Read Glyn Ford’s articles on North Korea

Japan’s next leader has a chance to reshape the country’s North Korea policy

Tokyo has long insisted on resolving the abduction issue first, but the public increasingly prioritizes denuclearization. Earlier this month, after a collapse in his poll ratings, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced he would stand down as leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). Given the LDP’s majority in parliament, the winner of the […]

G7 countries made a dangerous and unhelpful statement on North Korea

The joint statement issued by several nations’ foreign ministers at the G7 meeting in London this week is a huge step backwards for North Korea policy, reminiscent of George W. Bush’s “axis of evil” rhetoric from the early 2000s.  Unless quickly walked back and qualified, this statement effectively kills any chance of engagement with Pyongyang. The G7 countries […]

“Where are we, how did we get here and where are we going!?” Speech at World Korean Forum in Moscow

The seeds of this year’s crisis on the Peninsula were sown in 2019 when Kim’s surprisingly magnanimous offer in his 2019 New Year’s Address was disdainfully spurned in Hanoi by Donald Trump. It’s not clear whether it was knowing rejected or whether Washington just missed the sheep in wolf’s clothing. The problem is the New Year’s Address […]

Why There Are Few Good Options If Kim Jong-un Were to Die

Kim’s death will be when it’s convenient. The North Korean system is a well-oiled machine capable of running for weeks or months without his hands on the tiller of state, so a matter of days is unproblematic. It will barely be noticed. As we’ve seen in the previous two transitions there is a distinct lacuna […]

Revisiting Kim Jong Un’s New Year’s Address: Missed Signals and Opportunities in 2019

It’s that time of year again. Pyongyang’s version of “The State of the Union” is in early draft as time ticks down towards Kim Jong Un’s New Year’s Address. Everything suggests a sharp U-turn for the worse. Pyongyang’s posse of foreign policy experts have been rounded up to bash Washington, Kim Jong Un has made […]

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