With significant uncertainty surrounding the proposed Trump-Kim summit scheduled for June 12 in Singapore, South Korean President Moon Jae-in is in Washington this week to ensure the historic meeting happens. Whether its sanctions relief or appropriating peacebuilding funds, the U.S. Congress will play a pivotal role in any settlement with North Korea. Amid questions about Pyongyang’s intent and past negotiating behavior, Steve Russell (R-OK) and Congressmen Ted Lieu (D-CA), both military veterans, offered their support for the Trump administration’s participation in the summit during a bipartisan dialogue at the U.S. Institute of Peace.
At a historic inter-Korean summit Friday, North and South Korean leaders pledged to work to remove all nuclear weapons from the Korean Peninsula and declare an end to the Korean War within a year. Whi...
In the fast-moving diplomacy over North Korea’s nuclear program, the long-term interests of the country’s powerful neighbor China don’t make headlines. Yet behind China’s tactical moves such as President Xi Jinping’s meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un last month lie strategic questions about what China—vital to any resolution of the North Korea nuclear issue—envisions as a satisfactory end state for the Korean Peninsula.
The surprise visit to Beijing by North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un could offer both Kim and Chinese President Xi Jinping stronger hands for upcoming discussions with the United States, says USIP analyst Frank Aum. As news of the meeting broke, Aum, who previously advised the U.S. Defense Department on Korea issues, discussed its implications.
This week, President Donald Trump said he is accepting an invitation by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to meet face to face, perhaps as soon as May. Such a meeting would be the first between a sitting U.S. president and a leader of North Korea. Frank Aum, USIP’s senior expert on North Korea, told NPR on March 8 that the news made him “optimistic and terrified at the same time.”
Last week’s “sports diplomacy” between South and North Korean negotiators—the first direct dialogue in more than two years—was a good first step in reducing tensions on the Korean Peninsula. North Korea’s participation in next month’s Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, along with news that the joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises will be delayed until late April, has produced a rare window of opportunity for diplomatic progress.
Frank Aum discusses the dangers of war with North Korea, offers possible solutions to the crisis and tells us what he thinks the chances are for diplomacy and negotiation.
North Korea’s successful test of a new intercontinental missile capable of reaching the U.S. mainland has escalated an already dangerous standoff. After the Hwasong-15 missile soared 2,800 miles high and then crashed in waters off Japan, U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un now has the ability to hit "everywhere in the world, basically."
The U.S. plans to continue diplomatic and military support for African nations but expects its counterparts to step up significantly in areas ranging from fighting corruption to countering terrorism and stopping arms purchases from North Korea, U.S. officials said during a symposium at the U.S. Institute of Peace.
Despite Pyongyang’s recent ballistic missile and nuclear activity and threats, Beijing continues to resist US requests to apply greater economic pressure on North Korea. This measured response aside, nuanced but highly significant changes in China’s thinking on North Korea are clear. China may now be willing to envision both a future in which North Korea is not a sovereign state and a greater role for the Chinese military in any contingency. This Peace Brief reviews this thinking as well as potential Chinese motivations to intervene militarily in a Korea contingency and the implications for US policy.