In 2016, through nuclear tests and missile launches, North Korea has increased the threat on the Korean Peninsula and the stakes for international cooperation to deter further development. While the United Nations Security Council has implemented a new sanctions regime, critics argue that more effective targets, and pressure on Beijing, as Pyongyang’s largest trading partner, are necessary to initiate real change. International organizations are critical in this process, but regional partnerships and policy coordination are another important tool. In particular, it is beneficial for Japan and the United States, as key allies in Asia, to better align their policies and seek more capable solutions for the North Korean security crisis.
On December 16, the Center for East Asia Policy Studies at Brookings held a public forum that brought together experts from Japan and the United States to present views on North Korea’s goals and behavior, and of the implication for each government’s respective policies. Following the presentations, Richard Bush, director of the Center for East Asia Policy Studies, moderated a panel discussion. At the end of the program, the speakers took audience questions.
Senior Fellow for Korea Studies and Director of the Program on U.S.-Korea Policy - Council on Foreign Relations
Senior Fellow - The National Institute for Defense Studies
Chairman, Institute for International Strategy - The Japan Research Institute, Ltd.
Senior Fellow - Japan Center for International Exchange
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[President Trump’s public showmanship on North Korea] is creating a huge buzz where everyone wants to know what’s going on and what comes next...It’s a very dramatic way of conducting foreign policy and national security. But it creates a thin veneer of understanding. It’s mostly about symbolism...[Trump’s focus is] very much getting the public involved and invested in what’s going on. That’s the way you shape the narrative...[South Korea President] Moon is doing something similar. By televising the summit, televising the meetings, he’s creating an intimacy between the viewer and the object.
If they're serious about...trying to convince people that they have really changed...give us a list of...where your chemical weapons are stored, give us a list of where all the missile sites are and...where the fissile materials are stored, and we can crosscheck with ours and our allies' list.