday, March 7, 2017

2:00 PM – 3:30 PM
Bernstein Offit Building, Room 500
1717 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20036

A discussion with Mr. Alexander Ilitchev. Given Russia’s historic relations with North Korea stretching several decades, there are a lot of speculations about how Russia will deal with recent provocations by North Korea. Mr. Ilitchev will share his analyses on how Moscow sees Pyongyang recently in the context of the new administration in the United States.

Watch a taping of this event

The US-Korea Institute at SAIS presents

Tuesday, Mar 7, 2017 – The US-Korea Institute at SAIS presents

The US-Korea Institute at SAIS and Intermedia present

Wednesday, Mar 1, 2017 – The US-Korea Institute at SAIS and Intermedia present

An Information Based Strategy to Reduce North Korea’s Increasing Threat: Recommendations for ROK & U.S. Policy Makers

Commander Fredrick “Skip” Vincenzo, USN


“Deterrence works, until it doesn’t.”—Sir Lawrence Freedman

The United States’ current approach to North Korea does not fundamentally resolve the risks of its belligerent behavior nor halt the development of its nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. As these capabilities are improved, there is greater potential that Kim Jong-un, the leader of North Korea—confident he can deter a regime-threatening reaction—will attempt a violent provocation to achieve political objectives but in doing so miscalculates and instead sparks a crisis which escalates disastrously. While the United States has contingency plans for a wide range of conflict scenarios, executing them would be extraordinarily costly—the military capabilities Pyongyang has now amassed would inflict catastrophic damage.

James Clapper, the U.S. Director of National Intelligence, has repeatedly warned that Pyongyang is “committed to developing a long-range, nuclear-armed missile that is capable of posing a direct threat to the United States…” and that “North Korea has already taken initial steps toward fielding this system…”1 With such a capability, Kim is attempting force the international community to accommodate him to avoid conflict. However, he could underestimate U.S. resolve, which in turn would ignite conflict. If the Kim regime falls, a nuclear-armed, fragmented military could strike the United States.

Click here to download the full report.

Remembering Amb. Stephen Bosworth

Ambassador Stephen Bosworth, 1939-2016. (Photo: Kaveh Sardari/USKI)

Ambassador Stephen Bosworth, 1939-2016. (Photo: Kaveh Sardari/USKI)

Ambassador Stephen Warren Bosworth died of pancreatic cancer in his home in Boston on Monday, January 4, 2016.

Stephen Bosworth was a career American diplomat and was chairman of the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and held an appointment as a Senior Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He was also served as the Payne Lecturer at the Freeman Spogli Institute at Stanford University in 2014.

Ambassador Bosworth served as Dean of The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University from 2001-2013. His administration at Fletcher is credited with increasing the size of the Fletcher faculty and student body while securing the financial soundness of the school during a period of economic uncertainty. He oversaw the creation of new degree programs that have significantly expanded the scope of The Fletcher School’s teaching, research, and global outreach. During his tenure as Dean at the Fletcher School, Ambassador Bosworth also served President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as United States Special Representative for North Korea Policy from 2009 to 2011.

“Stephen Bosworth was among the best diplomats of his generation. A consummate professional and a student of history, he managed American foreign policy skillfully at critical junctures and left an indelible imprint on America’s policy toward Asia,” said Vali Nasr, dean of Johns Hopkins SAIS, “He was a transformational dean at the Fletcher School at Tufts University where he oversaw development of new programs. Insightful, kind and considerate, he was a great influence on friends and colleagues and generations of students who studied international affairs.”

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U.S. Policy Toward North Korea

The International Bar Association (North America), Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, Defense Forum Foundation, North Korea Freedom Coalition, The Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, US-Korea Institute at SAIS, and the Yonsei Center for Human Liberty and Freedom House present a conference to discuss the importance of making human rights a central pillar of U.S. policy toward North Korea.

U.S. Policy Toward North Korea:
The Case for Instituting a More Effective, Human Rights-Centric Approach

Justice Michael Kirby
Chair of the UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in North Korea

Tuesday, October 27, 2015
*Reception from 5:30-7:00pm

Kenney Auditorium
Johns Hopkins SAIS
1740 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC 20036

The conference will bring together decision-makers on Capitol Hill and in the Administration, as well as civil society, to discuss U.S. policy toward North Korea.  A keynote speech will be delivered by Justice Michael Kirby, who was appointed by UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon to chair the UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in North Korea. (Please click HERE to read the Commission’s landmark report.)

Conference topics will include:
(1) the current human rights situation in North Korea,
(2) existing and proposed sanctions directed at the North Korean regime
(3) accountability measures for past and ongoing human rights violations in North Korea, and
(4) indigenous and cross-border activities aimed at advancing human rights in North Korea.

Please RSVP here:

Full agenda can be found HERE.



North Korea is a country of extremes. It is home to the longest running human rights disaster in modern times.  It also is among the world’s worst proliferators of weapons of mass destruction.  Further, it is a profoundly destabilizing force in the increasingly turbulent, but strategically vital East Asia region.  Has the decades long “security first” approach toward North Korea, which de-emphasized human rights concerns in the hopes of advancing security related goals, been successful?  Many have argued that a pivot to a more human rights-centric policy is not only a more principled approach to the North Korean challenge, but is a more effective one as well.  The regime’s extreme reactions to discussions about its human rights record, especially since February 2014 when the United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in North Korea issued its landmark report on human rights, suggests that focusing greater attention on human rights may be an important and under-exploited source of leverage.

Already, there is strong bi-partisan Congressional support to address more forcefully North Korea’s human rights record, as evidenced by proposed sanctions bills currently under consideration in the House and Senate. Given that less problematic countries, including Zimbabwe, Burma and until recently Cuba, are more heavily sanctioned than North Korea, might passage of tougher sanctions bring greater coherence to overall U.S. sanctions policy?

We look forward to seeing you on October 27 and to hearing diverse views on the most effective ways to address one of the most acute and longest running human rights crises of the last half century.