Modern Korean History

Catch-Up: Read the Latest Research and Commentary from the Asia Program

At the Asia Program, our experts and scholars are always producing new research and analysis on a rapidly changing region.  Our most recent pieces look at North Korea, Japan, China, and Taiwan to explore foreign policy, diplomacy, military strategy, and trade.  All of our reports are available for download on our website.  You can also sign up for our mailing lists to be updated about upcoming events, recent publications, and other news. 

New Year, New Strategy: Shifting Policies on North Korea in 2018

After more than a year of escalating tensions over North Korea’s nuclear provocations and a war of words between Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump, we have seen an abrupt shift in strategy on the Korean Peninsula. Declaring himself content with North Korea’s nuclear weapons arsenal in late 2017, Kim Jong Un began 2018 with a new approach: diplomatic outreach. A summit between Kim and ROK President Moon Jae-in inside the Demilitarized Zone will be held later this month, the first inter-Korean summit in more than a decade.

When Trump Meets Kim

The long-simmering crisis between North Korea and the United States has reached a new, consequential phase. President Trump’s decision to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will be a decisive moment in a struggle that has lasted since the United States first suspected North Korea of harboring nuclear ambitions in the 1980s. Regardless of how the summit may transpire, one thing is clear: this challenge, and the geopolitics of East Asia, will never be the same again.
 

Conversations with Zhou Enlai: The Collection Continues to Grow

The Cold War International History Project has just translated and published 25 of Zhou Enlai's conversations with other world leaders, including Kim Il Sung, Ho Chi Minh, and Gamal Abdel Nasser.

North Korean Psychological Warfare Operations in South Vietnam

A Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security publication offers more clues of North Korea’s involvement in the Vietnam War

In the late 1990s, both the Vietnamese and North Korean governments began making very limited public disclosures regarding the participation of North Korean military personnel in combat operations against US and allied forces during the Vietnam War.

South Korea’s First Major Sporting Event—and Why It Never Took Place

North Korean military provocations derailed Seoul’s plans to host the 1970 Asian Games

Sporting events on the Korean Peninsula have a tendency to become highly political.

Most recently, the PyeongChang Winter Olympics allowed South Korea and North Korea to calm tensions on the peninsula and to deliberate over a possible reunification sometime in the future. Simultaneously, the Games served to illustrate South Korea’s respectable position within the international community and North Korea’s status as an outsider.

The Asian Financial Crisis, 20 Years On

Over two decades have passed since what started as a currency issue in a Thailand quickly spiraled into a financial crisis that enveloped over a dozen countries in Asia.  Through years of concerted intervention by both governments and commercial interests, including the International Monetary Fund, the region was stabilized. Asia is now the world’s most economically dynamic region.  But are Asian nations prepared for another crisis, and what lies ahead for the global economy? 

“We will fight them to the last man”: North Korea and the USS Pueblo

On January 23, 1968, the North Koreans captured the US intelligence-gathering ship Pueblo, killing one crew member and taking 82 prisoner. Interrogated and tortured by their captors, the crew were held in North Korea for 11 months before being freed in December 1968.

Pages