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Can Unofficial "Track Two" Dialogues Spur Official Diplomacy with North Korea?


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After the chills and thrills of the Trump era, the future of diplomatic engagement with North Korea is uncertain. While the Biden administration returns to a more traditional diplomatic approach, tensions continue to rise on the Korean Peninsula. Whether or not official US-DPRK talks (“Track One” diplomacy) can resume in this political climate is unclear. However, in the past, when official engagement was lacking, active diplomatic engagement at the Track Two or non-governmental level helped facilitate dialogue about the future of US-DPRK relations. Now that North Korea is preparing to ease its self-imposed, pandemic-related isolation, can Track Two engagement play a role in mitigating the disastrous, high profile diplomatic failures of 2018-19? Getting back into the Track Two ‘groove’ will require new thinking about how to go about relationship-building with North Korea. This program will explore ways to make an effective transition from purely coercive to cooperative engagement by re-imagining Track Two diplomacy.


Siegfried S. Hecker
Stanford University

Jenny Town
Stimson Center

Frank Aum
U.S. Institute of Peace


George Kallander
Syracuse University

Co-sponsored by:

The Androcles Project 

Program for the Advancement of Research on Conflict and Collaboration (PARCC)


Social Science and Public Policy





Open to



Parents and Families


Students, Graduate and Professional

Students, Prospective

Students, Undergraduate




MAX-Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs, MAX-East Asia Program


Havva Karakas-Keles


Contact Havva Karakas-Keles to request accommodations

Exterior of Maxwell in black and white when there was no Eggers building

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Throughout the year leading up to the centennial, engagement opportunities will be held for our diverse, highly accomplished community that now boasts more than 38,500 alumni across the globe.