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The National Committee on North Korea

North Korea Policy Recommendations for the Next President: Debate Transcript

November 23, 2015

Last month, NCNK hosted a debate between John Delury of Yonsei University and Joshua Stanton of the One Free Korea blog, focused on recommending a North Korea policy course for the next president. Each debater outlined his broad strategy for how to deal with North Korea, gave three specific policy recommendations, and had the opportunity to rebut the other's points. 

A transcript of the opening remarks and rebuttals for the debate is now available here.


Revised NCNK Issue Brief: A History of U.S.-DPRK Relations

November 19, 2015

There are few bilateral relationships in the world which have been more consistently difficult than the relationship between the U.S. and North Korea. For decades after the Korean War, there was nearly no direct diplomatic contact between the two countries. Since the end of the Cold War, the United States and North Korea have engaged in on-and-off nuclear negotiations, which have ultimately failed to stop Pyongyang from building a small nuclear arsenal. The two countries have not established diplomatic relations, and a peace treaty ending the Korean War has not been signed.

This newly-revised Issue Brief reviews the history of U.S. relations with North Korea, with an emphasis on nuclear diplomacy during the administrations of Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama. It also includes summaries of topics including U.S. policy toward North Korean human rights, U.S. humanitarian assistance to North Korea, and the resolution of POW/MIA issues from the Korean War.

The full Issue Brief is available here.


Comparing North Korea Sanctions Legislation in the 114th Congress

October 26, 2015

There are currently three related North Korea sanctions bills under consideration in Congress. H.R. 757, introduced to the House by Rep. Ed Royce in February 2015, is broadly similar to a bill that passed the House in the last session of Congress, but wasn’t acted upon by the Senate. In the Senate, S. 1747 was introduced by Senators Robert Menendez and Lindsay Graham in July of this year. Additionally, Senators Cory Gardner, Marco Rubio, and James Risch are co-sponsors of the recently-introduced bill S. 2144

Although the three sanctions bills are generally similar in scope, there are several key differences among them, including their potential impact on humanitarian operations; the level of discretion the Executive Branch would have in applying sanctions; and language on sanctions targeting North Korea's mineral industry.

NCNK's new Issue Brief gives a detailed side-by-side summary of these three bills, noting key provisions and differences between the three.


Accounting for American POW/MIAs from the Korean War

October 9, 2015

In conjunction with its recent Capitol Hill event on efforts to account for Korean War POW/MIAs, NCNK has revised and updated its Issue Brief on Korean War POW/MIA Accounting Efforts. This brief reviews past and current efforts regarding the over 7,800 Korean War service members who remain unaccounted for, including the repatriation of remains from North Korea, obstacles to their identification in the U.S., and U.S. efforts with China and Russia to gain access to archival information.

NCNK has also revised its Briefing Book on POW/MIA accounting, which contains a variety of primary sources such as U.S. government reports and North Korean statements on the issue.


Revised NCNK Issue Brief on North Korea's Nuclear Program

September 30, 2015

Despite years of international condemnation, diplomacy, and pressure, North Korea has succeeded in developing a relatively small nuclear arsenal, one which is poised for further gradual expansion in terms of both size and sophistication in the future. This updated Issue Brief reviews what is known about North Korea's plutonium and highly-enriched uranium programs, as well as its efforts to weaponize the fissile material it has acquired. It also looks at North Korea's emerging nuclear posture and strategy, and the global proliferation risks its nuclear program may pose.

The full Issue Brief is available 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.