USIP conducts ongoing research and policy analysis on major developments on the Korean Peninsula through three Track 1.5 projects – the Korea Working Group (KWG), the U.S. China Project on Crisis Avoidance and Cooperation (PCAC), and the U.S.-ROK-Japan Trilateral Dialogue in Northeast Asia (TDNA). Based on key findings from CAP's ongoing research interviews with Asian government think tank counterparts, KWG director Dr. John Park conducts regular briefings for senior Congressional staffers and officials at the State Department and the Pentagon. Recent briefings focused on:
- China's supporting role in accelerated North Korean leadership succession process via the Communist Party of China-Workers' Party of Korea channel - a largely underexamined relationship with major implications for the U.S.' North Korea policy;
- Beijing's "Sunshine Policy with Chinese Characteristics;"
- the motivations for and limitations of Beijing's efforts to defuse tensions on the Korean peninsula following North Korea's artillery attack on South Korea's Yeonpyeong Island.
Following North Korea’s April missile test, the UN Security Council designated additional North Korean entities as part of an expanded sanctions effort. Although this action was
intended to send a clear message to the new leadership in Pyongyang, it raised questions about the efficacy of increasing sanctions on the world’s most sanctioned country. Keen to prevent the collapse of a fragile regime on its northeastern border, China’s policy actions appear to be undermining existing sanctions measures. North Korea’s overall trade volume in 2011 was $6.3 billion of which $5.6 billion (over 88%) was with China. In 2004, approximately 48% of North Korea’s trade was with China.
An unintended consequence of sanctions is North Korea’s greater dependence on China as an important coping mechanism. Key findings from USIP’s Track 1.5 activities indicate that growing divergences among countries in terms of their priority policy goal in dealing with North Korea are fostering a situation where the elites in Pyongyang are deepening their commercial ties with Chinese partners and accumulating more wealth. If current trend lines continue, a nuclear North Korea will become a firmly embedded part of the security landscape in Northeast Asia. Read More: USIP tracks the situation on the Korean Peninsula
USIP Goals Regarding the Korean Peninsula
USIP is advancing conflict prevention and peacebuilding efforts on the Korean Peninsula through a variety of programs and Track 1.5 projects involving policymakers, analysts and NGOs:
- Korea Working Group (KWG)
- U.S.-ROK-Japan Trilateral Dialogue in Northeast Asia (TDNA)
- U.S.-China Project on Crisis Avoidance and Cooperation (PCAC)
What Does North Korea's Ballistic Missile Test Tell Us about the Reclusive Country?
On the Issues | April 2012
John Park, a senior program officer who directs USIP's Korea Working Group, examines what North Korea's planned long-range missile test reveals about the hermit nation and what the after effects will be for the key parties.
North Korea’s Planned Missile Test Steals the Spotlight at the Seoul Nuclear Security Summit
On the Issues | March 2012
John Park, a senior program officer who directs USIP’s Korea Working Group, examines North Korea’s preparations for a “satellite launch,” which has cast a long shadow over the Seoul Nuclear Security Summit.
Briefing on the Seoul Nuclear Security Summit
News Feature | March 2012
On March 12, the U.S. Institute of Peace’s (USIP) Center for Conflict Management and the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs co-convened a closed briefing on the Seoul Nuclear Security Summit for senior diplomats of countries whose head of state will be participating in the summit.
USIP Launches Track 1.5 Project on Preventing Nuclear Security Breaches
In the Field | May 2011
During May 12-13, 2011 USIP co-convened the 1st Seoul Nuclear Security Summit Study Group (SNS3G) workshop in Seoul.
Watch, listen and learn as USIP experts and events address issues regarding the Korean Peninsula:
Post-2012 Northeast Asia: Challenges & Opportunities for the U.S., Japan and South Korea
Event Audio | December 15, 2011
To Give or Not to Give: What's Driving the Current Deliberations on DPRK Food Aid
USIP Event Summary | May 5, 2011
Health, Migration and the Future of North Korea
Event Audio | October 19, 2010
- USIP Expert John Park discusses Kim Jong-eun's appointment and promotion
C-SPAN | October 4, 2010
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