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Korea Update October 2017: Trump and Kim's War of Words

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Korea Update October 2017: Trump and Kim’s War of Words

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Kim Jong-un’s Direct Response to Trump’s Threatening UN Speech

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un released an unprecedented direct statement through the Korean Central News Agency in response to U.S. President Donald J. Trump’s speech to the UN General Assembly. Scott A. Snyder, CFR’s senior fellow for Korea studies, writes in CFR’s Asia Unbound blog that the statement deserves careful analysis, as it represents a rare window onto Kim’s thinking about the United States. Read more on Asia Unbound »

Trump's Stepped-Up Sanctions on North Korea

The Trump administration issued a new executive order on September 21 expanding the U.S. Treasury Department’s authority to block North Koreans, and those who do business with or on behalf of North Koreans, from accessing the U.S. financial system. The order is the broadest effort yet to use economic pressure to reverse Kim Jong-un’s decision to pursue nuclear capabilities, writes Snyder. Read more on Asia Unbound »

Dealing With North Korea’s Ballistic Missiles

The United States should continue to seek a diplomatic pathway to denuclearize North Korea. But in the meantime, the United States and its allies have the means to create stable deterrence on the Korean Peninsula and should deepen their security cooperation to do so, write Snyder and Sungtae (Jacky) Park, research associate at CFR. Read more on Asia Unbound »

Trump’s War of Words and Kim’s Response

Snyder writes that Trump and Kim need to find a way to continue the conversation they have started—but with a focus on how to reduce the misunderstandings and risks of nuclear miscalculation. The conversation should also preferably continue in a less public form and with better communication. Read more on Asia Unbound »

Russia and the North Korean Nuclear Challenge

Given Russia’s desire to remain relevant as a player on Korean Peninsula-related issues, Russia’s primary objective will be to maintain a presence in any international revival of diplomacy with North Korea. A more aggressive scenario might have Russia playing a spoiler role in opposing U.S. interests, Snyder writes, but this strategy is risky, given the unpredictability and historically evident costs of being dragged into North Korea-made military conflict. Read more on Asia Unbound »

What the U.S. Can Do About North Korea

CFR experts Ely Ratner, Maurice R. Greenberg senior fellow for China studies; Sheila A. Smith, senior fellow for Japan studies; and Snyder discussed U.S. options for dealing with North Korea on a Foreign Affairs conference call. Gideon Rose, editor of Foreign Affairs and Peter G. Peterson chair at CFR, presided. Listen on Foreign Affairs »

Hotdish Episode 8: North Korea

Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) spoke with Snyder and Michele Flournoy, CEO of the Center for a New American Security, about the North Korean threat and the diplomatic and military options open to the United States. Listen on »



Weak Won, Tight Fiscal: Korea's Not-So-Mysterious External Surplus

South Korea has real scope to change its domestic macroeconomic policies in ways that would strengthen its own demand. And if a fiscal loosening was paired with an end to South Korea’s visible and more hidden interventions, this would almost certainly affect the size of its external balance, writes Brad W. Setser, senior fellow at CFR. Read more on Follow the Money »




Al Jazeera

US Bombers Fly Close to North Korea in Show of Force


U.S. Presses for Resolution to Cut Oil to North Korea

Dong-A Ilbo

Washington Post: “Amid Consistent Threat to North Korea, Trump Yet to Appoint Ambassador to South Korea After Eight Months” (Korean)

Handelsblatt Global

A North Korean Mediator?

Hankook Ilbo

Washington Post: “Ambassador to South Korea Not Yet Appointed, Neglects the Frontline Against North Korea” (Korean)

Hays Daily News

War in Korea? The Scenarios Are Sobering

JoongAng Ilbo


U.S. Presses UN Security Council for September 11 Vote on Additional Sanctions (Korean)


Kyunghyang Shinmun

Excessive U.S.-North Korea Wild Talk Competition. . . Danger Warning Continues (Korean)


Experts Break Down the North Korean Threat Amid Heightened Tensions



4 Things You Didn’t Know About North Korea’s Economy


The Reality of U.S.-South Korea Trade That Trump Is Threatening to Derail

Science Recorder

U.S. Seeks United Nations Vote on Tough Sanctions Against North Korea


Small Wars

Five Decades Analyzing North Korea and the Bomb: A ‘Foreign Affairs’ Anthology

Travel and Leisure

Here’s What Japan-Bound Travelers Need to Know About North Korea’s Missile Tests

Voice of America Korea

Dispute Over Tactical Nuclear Weapon Deployment in Korea (Korean)


Security Council Sanction Targets the North Korean Textile Industry. . . Possibility of Mass Dismissal (Korean)


U.S. Experts: “Trump’s Mention of ‘Totally Destroying’ North Korea is a Firm Warning” . . . “Failed Proposal of North Korea Strategy” Assessment (Korean)


Washington Post


Trump Team’s Battle With North Korea Has a Glaring Omission on the Front Lines



The program on U.S.-Korea policy was established at the Council on Foreign Relations in September 2011. It aims to strengthen the U.S.-Korea relationship by providing relevant policy recommendations and promoting dialogue on sensitive bilateral, regional, and global issues facing the two countries. The program acknowledges the generous support it has received from the Smith Richardson Foundation, Korea Foundation, and the South Korean private sponsor, Korea International Trade Association. It also acknowledges with thanks additional support received from individual donor Sandor Hau.


Scott A. Snyder, Director

Sungtae "Jacky" Park, Research Associate

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