The overarching question imparting urgency to this exploration is: Can U.S.-Russian contention in cyberspace cause the two nuclear superpowers to stumble into war? In considering this question we were constantly reminded of recent comments by a prominent U.S. arms control expert: At least as dangerous as the risk of an actual cyberattack, he observed, is cyber operations’ “blurring of the line between peace and war.” Or, as Nye wrote, “in the cyber realm, the difference between a weapon and a non-weapon may come down to a single line of code, or simply the intent of a computer program’s user.”
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Dr. John Park is the Director of the Korea Project at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. His core research projects focus on deterrence, economic statecraft, nuclear proliferation, Asian alliances, and North Korean cyber operations.
At Harvard University, he is a Faculty Member of the Committee on Regional Studies East Asia and a Faculty Affiliate with the Project on Managing the Atom. Dr. Park was the 2012-13 Stanton Nuclear Security Junior Faculty Fellow at MIT’s Security Studies Program. He also directed Northeast Asia Track 1.5 dialogues at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington, D.C. He advises Northeast Asia policy-focused officials in the U.S. government.
Earlier, Dr. Park worked at Goldman Sachs and The Boston Consulting Group. He is a commentator on Asian geopolitical issues on CNN, BBC, CNBC, and Bloomberg TV. He also advises institutional investors on geopolitical risk in Asia-Pacific markets.
Dr. Park’s key publications include: “Where Do Divergent U.S. and Chinese Approaches to Dealing with North Korea Lead?” in The China Questions II: Critical Insights into U.S.-China Relations (Harvard University Press, July 2022); “Micro Deterrence Signaling: Policy Innovation During the 2017 Korean Missile Crisis,” (Korea Project Report, Harvard Kennedy School, April 2022 – co-authored with General Vincent K. Brooks); “Stopping North Korea, Inc.: Sanctions Effectiveness and Unintended Consequences,” (MIT Security Studies Program, 2016 – co-authored with Dr. Jim Walsh); “The Key to the North Korean Targeted Sanctions Puzzle,” The Washington Quarterly (Fall 2014); “Assessing the Role of Security Assurances in Dealing with North Korea” in Security Assurances and Nuclear Nonproliferation (Stanford University Press, 2012); “North Korea, Inc.: Gaining Insights into North Korean Regime Stability from Recent Commercial Activities” (USIP Working Paper, May 2009); and “North Korea’s Nuclear Policy Behavior: Deterrence and Leverage,” in The Long Shadow: Nuclear Weapons and Security in 21st Century Asia (Stanford University Press, 2008).
Dr. Park’s current research examines the North Korean regime’s accumulated learning in evading sanctions via cyber operations. He has testified on North Korea before the Senate Banking Committee, House Financial Services Committee, and House Foreign Affairs Committee. Dr. Park received his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge. He completed his predoctoral and postdoctoral training at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center.Last Updated: