Modern Korean History | Wilson Center

Modern Korean History

Fall 2017 Internship: Mapping North Korea’s Nuclear Program

This position has been filled for the fall and we are no longer accepting applications.

Is Beijing Bound to Defend North Korea during War?

According to Global Fellow Chen Jian, the Sino-DPRK treaty does not obligate China to support North Korea if Pyongyang were to attack the US.

The “Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance between the People’s Republic and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea” of 1961 was drafted in a hurry. 

Although there had been general discussions between the Chinese and North Koreans concerning a potential treaty of alliance prior to mid-1961, no substantial negotiations or progress had been made.

NKIDP Visited by North-South Korean Students

NKIDP Visited by North-South Korean Students

Woodrow Wilson Center

July 17, 2017

Regime Change in North Korea: Be Careful What You Wish For

Is the Trump administration seriously contemplating changing the regime in North Korea? Frankly, the signals are mixed.

“We do not want to overthrow him”: Beijing, Moscow, and Kim Il Sung, 1956

A new tranche of Soviet documents on the attempted removal of North Korea’s founding leader

With the growing threat of North Korea’s nuclear program, and the regime’s exasperating behavior on the international stage, it is not uncommon to hear the talk of replacing Kim Jong-un with someone more pliable—whether by a decapitating military strike or a commando-style assassination.

Mythbuster: Beijing’s Relationship with Pyongyang

History demonstrates the difficult but ultimately resilient relationship between China and North Korea

Left, Right, and Rhee

The complicated political views of South Korea’s first president reveal the tangled origins of the Korean War

Syngman Rhee: Socialist

To download this Working Paper, please click here.

CWIHP Working Paper 82

Syngman Rhee: Socialist

David P. Fields[1]
June 2017

The Gwangju Uprising: A Battle over South Korea's History

The contested memory of South Korea's most famous democratic uprising

To South Koreans, Gwangju is not just the name of a southwestern city on the Korean Peninsula. The site of a large-scale civil uprising which was brutally suppressed by Army Major General Chun Doo-hwan’s military junta in 1980, Gwangju also symbolizes the early years of South Korea’s democratic movement.

The Korean War Remembered: Seoul vs Pyongyang

Conflicting interpretations of the Korean War are offered in museums in Seoul and Pyongyang, exposing and contributing to tensions between North and South Korea