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2012

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Senator Lugar on the PRC and Korean Unification

Released for publication by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on December 31, 2012, this December 11, 2012 Minority Staff Report, "The Impact of the People's Republic of China on Korean Peninsula Unification," raises for Senate consideration the potential role of China in the future of the two Koreas.

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Park Can Better Tackle NK Issue

In the Korea Times, Ambassador Donald Gregg writes:

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An American NGO... In North Korea

Jeff Baron writes in The Atlantic about Global Resource Services (GRS), an American Non-Governmental Organization working in the DPRK. The article describes how working in North Korea has given GRS CEO Rob Springs and his colleagues unique perspectives on North Korea.

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Rethinking the White House's North Korea Policy

In a Foreign Policy article, Joel Wit and Jenny Town argue that the Obama administration's policy of strategic patience is ignoring the dangers posed by North Korea, urging a comprehensive policy review similar to the one led by William Perry in 1998.

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Change is Possible in North Korea: Former National Intelligence Mission Manager

Writing for McClatchy, former Six Party Talks envoy and National Intelligence North Korea mission manager Joseph DeTrani argues that Kim Jong-un's personnel moves over the past year have been aimed at reigning in hardliners in the military, and that the recent rocket launch could give him the clout to pursue diplomacy and reform.

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Briefing Book on North Korea's Satellite Launch

Initial reports indicate that North Korea’s launch of its Kwangmyongsong-3 satellite into orbit has been successful, according to the North American Aerospace Defense Command. White House spokesman Tommy Vietor called the launch “a highly provocative act that threatens regional security, directly violates United Nations Security Council resolutions 1718 and 1874, contravenes North Korea’s international obligations, and undermines the global non-proliferation regime.”

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Reactions to North Korea's Satellite Launch Announcement

On December 1, KCNA announced that North Korea would attempt to launch a satellite into orbit during a two-week window in December, following a failed attempt in April. The announcement quickly drew international criticism as a violation of UN Security Council resolutions 1718 and 1874.

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Myanmar Should Provide Transparency on Seized North Korean Shipment: Senator Lugar

In a letter addressed to Myanmar President U Thein Sein, Senator Richard Lugar raised his concern regarding recent news reports of the Japanese seizure of aluminum alloys, which could be used in centrifuges for uranium enrichment, en route from North Korea to Myanmar.

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The ROK Election and the Future of Inter-Korean Relations

The upcoming Presidential election in South Korea is likely to have a major impact on the shape of inter-Korean relations, the US-ROK alliance, and regional dynamics in Northeast Asia. With independent candidate Ahn Cheol-soo's recent withdrawal, the race has turned into a two-way competition between Moon Jae-in, who has outlined an ambitious plan for economic engagement with the North, and Park Geun-hye, who has promised to balance deterrence and engagement.

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New Report on Food Security in North Korea

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization and World Food Programme released on new report on food security in North Korea on Monday, based on a crop assessment undertaken this September and October.

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Lee Sigal on "The Dog that Hasn't Barked"

In The National Interest, Lee Sigal writes that North Korea would likely not take a chance on reforming its economy without having improved relations with the U.S., South Korea, and Japan first. He argues that Pyongyang's failure to conduct a third nuclear test after its April satellite launch is the "dog that hasn't barked," and that continued restraint from North Korea could indicate that Pyongyang still wants to improve relations with these countries.

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Moon Jae-in's Proposal for an Inter-Korean Economic Union

In August, Moon Jae-in, the Democratic United Party's candidate for the December 2012 election in South Korea, discussed his proposal for an "Inter-Korean Economic Union", which would revive and expand upon previous initiatives for inter-Korean cooperation. Thanks to NCNK intern Stella Park and Ryu Jaesung of the Peterson Institute for translating this document.

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Bosworth: U.S. Should Seek "Standstill Agreement" on North's Nuclear Program

Stephen Bosworth, the former U.S. Special Envoy to North Korea, has told audiences in Seoul that CVID - complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization - "is no longer an achievable or a credible objective" for dealing with North Korea's nuclear program.

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House Passes North Korea Adoption Bill

On September 11, the House of Representatives passed by voice vote a bill directing the Secretary of State to develop a comprehensive strategy for facilitating the adoption of stateless children from North Korea by United States citizens.

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PRC Commerce Ministry's Statement on China-North Korea SEZ Meeting

On August 14, officials from China and North Korea convened in Beijing to discuss the development and management of the Rason and Hwanggumphyong and Wihwa Islands Special Economic Zones in North Korea. The DPRK delegation was led by Jang Song-taek.

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Harry Barnes, Former Diplomat, Dies at 86

Harry Barnes, former diplomat and a member of NCNK, passed away on August 9. He was 86 years old.

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Reassessing North Korea's Nuclear Tests

In an analysis for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Frank Pabian and Siegfried Hecker provide a reassessment of North Korea's two nuclear tests, giving new estimates of the tests' locations and yields. Comparing these tests with Pakistan's 1998 nuclear test, they find "a number of similarities... between Pakistani and North Korean nuclear testing tunnel design," and speculate that a third North Korean nuclear test could involve multiple devices, as did Pakistan's first test.

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UN Team in DPRK Reports on Flooding

The UN Resident Coordinator's Office in North Korea has published a report on humanitarian needs after weeks of heavy rainfall and flooding in parts of North Korea, following an assessment by multiple aid agencies. The report states that "immediate food assistance is required for the people in those counties most affected by the flood," although it says that the floods' longer-term effects on food security has not yet been determined.

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Is Reform Sprouting in North Korea?

In an article for YaleGlobal, NCNK Member John Delury argues that Kim Jong-un's stylistic changes in governance and rhetorical shifts could be signals of larger policy shifts, potentially moving the country to a more pragmatic focus on economic development:

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A History of KEDO

A new policy brief by Charles Kartman, Robert Carlin, and Joel Wit takes an in-depth look at the now-defunct Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO), the organization founded by the United States, South Korea and Japan to implement the 1994 U.S.-DPRK Agreed Framework.

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