The CSIS Korea Chair serves as an independent platform in Washington from which to advance major policy issues of common importance to the people of the Republic of Korea and the United States. Korea occupies a central place in shaping the future of peace and stability in the world's most prosperous and growing regions.
Through nonpartisan, expert analysis of ongoing policy opportunities and security challenges facing the region, the CSIS Korea Chair promotes a greater understanding of relations between the United States, Korea, and Asia.
The CSIS Korea Chair conducts independent policy research on multiple issue-areas ranging from security to business to cybersecurity to global health. The Chair convenes public and private sector stakeholders for in-depth discussions and policy research.
CSIS appointed Dr. Victor Cha, former White House official and Georgetown University professor as the inaugural chair holder in 2009.
The third inter-Korean summit took place from September 18 to 20 in Pyongyang, North Korea. The two leaders, President Moon Jae-in of South Korea and Chairman Kim Jong-un of North Korea, signed the Pyongyang Joint Declaration on September 19, 2018. In this Critical Questions, CSIS experts Victor Cha, Sue Mi Terry and Michael Green looked at five questions to examine what it meant for South Korea, North Korea, the United States, and what to expect of the road ahead and challenges on North Korean denuclearization.
Dr. Victor Cha, Senior Adviser and Korea Chair at CSIS and Mr. Abraham M. Denmark, director of the Asia Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and a senior fellow at the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States co-authored an op-ed in Bloomberg Opinion on September 12 arguing “The Case Against Doing Nothing On North Korea.”
Victor Cha, senior adviser and Korea Chair for CSIS, testified before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission on the importance of incorporating human rights into a credible, verifiable deal with North Korea on, “North Korea: Peace Talks and Human Rights” on September 13, 2018.
The growth of markets is the single most significant socioeconomic development to occur in North Korea over the last 20 years. An understanding of this change is critical for the formulation of North Korea policy, but the underlying issues have been relatively understudied in comparison to North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and prospects for denuclearization. In 2017 and 2018, Beyond Parallel launched a pioneering and original data collection project on markets in North Korea to study the changes happening in the country. As featured in “North Korea’s ‘Money Masters’ Hold Keys to Kim’s Economic Revival” by Jonathan Cheng in the Wall Street Journal.
Ambassador Robert King, senior adviser at CSIS Korea Chair and previously the special envoy for North Korea human rights issues at the U.S. Department of State from November 2009 to January 2017, discusses the need for humanitarian aid in North Korea and why humanitarian engagement should be an issue on the table in the relationship with the North.
In partnership with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, the CSIS Korea Chair uses unclassified geospatial imagery and data to produce new, timely, and accurate reporting on the North Korean economy and society, infrastructure, and border activities. Recent commercial satellite imagery of the Wonsan Railway Rolling Stock Complex, North Korea’s largest manufacturing and repair facility for railcars, shows it is currently active and appears to be well maintained by North Korean standards. As railroads and railway facilities serve as a vital link underpinning North Korea’s underdeveloped economy, analysis of this facility can be a brick-and-mortar signpost of foundational infrastructure progress if rapprochement leads to new opportunities for infrastructure development.