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North Korea in the Age of Trump

Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un cartoon on missiles against each other | designed by Vexels

Panel presentation | UCLA Center for Korean Studies | January 23, 2018

On January 23rd, as part of the Korean Studies Symposium at UCLA, Korea Policy Institute Board member Martin Hart-Landsberg and KPI Associate Hyun Lee of ZoominKorea spoke, providing a clearer perspective on the North Korea-U.S. relations, one that challenges that of U.S. mainstream media and the current administration.

“The Need For A New U.S. Foreign Policy Towards North Korea”

The current state of hostilities between the US and North Korea comes with high cost to the people of Korea and the United States. The US government claims that it has no choice but to pursue its current policy of escalating sanctions and military exercises directed against North Korea because the North Korean leadership is not open to negotiations, is hell-bent on war, and cannot be trusted to follow through on its promises.

Martin Hart-Landsberg (Korea Policy Institute), Professor Emeritus of Economics at Lewis and Clark College, who has published extensively on Korea and China, will challenge these claims and discuss why we need a new policy towards North Korea, one that starts with accepting their repeated offers for direct negotiations. 

“North Korea: Science and Technology as the Path to Economic Progress” 

U.S. sanctions against North Korea have been in place since the 1950s, and a series of UN resolutions in the past decade have forbidden, among others, the export of coal, iron, and seafood, and banned North Korea textile exports, crude oil, joint ventures. Why, then, hasn’t the country collapsed by now? How is the country able to defy the labyrinth of international and U.S. sanctions to pursue its “Byungjin line,” the policy of pursuing parallel progress in nuclear deterrence and economic development?

Hyun Lee (Korea Policy Institute), managing editor of ZoominKorea, an online resource that provides news and critical analysis on peace and democracy in Korea, will discuss aspects of North Korea’s recent economic development and the preeminence placed on science and technology in that process. 

Watch the presentations:


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