Personal tools
You are here: Home

The National Committee on North Korea

The Forgotten American POWs and MIAs – A Matter Worthy of Discussion with North Korea

September 18, 2014

Statement in observance of the 2014 National POW/MIA Recognition Day, September 19, 2014

At the signing of the Korean War Armistice in July of 1953, several thousand Americans were listed as missing – either dead or alive in North Korea.

Since 1953, consecutive U.S. Administrations paid diminishing attention to the fate of those service members who were left behind. Even today, South Korea estimates that a few hundred South Koreans - military and civilian - continue to be held against their will in North Korea from the time of the Korean War.

The 2011 “Record of Arrangement” agreement between the U.S. Department of Defense and the Korean People’s Army of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) emphasized joint activities focusing only on the remains of U.S. personnel from the Korean War. Missing from this agreement was a commitment to account for American Prisoners of War detained at the end of the War.

The unresolved status of these American military personnel represents an unfulfilled obligation by successive U.S. Administrations on behalf of those considered Prisoners of War or Missing in Action.

Although the Korean War has been referred to as The Forgotten War, proper honor for those who served in that war involves a good-faith effort to achieve the same standards of accountability for those left behind that have been applied to the other battlefields on which Americans have served and died. What about the promise to not leave any soldier behind?

Over sixty years after the end of the War, family members of the missing continue to die without answers. They and the American public are long overdue for renewed military to military engagement with North Korea seeking accountability for every American life. An important step could be, with the consent of U.S. officials, if informal discussions were to begin between retired U.S. military officials and North Koreans.

UN Programs in North Korea Warn of Possible Shutdown Due to Lack of Funding

August 28, 2014

The World Food Program (WFP) may have to shut down its operations in North Korea by early next year unless it gets more funding from international donors this fall, the WFP's director for Asia has told the Associated Press.

Kenro Oshidari, the WFP regional director, said that the organization has already scaled back a planned two-year, $200 million food aid program to feed 2.4 million people in North Korea due to lack of funds. It would need about $50 million in new funding to implement a credible nutritional program aimed at preventing stunting in North Korean children.

The WFP and other foreign aid groups in North Korea have also faced problems with transferring money into the country this year due to sanctions against North Korea's Foreign Trade Bank. The AP reports that a prior arrangement with a Russian bank to transfer aid groups' funds into North Korea fell through earlier this year, and that aid groups have resorted to carrying money into the country by hand.

For the full story, click here. More information on aid programs and humanitarian issues can be found in NCNK's humanitarian news digest.


NCNK Issue Brief on H.R. 1771, the North Korea Sanctions Enforcement Act: Issues for Individuals and Organizations Operating in North Korea

August 13, 2014

H.R. 1771, the North Korea Sanctions Enforcement Act, was approved on July 28 by the House of Representatives. It now awaits action in the Senate. While the legislation includes language providing for humanitarian exemptions, it may indirectly impact the operations of NGOs and individuals engaging in humanitarian, development, business, or educational exchange projects within North Korea. This issue brief provides an initial assessment some of these potential impacts.

The Issue Brief is available here.

NCNK Issue Brief on North Korea's Nuclear Weapons Program: Revised and Updated

April 24, 2014

NCNK has released an updated version of its issue brief on North Korea's nuclear weapons program, which includes a concise overview of the country's plutonium production, its uranium enrichment program, and previous nuclear tests.

The issue brief is available here.

U.S. Policy towards North Korea: Strategic Shaping and Interim Steps to Denuclearization

February 26, 2014

Today, the National Security Network and the National Committee on North Korea released the paper, “U.S. Policy towards North Korea: Strategic Shaping and Interim Steps to Denuclearization.” The paper’s release coincided with an event on Capitol Hill featuring Ambassador Christopher Hill, NSN Executive Director John Bradshaw, and NCNK Executive Director Karin Lee. An executive summary of the paper is available here.

To read the full report, click here

Who We Are

The National Committee is a non-partisan coalition of individuals with extensive and complementary knowledge of and direct experience related to the society, economy, government, and history of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

We are a diverse group. A number of members served as diplomats in some of the landmark U.S.-DPRK negotiations. Some have authored major books on the history, society, and security of the Korean Peninsula. Other members have worked in virtually all parts of North Korea, and on issues related to the country's current economic, humanitarian, refugee, and medical crises. Some of our experience reaches back to the era of the Korean War. Most have extensive contacts in the Republic of Korea, China, Japan, and Russia related to the Korean Peninsula. While the National Committee on North Korea is non-governmental, several of the members have worked in official positions and have ongoing ties with current or past administrations and with the United States Congress.

The idea to form a National Committee on North Korea originated during The Musgrove III Conference held in mid-May 2004, which was attended by many of the founding committee members. The first meeting was held on November 4, 2004.