The U.S. Embassy in Seoul sent this cable to the State Department on February 18, 2010. It summarizes what Assistant Secretary Kurt Campbell learned from meetings with South Korean leaders and experts about the possibilities of succession in North Korea.
Asia policy expert Michael Green says the Obama administration is taking a cautious approach to any bilateral talks on North Korea's denuclearization, noting Pyongyang's backsliding after the Bush administration adopted a softer tone.
Korea expert Victor D. Cha says effective implementation of the UN sanctions imposed on Pyongyang in June prompted recent conciliatory gestures from the regime. He says the United States might resume bilateral talks with North Korea in addition to pursuing multilateral discussions on Pyongyang's nuclear program.
CFR Korea expert Scott A. Snyder says the visit to Pyongyang by former President Bill Clinton, which won the pardon of two U.S. journalists, provided a rare opportunity to gauge North Korea's views as nuclear talks remain stalled.
Human rights in North Korea have been on the diplomatic back burner with Washington preoccupied over the nuclear question. Human rights specialist Roberta Cohen proposes a multilateral security mechanism for Northeast Asia that focuses on a broad range of issues, from energy to human rights.
China is North Korea’s biggest trade partner and arguably has the most leverage on Kim Jong-un’s regime. But while Beijing appears willing to condemn its neighbor’s nuclear developments, analysts say its cautious policies remain focused on stability.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2015 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass. Read and download »