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John Park, a senior program officer who directs the Korea Working Group, analyzes prospects for the July 28-29 U.S.-North Korea “exploratory” meeting in New York. After more than two years of “strategic patience” exercised by the United States in not rushing into negotiations with North Korea without its firm commitment to denuclearization, why is this bilateral meeting taking place now?
Key elements in China’s Communist Party, military, and business circles have steered China’s North Korea policy toward achieving stability and strengthening ties to Pyongyang, complicating U.S. efforts to enlist China’s help at reining in North Korean provocations.
Latest from USIP on South Korea
- July 27, 2012 | Publication
Although each revolution is different, each successful case of democratic breakthrough shares common domestic and international influences. This report examines 11 cases of past successes at removing autocratic regimes and establishing elections. It then applies its findings to the emerging revolutions of the Arab Spring.
- April 20, 2012 | Publication
On March 28, USIP's Korea Working Group (KWG), headed by John Park, convened the 5th USIP-Korea Institute for National Unification (KINU) Washington Workshop titled "The Outlook for the North Korean Situation and Prospects for U.S.-ROK Cooperation After the Death of Kim Jong-il.".
- April 18, 2012 | Publication
Truth Commission: South Korea
Truth Commission: Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Duration: December 2005-December 2010 (five years)
Charter: Law No. 7542 (May 31, 2005)
Commissioners: 14 male, 1 female
Report: Public report
- March 15, 2012 | Publication
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. Ambassadors, Deputy Chiefs of Mission, and Heads of Political Section from over 30 embassies participated in the briefing.
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.
The Current Situation
On June 3, North Korea revealed that it had been engaged in South Korea-initiated secret talks. South Korea acknowledged that these talks had taken place in Beijing, but denied North Korea’s claim that South Korean officials had offered bribes for an inter-Korean summit. North Korea declared that it would not deal with the Lee Myung-bak administration for the remainder of its term. The significance of this development is that it derails Beijing’s threestage proposal for resuming the stalled Six-Party Talks. Stage one called for an improvement in inter-Korean relations. Stage two set out U.S.-North Korea talks. Stage three envisioned the culmination of this process with a restart of the Six-Party Talks. While this is a disappointment for Seoul in its efforts to improve inter-Korean ties, this is also a major setback for Beijing’s plan to facilitate a resumption of the Six-Party Talks. Chinese leaders are concerned that if they remain deadlocked, the region will become more unstable, particularly in light of the North Korean provocations against the South last year.