Modern Korean History | Wilson Center

Modern Korean History

Fellow Atsuhito Isozaki Analyzes the Kim Jong-Un Administration

In an article for Lianhe Zaobao, Singapore's largest Chinese-language newspaper, Wilson Center Fellow Atsuhito Isozaki analyzes the trends of the Kim Jong-Un regime, comparing it to the former administration. While his father had close relatives, advisors, and even his former Japanese sushi chef, all of whom would recount the extent of his absolute power and ruling style, no similar witnesses have emerged to recount Kim Jong-Un's exercise of power. Therefore we misread the administration more often.

Program Intern (Modern Korean History)

Spring Semester Application Deadline is 6 November 2016

OFF-SITE EVENT - A Peninsula Divided: North Korea and Security in East Asia

An off-site discussion hosted by the The Pacific Council. For any questions and to register, please contact them directly.

KINU Director, Dr. Choi Jinwook on Inter-Korean Relations

On July 26th, the Wilson Center’s Hyundai Motor-Korea Foundation Center for Korean History and Public Policy hosted Dr. Choi Jinwook, President of the Korea Institute for National Unification (KINU) for a closed-door roundtable discussion on the current state and near-term prospects for inter-Korean relations.

OFFSITE EVENT - "Ode to My Father" Film Screening at the Ohio State University

This is an off-site event not taking place at the Wilson Center, for further details please contact the Ohio State University's Institute for Korean Studies directly.

2016 Wilson Center-PeaceCorea Conference: The Future of US and ROK Policy toward North Korea

Please join the Wilson Center’s Hyundai Motor-Korea Foundation Center for Korean History and Public Policy and Peace Corea, Seoul, for a timely discussion on U.S. and ROK policies toward North Korea. Panels will assess the policies of the current U.S. and ROK governments toward North Korea, and provide recommendations for the next administrations. 

Session 1: Korean and U.S. Governments policies toward North Korea

The US Needs to Negotiate with North Korea

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. For years we have applied industrial-strength unilateral and multilateral sanctions in an attempt to force North Korea to denuclearize. We have also urged China — North Korea’s neighbor and largest trading partner — to use its unique leverage to halt Kim Jong Un’s provocations, which also threaten China.

North Korea’s Lesson from Gaddafi

North Korea’s politics under Kim Jong-Un are even more of a black box than the case under his father, Kim Jong Il. However, it seems that North Korea's dependence on nuclear weapons as a deterrent was reinforced by witnessing the Libyan situation. Kim Jong-Un himself has noted that he has learned "a lesson from the Middle Eastern countries" in his development of North Korea’s nuclear program.

On NK, freeze can be layover to denuclearization

North Korea tested a fifth nuclear device in violation of the United Nations Security Council resolutions. Held on the sixty-eighth anniversary of the regime's founding, the test comes fresh on the heels of a series of ballistic missile tests on Monday as world powers gathered for a G20 meeting in China. North Korea advances its threat capabilities with each nuclear and ballistic missile test. It is time for an immediate re-assessment of ongoing efforts to eliminate the threat North Korea's weapons programs pose to the region.

"Korean Unification and Peace in Northeast Asia:" A Conversation with Former Republic of Korea Minister of Unification Dr. Kihljae Ryoo

North Korea shocked the world on September 9th with its fifth and largest nuclear test, in defiance of U.N. sanctions. North Korea’s flagrant disregard for the international community’s calls to abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile programs set the stage for a new round of heightened tensions on the divided Korean peninsula and raised tensions in the region and beyond. On Monday, September 19th, former Minister of Unification, Dr.