James Person, NKIDP Coordinator, Delivers Talk at KORUS House

Jun 01, 2009

During a 1 June 2009 talk at KORUS House, NKIDP Coordinator James Person explored the history of the Sino-DPRK alliance, as well as its impact on current issues.

Drawing upon documentary evidence from the archives of the DPRK's former allies, Person cited numerous examples of friction within what was once described by Mao Zedong as an alliance as close as "lips and teeth." These have included the cultural revolution, the PRC's 1980 denunciation of Kim Jong Il's appointment as his father's successor, and Beijing's diplomatic recognition of Seoul in 1992.

Given North Korea's goal of creating a 'strong and prosperous nation' by 2012, and its desire to avoid becoming dependent on China, Person postulated that countries like the U.S. and the ROK might use the DPRK's attempts to diversify its external relationships as a new window of opportunity.

Learn more by visiting the KORUS House website.

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Experts & Staff

  • Christian F. Ostermann // Director, History and Public Policy Program; Global Europe; Cold War International History Project; North Korea Documentation Project; Nuclear Proliferation International History Project
  • James Person // Deputy Director, History and Public Policy Program; Cold War International History Project; North Korea Documentation Project; Nuclear Proliferation International History Project
  • Charles Kraus // Program Assistant
  • Roy O. Kim // Program Assistant