19 Items

- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center Newsletter

Korea Project Conference Focuses on Complex Security Dynamics in Northeast Asia

| Fall 2022

A Belfer Center conference with the Seoul-based East Asia Institute (EAI) focused on U.S. priorities concerning the region’s security concerns amid other pressing global security challenges. Participants discussed impacts of the Russia-Ukraine war on the region and how to bolster U.S.-ROK cooperation on regional nuclear nonproliferation governance in light of the growing nuclear arsenals in China and North Korea.

The China Questions 2 book cover

Harvard University Press

Book Chapter - Harvard University Press

Where Do Divergent US and Chinese Approaches to Dealing with North Korea Lead?

| August 2022

For the United States, the dominant approach has been economic coercion. Despite applying stringent sanctions, the United States has been ineffective in convincing North Korea to give up its nuclear arsenal in return for a brighter economic and diplomatic future. The myriad U.S. sanctions have also failed to halt major progress in North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs. However, these setbacks have not caused the United States to change its strategy of economic coercion. On the contrary, the United States has considerably increased its use of this economic statecraft tool. In contrast, China has deepened its economic engagement with the North Korean regime since the late 2000s. Through the relationship between the Chinese Communist Party and its counterpart the Workers’ Party of Korea, China has cultivated and monetized political ties. Doing so has provided a powerful mechanism through which the Kim family regime—leaders of North Korea’s ruling and prosperous 1 percent—has shored up stability and thrived.

A photo of a sign that reads "bitcoin ATM" on a yellow background.

AP Photo/Kin Cheung

Policy Brief - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

North Korean Cryptocurrency Operations: An Alternative Revenue Stream

  • Heeu Millie Kim
  • June Lee
  • Rachel Paik
| May 24, 2022

Although North Korean cyber operations have been widely publicized, the purpose of this report is to focus on three ways North Korea obtains cryptocurrencies, specifically cryptomining, cryptojacking, and fraudulent initial coin offerings (ICOs).

Dancers celebrate DPRK–China friendship at the Arirang Mass Games in 2010

Roman Harak via Wikimedia Commons

Magazine Article - Harvard Kennedy School

Easing U.S. Sanctions on North Korea Could Benefit Both Sides, HKS Korea Expert Tells Lawmakers

| May 17, 2022

Appearing at a hearing May 12 before the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, Central Asia, and Nonproliferation, Park discussed U.S policy towards North Korea and described the challenges of using sanctions as a deterrent for North Korea’s nuclear saber rattling. Specifically, Park pointed to China’s deepening economic engagement with North Korea as one reason why western sanctions have largely failed to change Pyongyang’s behavior. “By free-riding off of China’s financial and domestic marketplace systems, North Korea can conduct vital commercial transactions beyond the reach of American sanctions,” Park said.

Rows of people using computers in North Korea.

Shizuo Kambayashi/AP

Report - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Cybercriminal Statecraft

| Mar. 15, 2022

Over the last decade, financially motivated operations have come to play a central role in North Korea’s cyber strategy. The illicit revenue those operations generate helps blunt the impact of tough global sanctions and supports the regime’s ballistic-missile and nuclear-weapons programs. This report explores North Korean financially motivated actors’ convergence of interests and tradecraft with cybercriminals, focusing on their dealings with the Russian-language underground.

A satellite photo showing heavy snows along the Korean coast, mid-February 2011.

NASA images courtesy MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC

Report - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

A Policy of Public Diplomacy with North Korea

| August 2021

The Biden administration has emphasized the importance of alliances and core values of democracy in its foreign policy approach. Given this emphasis, public diplomacy—activities intended to understand, inform, and influence foreign audiences—should be considered an essential tool in achieving our long-term policy objectives in North Korea. Public diplomacy has the potential to spur domestic change in North Korea—change that could result in improved human rights conditions, leading to behavioral change in the Kim regime, and eventually denuclearization.

Photo of U.S. Gen. Vincent Brooks commander of the United Nations Command, U.S. Forces Korea and Combined Forces Command, speaks during an opening ceremony for the new headquarters of the U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) at Camp Humphreys in Pyeongtaek, South Korea. Friday, June 29, 2018.

(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon, Pool)

Magazine Article

'This Is a Window of Opportunity.' Ret. General Vincent K. Brooks on Why Things Might Be Moving Again With North Korea

| June 24, 2021

Few know the intricacies of the North Korean problem better than General Vincent K. Brooks, who retired from active duty in January 2019 as a four-star general in command of over 600,000 Koreans and Americans comprising the U.S. Forces Korea, U.N. Command and ROK-U.S. Combined Forces. He also previously served as commanding general of U.S. Army Pacific.

Now a Senior Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, General Brooks spoke to TIME about opportunities for a breakthrough with North Korea during the Biden Administration.

South Korean army soldiers patrol along the barbed-wire fence in Paju, South Korea, near the border with North Korea, Sunday, May 2, 2021.

AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon

Analysis & Opinions - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Innovating Our Approach to Human Rights in North Korea: Investing in the Freedom & Empowerment of the North Korean People

| May 05, 2021

It is time to innovate our approach to this seemingly intractable crisis by redefining the problem, the experts, and the solutions and prepare for a North Korea where North Koreans can finally author their own future.