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The Biden Administration and North Korean Policy: Promises and Limitations


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Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs 

Korean Peninsula Affairs Center presents 

The Biden Administration and North Korean Policy: Promises and Limitations

Since the Hanoi setback in February 2019, there has been no progress in resolving the North Korean nuclear quagmire.  However, the advent of the Biden administration offers the hope of a negotiated settlement through creative diplomacy. Can the Biden administration make progress?  Its commitment to diplomacy notwithstanding, there are some serious concerns such as the temptation to seek a stable management of the North Korean problem through maximum pressure and deterrence, a simultaneous pursuit of denuclearization and the human rights agenda, the inertia-driven crime and punishment approach, and the chronic intelligence failure on North Korea. Against this backdrop, I will come up with some alternative policy suggestions.

Chung-in Moon

Chairman of the Sejong Institute

Distinguished Professor at the National Defense University

Chung-in Moon is chairman of the Sejong Institute, a leading private think tank, in South Korea and a distinguished professor at the National Defense University. He is also the Krause distinguished fellow in the School of Global Policy and Strategy at the University of California, San Diego, and editor-in-chief of Global Asia, a quarterly journal in English. He is vice chairman of APLN (Asia-Pacific Leadership Network for Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation). He was a special advisor to the ROK president for foreign affairs and national security (May 2017 to February 2021). He was dean of the Graduate School of International Studies, Yonsei University and served as ambassador for international security affairs of the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and chairman of the Presidential Committee on Northeast Asian Cooperation Initiative, a cabinet-level post. Dr. Moon was a special delegate to the first (2000), second (2007), and third Korean (2018) summit meetings held in Pyongyang.


He has published over 60 books and 300 articles in edited volumes and scholarly journals. His recent publications include Moon Chung-in's Future Scenario: Covid-19, US-China New Cold War, and South Korea’s Choice (2021, in Korean), Bridging the Divide: Moon Jae-in’s Korean Peace Initiative (2019), Routledge Handbook of Korean Politics and Administration (2019), The Future of East Asia (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2017)What Does Japan Think Now?  (in Korean 2013, in Chinese 2017), The Sunshine Policy: In Defense of Engagement as a Path to Peace in Korea (Yonsei University Press, 2012), Exploring the Future of China (in Korean 2010 in Korean and 2012 in Chinese), East Asia Community: Ideas and Debates (Keio University Press, 2010 in Japanese and Korean), and The U.S. and Northeast Asia (Rowman & Littlefield, 2008). He also served as president of the Korea Peace Studies Association and vice president of the International Studies Association (ISA) of North America.

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