Frank Aum joins USIP from the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies, where he was a Visiting Scholar. From 2010-2017, Mr. Aum served as the senior advisor for North Korea in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. During this time, he advised four Secretaries of Defense on issues related to Northeast Asia and the Korean Peninsula. Mr. Aum also served as head of delegation for working level negotiations in Seoul with the Republic of Korea (ROK), and received the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service.

Mr. Aum previously worked as a corporate attorney, and also has extensive experience in the public and non-profit sectors. He completed a Fulbright Scholarship in Jeju Island, South Korea and worked as a speechwriter in the South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. In addition, he worked to strengthen the Koreatown community in Los Angeles at the city’s Department of Neighborhood Empowerment and the Korean American Coalition (KAC).

Mr. Aum received his B.A. from Dartmouth College, his MPP from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, and his JD from the University of California, Berkeley.

Publications By Frank

What’s Next with North Korea?

What’s Next with North Korea?

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

By: Frank Aum; Ambassador Joseph Yun

It’s been over a month since President Trump became the first sitting American president to set foot in North Korea. After months of stalled talks, this third Trump-Kim meeting was greeted with optimism, as the two leaders agreed to resume working-level negotiations. Not only have those talks not started up again, but North Korea has since conducted several missile tests in what many experts believe is a bid to maintain pressure on Washington and Seoul.

Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue

The North Korea Show: More Than a Photo Op

The North Korea Show: More Than a Photo Op

Monday, July 1, 2019

By: Frank Aum; Ambassador Joseph Yun

News coverage of President Trump’s meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has focused significantly on the optics of their televised encounter at the demarcation line separating North and South Korea. But according to two senior U.S. experts—Ambassador Joseph Yun, the former U.S. special representative for North Korea policy, and Frank Aum, who served as advisor for North Korea to four U.S. defense secretaries—the announced plan for a resumption of working-level talks is potentially significant.

Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue

Frank Aum on North Korea Nuclear Negotiations

Frank Aum on North Korea Nuclear Negotiations

Thursday, June 20, 2019

By: Frank Aum

A year after the first summit between President Trump and Kim Jong Un, “both sides are very much committed to diplomacy and trying to reach an agreement,” says Frank Aum. Despite the stalled talks, Aum says that Chinese President Xi’s visit to North Korea will likely encourage Kim to continue along the path of diplomacy.

Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue

U.S.-North Korea Negotiations: What Happened in Hanoi?

U.S.-North Korea Negotiations: What Happened in Hanoi?

Thursday, February 28, 2019

By: Ambassador Joseph Yun; Frank Aum

President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un unexpectedly cut short their second summit Thursday after failing to come to an agreement to dismantle Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons and provide sanctions relief. USIP’s Ambassador Joseph Yun and Frank Aum explain what happened in Hanoi and what comes next for U.S.-North Korea nuclear diplomacy.

Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue

Have the Stars Lined Up on North Korea?

Have the Stars Lined Up on North Korea?

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

By: Frank Aum

Tomorrow’s summit between President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un represents the best opportunity for peace in the last 20 years. In 2000, the United States came—as former senior Clinton administration official Wendy Sherman described—“tantalizingly close” to achieving an agreement that would halt North Korea’s production, deployment, and testing of long-range missiles. And this was in addition to the 1994 Agreed Framework deal, which froze North Korea’s nuclear facility at Yongbyon. What is different this time around?

Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue

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