Stephan Haggard

Stephan Haggard is the Lawrence and Sallye Krause Professor of Korea-Pacific Studies; director, Korea-Pacific Program; and Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the School of Global Policy and Strategy at UC San Diego. He works on the political economy of developing countries, with a particular interest in Asia and the Korean peninsula. Along with Marcus Noland, he runs the Witness to Transformation blog on the Korean peninsula at http://blogs.piie.com/nk.

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Asia Pacific

The Tillerson Trip and the Hard Line Options

Secretary of State Tillerson is proving to be a man of few words. The result is that there is less to parse, but what is on record is more pointed than the lengthy disquisitions of his predecessor. Six components of his Asia trip require careful reading: his assurances to allies; “20 years of failure”; sanctions; military options; negotiations; and the all-important China audience of one, Xi Jinping.

The Assurance Piece

North Korea

The North Korean Missile Launch, the Assassination of Kim Jong-nam, and the U.S.-China Relationship

Kim Jong-un has had a busy two weeks. On February 12th, North Korea launched a ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan during Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to the United States, prompting an unusually public flurry of response at President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate. Then, on February 13th, Kim’s half-brother Kim Jong-nam was assassinated under bizarre circumstances in a Malaysia airport. And on the 19th, China announced a halt in North Korean coal imports for the remainder of 2017.

North Korea

Thoughts on the North Korean Nuclear Test and Satellite Launch

International responses to North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests have taken on a highly ritualized quality that we have seen before: there is a test; there is outrage; there is condemnation; there is another test; then there is escalation, de-escalation and ultimately a return to an ever-changing new normal.

North Korea

The Crisis on the Korean Peninsula and Its Surprising Resolution

Seoul awoke yesterday to news of the agreement reached early in the morning between North and South Korea to calm down the current tensions. The crisis began with an August 4 mine attack that left two South Korean soliders severely maimed and included the first live-fire exchange across the DMZ in a long time. In an odd role reversal, the South Korean Yonhap news agency posted the English-language version of the agreement released by the North Korean news agency KCNA:

Iran

The Netanyahu Speech and the Open Letter: Lessons on Iran from North Korea

In his speech before Congress the other day, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following comparison between the Iranian nuclear program and the North Korean path to nuclear weapons:

Inspectors knew when North Korea broke to the bomb, but that didn't stop anything. North Korea turned off the cameras, kicked out the inspectors.