The Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs will host a Director's Lunch with Robert Carlin, Visiting Fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University, in the Belfer Center Library (L369).

In January 2001, U.S. policy toward North Korea dropped off a cliff.  Up to that point, seven years of engagement with Pyongyang had led — however erratically and imperfectly -- to progress on several issues of importance for American national security.  All that progress — baby, bathwater, and all-- was abandoned by the new Bush administration, with negative long-term consequences for inter-Korean, U.S.-South Korean, and even U.S.-PRC relations. The updated and revised edition of The Two Koreas reviews those years from the standpoint of the personalities and the policies that have led us to where we are today.

Unfortunately, the 20-year history of Washington’s engagement with North Korea has become so laden with myths and misperceptions -- some ideologically driven, some stemming from intellectual laziness -- that it has become next to impossible for the public and government alike to discuss, much less decide, how to cope with Pyongyang on a pragmatic basis.

Robert Carlin has worked in and out of the government on North Korea continuously since 1974. He was an analyst in the CIA from 1971-1989.  From 1989-2002 he was chief of the Northeast Asia Division in the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research. During much of that time he also served as the senior adviser to the U.S. negotiator with the DPRK, attending virtually all U.S.-DPRK meetings, including Secretary of State Albright’s October 2000 visit to Pyongyang.

From 2002-2006, Carlin was political adviser to the executive director at the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) and led several negotiating teams to North Korea for talks on the construction of two light water reactors, which were called for under the 1994 U.S.-DPRK Agreed Framework.

Since 2006, he has been a visiting fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) at Stanford University.  He was part of a CISAC delegation to North Korea in November 2010 taken to the North’s nuclear center at Yongbyon to observe construction of an experimental LWR and tour the North’s newly constructed uranium enrichment facility.  He has visited North Korea about 30 times since his first trip to Pyongyang in February 1996.

Carlin received his MA in East Asian Regional Studies from Harvard in 1971. He graduated from Claremont Men’s College (now Claremont McKenna College) in 1969.

As space is limited for this event, RSVPs will be accepted on a first come, first served basis. Belfer Center Lunches are strictly off-the-record. By requesting to attend the lunch, you agree that you will comply with the Belfer Center's strict policy against recording or disclosing the contents of the lunch. Your access is conditioned on your compliance with these restrictions. Should you violate these rules, the Center will pursue all available legal options and you will be excluded from all future events.