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What is the National Committee on North Korea? When and why was it formed?

The National Committee on North Korea (NCNK) 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 (DPRK).

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 NCNK meeting was held on November 4, 2004.

What is NCNK's mission?

The National Committee on North Korea is a non-governmental organization of persons with significant expertise in and diverse perspectives on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. NCNK is dedicated to fostering mutual understanding and trust between the governments and peoples of the U.S. and DPRK, facilitating engagement and cooperation, reducing tension, and promoting peace on the Korean Peninsula through education, information-sharing, and relationship-building. NCNK and its members work to build bridges between the U.S. and the DPRK in a wide variety of areas, such as politics, security, economics, business, law, humanitarian needs, human rights, education, culture, science and technology, and natural resources.

What does the Committee do?

The National Committee on North Korea informs policymakers and others interested in the DPRK about principled engagement with the country. The Committee organizes a variety of forums, such as small group meetings between DPRK experts and congressional staff; stakeholder meetings to assess the prospects for humanitarian activities in the DPRK; and larger issue-specific conferences.

In collaboration with the Luce Foundation, NCNK convenes periodic policy salons, where senior government officials, congressional staff, diplomatic staff, and DPRK experts discuss and debate major issues concerning North Korea.

Many NCNK meetings are invitation-only and held on a not-for-attribution basis to encourage frankness among participants who may be hesitant to express new ideas or perspectives in a public setting.

The NCNK holds membership meetings in various locations, portions of which are open to non-members. Please contact us if you are interested in attending future meetings.

The Committee also provides up-to-date information on North Korea-related issues. The Committee's website provides a publication database specializing in policy-related documents, such as U.S. legislation, UN resolutions, reports regarding implementation of those resolutions, and Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports. Also on the website, under "Issue Briefs" NCNK posts short overviews of issues relevant to DPRK policy. For more information on using the website, click here.

In addition, the Committee follows administrative and legislative developments in U.S. policy toward the DPRK, such as the imposition and waiving of sanctions, U.S. budget and funding requests, U.S. legislation, etc. (To get on our mailing list, please send us a message).

How is the Committee managed?

NCNK has two honorary co-chairs, Ambassador Thomas Hubbard and Ambassador Tony Hall. The Committee is managed by its two Co-Chairs, Scott Snyder and Robert Springs, and a Steering Committee.

NCNK's Co-chairs and Steering Committee provide insight and direction, while Keith Luse, the Executive Director, conducts the daily operations. For a full list of the Steering Committee members, click here.

Who are the members of the Committee?

 We are a diverse group. Several 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. Our collective 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 NCNK is non-governmental, several members have ongoing ties with current or past administrations and with the U.S. Congress.

For the Committee's complete membership list, click here

Who finances the Committee?

The NCNK is supported by individuals and foundations. For a list of foundations supporting the NCNK, as well as information on how to donate, please click here.

Is the National Committee on North Korea part of the U.S. government or any other government?

No, the Committee is a nongovernmental, nonprofit, and nonpartisan organization.

Can I join the Committee?

Committee members support principled engagement with the DPRK and have extensive experience either working with the DPRK or in inter-Korean relations. If you would like to become a member, please ask a current member to nominate you.

Can I make a contribution to the Committee?

Yes! To learn how to support the NCNK, please go to our donation page.