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The Impossible State

The Impossible State

North Korea is the Impossible State. Each week join the people who know the most about North Korea?The Center for Strategic and International Studies? Victor Cha, Mike Green, and Sue Mi Terry?for an insider's discussion with host H. Andrew Schwartz about the United States? top national security priority. Email your questions to [email protected]

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Dovish Hawk? South Korea?s Military Buildup

In this episode, Victor Cha is joined by Dr. Lami Kim, Assistant Professor at the U.S. Army War College, and a CSIS-USC U.S.-Korea NextGen Scholar for a conversation on their recent op-eds in Foreign Affairs and War on the Rocks, military buildup under South Korean president Moon Jae-in, and options for dealing with the North Korean crisis.  Dr. Victor Cha, Foreign Affairs: https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/north-korea/2021-09-22/last-chance-stop-north-korea   Dr. Lami Kim, War on the Rocks: https://warontherocks.com/2021/09/a-hawkish-dove-president-moon-jae-in-and-south-koreas-military-buildup/
2021-10-08
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North Korean Human Rights and the Biden Administration

In this episode, Victor Cha is joined by Amb. Robert King, the former special envoy for North Korean human rights, and Mr. Lindsay Lloyd, Bradford M. Freeman Director of the Human Freedom Initiative at the George W. Bush Institute for a conversation on North Korean human rights.
2021-09-14
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North-South Summit Diplomacy Redux

In this episode, Victor Cha is joined by Sue Mi Terry of CSIS and Soo Kim of RAND Corporation for a discussion on recent developments in inter-Korean relations and regime instability in North Korea.
2021-08-09
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Biden-Moon Summit Recap: North Korea, Supply Chains, and Covid-19

In this episode, Dr. Victor Cha is joined by Dr. Sue Mi Terry of CSIS and special guest Mr. Scott Snyder of the Council on Foreign Relations to give their assessments of the recently concluded Biden-Moon summit, and where they see U.S.-ROK relations moving forward, including on Covid-19, vaccines, supply chains, North Korea policy, China and Japan.
2021-06-04
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The Biden-Moon Summit

In this episode, Dr. Victor Cha and Andrew Schwartz are joined by Dr. Sue Mi Terry of CSIS to talk about the Biden-Moon summit, the first summit meeting between the two leaders. They discuss North Korea policy, vaccine diplomacy, sports and the Tokyo Olympics and deliverables for the summit. 
2021-05-20
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An Engagement Strategy for Hawks

In this episode, Dr. Victor Cha and Andrew Schwartz are joined by Dr. Sue Mi Terry and Mr. Eric Brewer to talk about their op-ed for Foreign Affairs outlining a realistic bargain with North Korea, what we know of the trilateral meeting among U.S.-Japan-Korea national security advisors in Annapolis last week, and what to expect of Biden?s North Korea policy moving forward.
2021-04-06
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Parsing ?Denuclearization? of North Korea

In this episode, Dr. Victor Cha is joined by Dr. Michael Green and Dr. Sue Mi Terry of CSIS to talk about the results of the ?2+2? meetings by Secretary Blinken and Secretary Austin in Japan and Korea last week, and the path forward for U.S. diplomacy with North Korea.
2021-03-23
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North Korean Cyber Threats and the "2+2"

In this episode, Dr. Victor Cha and Andrew Schwartz are joined by Dr. Sue Mi Terry of CSIS and Ms. Jenny Jun of Columbia University to talk about North Korean cyber threats and the upcoming ?2+2? meetings in Japan and South Korea this week.
2021-03-15
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Covid-19 in North Korea

In this episode, Dr. Victor Cha and Andrew Schwartz are joined by Dr. J. Stephen Morrison of CSIS and Dr. Kee Park of Harvard Medical School to talk about Covid-19 in North Korea. They discussed what we know and don't know about the lockdown and the severity of the health situation there, and what to expect moving forward with how the Biden administration and the international community will deal with the pandemic in North Korea.
2021-02-17
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Biden?s Korea Policy

In this first episode of 2021, Andrew Schwartz, Dr. Victor Cha, and Dr. Sue Mi Terry discuss the new Biden administration?s Korea policy and what to expect from North and South Korea.
2021-01-25
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The Outlook for North Korea's Economy Post-Pandemic

On December 1st, the CSIS Korea Chair held a special discussion on the state of North Korea?s economy today and what scenarios could be expected for its economy in the future. The panels examined the impact of sanctions, Covid-19, and natural disasters on North Korea?s trade, industry, markets, and finance sector. The experts also explored potential scenarios for North Korea?s economy in the event of a diplomatic breakthrough on denuclearization. In this episode, we highlight the keynote address that opened up the session from Mr. Alex Wong, deputy assistant secretary for North Korea in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs and deputy special representative for North Korea, U.S. Department of State. Please click here to watch the full online event.
2020-12-18
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U.S.-Korea-Japan Trilateral Cooperation Under a New Biden Administration

In this episode, Andrew and Dr. Victor Cha invite a panel of guests to discuss the state of trilateral relations between Japan, South Korea, and the United States. To analyze what events have shifted the relationships, we are joined by Dr. Michael Green, Dr. Eva Pejsova, and Dr. Ramon Pacheco-Pardo. Dr. Green is senior vice president for Asia and Japan Chair at CSIS, and director of Asian Studies at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Dr. Pejsova is senior japan fellow at the Institute for European Studies of Vrije Universiteit Brussel (IES-VUB), and associate fellow at the French Foundation for Strategic Research (FRS). Dr. Pacheco-Pardo is Korea Chair at the Institute for European Studies of Vrije Universiteit Brussel (IES-VUB) and reader (associate professor) in International Relations at King's College London.
2020-12-15
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A New Strategy for North Korea

In this episode, Andrew Schwartz, Dr. Victor Cha, and Dr. Sue Mi Terry discuss how President-elect Joe Biden should approach diplomacy with North Korea, as it remains one of the U.S.'s top national security priorities. They expand on Dr. Cha's recent Foreign Affairs article, "Engaging North Korea Anew," to analyze what methods have been unsuccessful in the past and what new strategies could be helpful for the incoming administration.
2020-11-24
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Nuclear South Korea?

In this episode, Dr. Victor Cha is joined by Dr. Toby Dalton and Dr. Sue Mi Terry to discuss the U.S.-South Korea alliance and what that could mean for South Korean nuclear proliferation. They draw on Dr. Dalton and Ain Han's article, "Elections, Nukes, and the Future of the South Korea-U.S. Alliance," to unpack South Korean opinions on acquiring nuclear weapons in the Korean Peninsula, as well as how the November 2020 U.S. elections could affect future security relations between the alliances. Dr. Toby Dalton is co-director and a senior fellow of the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Previously, he served in a variety of high-level positions at the U.S. Department of Energy, including acting director for the Office of Nuclear Safeguards and Security; and senior policy advisor to the Office of Nonproliferation and International Security.
2020-11-02
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Bonus Episode: The Capital Cable with Caroline Kennedy

This episode is from the CSIS Korea Chair's live YouTube series, "The Capital Cable." Special guest Ambassador Caroline Kennedy joins Ambassador Mark Lippert, Dr. Victor Cha, and Dr. Sue Mi Terry for a conversation on her time as ambassador to Japan (2013-2017), the U.S.-Korea-Japan trilateral relationship, and the importance of female leadership in national security.
2020-10-16
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Democratic Erosion

In this episode, Dr. Victor Cha and Andrew Schwartz are joined by Dr. Gi-Wook Shin to discuss the state of South Korea's democracy. Dr. Shin draws on his recent article "Korean Democracy is Sinking under the Guise of the Rule of Law," to examine signs of democratic backsliding in the Moon administration, and considers it part of a broader trend in a global decline of democracy. Dr. Gi-Wook Shin is director of the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center and the William J. Perry Professor of Contemporary Korea in the Sociology Department and the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies; and a professor of sociology, all at Stanford University.
2020-10-05
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North Korea's Triple Whammy

In this episode, Victor Cha and Andrew Schwartz are joined by Dr. Seong-Ho Sheen and Chad O'Carroll to discuss all of the tough issues North Korea is currently facing including concerns over Covid-19, monsoon floods, food shortages, and sanctions. They also think ahead on the U.S. presidential election, and how its outcome could affect relations with North Korea. Dr. Seong-Ho Sheen is a professor of international security and East Asia at the Graduate School of International Studies at Seoul National University. Chad O'Carroll is the CEO and Founder of Korea Risk Group and NK News.
2020-09-10
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Bonus Episode: The Capital Cable with Tae Young-ho

This episode is from the CSIS Korea Chair's live YouTube series "The Capital Cable". Special guest Honorable Tae Young-ho joins Ambassador Mark Lippert, Dr. Victor Cha, and Dr. Sue Mi Terry for a conversation on North Korea, inter-Korea relations, human rights and life as a National Assemblyman. Hon. Tae Young-ho is currently a member of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea. He was also formerly the deputy chief of mission at the Embassy of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in the United Kingdom.
2020-08-31
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The China Shadow

In this episode, host Victor Cha is joined by Sue Mi Terry and Professor John Delury (Yonsei University) to discuss North Korea's current economic situation, how Covid-19 is being approached in the impossible state, as well as various factors affecting China-North Korea relations.
2020-08-21
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Bonus Episode: Living History with Ambassador Robert King

This bonus episode comes from CSIS?s Beyond Parallel Living History video series. We invite Robert King, former special envoy for North Korea human rights issues, to share his experience leading efforts to advance human rights and humanitarian conditions in North Korea. Ambassador King served as special envoy for North Korea human rights issues at the U.S. Department of State from 2009 ? 2017.
2020-08-03
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Bonus Episode: Living History with Ambassador Alexander Vershbow

This bonus episode comes from CSIS?s Beyond Parallel Living History video series. In this episode, former U.S. ambassador to South Korea Alexander Vershbow reflects on his work to bolster the U.S.-ROK alliance during his post in South Korea. He shares personal accounts of his experience negotiating key policies like the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement and goes on to reveal his ?diplomatic secret weapon? to establish rapport with South Korean citizens. Ambassador Vershbow served as U.S. ambassador to South Korea from 2005?2008.
2020-08-03
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Bonus Episode: Living History with Ambassador Shin Kak-soo

This bonus episode comes from CSIS?s Beyond Parallel Living History video series. We invite Shin Kak-soo, former South Korean ambassador to Japan, to share his thoughts on the complexities of South Korea?s relations with Japan. Ambassador Shin served as the South Korean ambassador to Japan from 2011?2013.
2020-08-03
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Batting in America: Korean Baseball

In this special episode, Ambassador Mark Lippert and Victor Cha bring together an all-star cast of Korean baseball experts to talk about the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO), its games being broadcast live in America on ESPN, and the importance baseball has played in people-to-people relationships between the U.S. and Korea and their alliance. 
2020-07-09
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ROK-U.S. Strategic Forum: Over-the-Horizon: The Future of U.S.-ROK Alliance

This virtual session, moderated by Dr. Young-kwan Yoon, Professor Emeritus at Seoul National University and Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea, features a discussion on opportunities for the future-oriented U.S.-ROK collaboration in new concepts of security including cyber, AI, and outer space. This is Session III of CSIS's three-part ROK-U.S. Strategic Forum 2020, that took place on June 24th and June 25th, 2020. 
2020-06-29
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ROK-U.S. Strategic Forum: Pandemics and the Global Responses

This virtual session, moderated by Ms. Anna Fifield, Beijing Bureau Chief at The Washington Post, features a discussion about the current global health crisis and the comprehensive impact of pandemics on the world. This is Session II of CSIS's three-part ROK-U.S. Strategic Forum 2020, that took place on June 24th and June 25th, 2020. 
2020-06-29
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ROK-U.S. Strategic Forum: Peace on the Korean Peninsula

This virtual session moderated by Ambassador Mark Lippert, Senior Advisor at the CSIS Korea Chair and former U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Korea, features a discussion about the status of U.S.-ROK alliance in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Korean War.
2020-06-25
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Bolton Book and NK Blow UP

In this episode, Sue Mi Terry and Victor Cha discuss the DPRK's attack on the Inter-Korean Liaison Office, as well as revelations in John Bolton's book about President Trump's negotiations with North Korea.
2020-06-19
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Kim Jong Un Alive and so is North Korea's Missile Program

In this episode, Victor Cha and Joseph Bermudez discuss the reappearance of Kim Jong Un and the breaking news surrounding satellite images CSIS released this week of a previously undisclosed North Korean missile facility.
2020-05-08
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Questions Surrounding Kim Jong Un's Health

In this episode, Andrew is joined by CSIS Korea Chair Victor Cha, Senior Fellow Sue Mi Terry to discuss the latest news surrounding Kim Jong Un's health. This episode was recorded on Friday, April 24, 2020.
2020-04-25
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Big Brother, Solutions & Widespread Distrust

In this hybrid episode of Truth of the Matter and the Impossible State, CSIS? Victor Cha and Steve Morrison join Andrew Schwartz to discuss South Korea?s innovative systems for tracking Covid-19 and whether they can work for the United States.
2020-04-15
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COVID-19 in North and South Korea

In this episode, Andrew and CSIS's Victor Cha discuss how South Korea is battling COVID-19 and the innovative strategies they took to prevent a wider spread of the virus. Victor also gives insight into what is and isn't known on how North Korea is responding to the global pandemic, noting their recent missile tests. This is a crossover episode with The Truth of The Matter.
2020-04-01
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Parasite

In this episode, Andrew talks with resident North Korea experts Victor Cha and Sue Mi Terry about Bong Joon-ho?s ?Parasite.? The Oscar-nominated film offers a candid commentary on income inequality within South Korean society.
2020-01-27
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A Team of Their Own

In this episode, H. Andrew Schwartz and CSIS Korea Chair Victor Cha talk with Seth Berkman, contributing editor at The New York Times. They discuss Berkman?s new book ?A Team of Their Own,? which tells the story of the Unified Korean women?s hockey team from the 2018 PyeongChang Games.
2019-12-16
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Bonus Episode: Living History with Minister Song Min-soon

This bonus episode comes from CSIS's Beyond Parallel Living History video series. We invite former South Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Song Min-soon to discuss global efforts to denuclearize North Korea during the six-party talks. Minister Song was the director general for North American affairs and chief delegate during the six-party talks in 2005. He played a key role in the September 2005 multilateral denuclearization agreement with North Korea, involving the U.S., Japan, South Korea, China and Russia.
2019-11-14
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Soft Diplomacy, Hard Stance

In this episode, Andrew talks with resident North Korea expert Victor Cha, and Dr. Kang Choi, acting president of the Asan Institute for Policy Studies. They discuss North Korea?s recent missile launch, South Korea-Japan relations, and more.
2019-11-01
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The Perfect Storm

In this episode, Andrew talks with resident North Korea experts Victor Cha and Sue Mi Terry about the failed U.S.-North Korea Stockholm talks and what they mean for the stalled nuclear negotiations.
2019-10-21
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Revenge Politics

In this episode, Andrew and Dr. Victor Cha welcome a special guest. Dr. Katrin Katz is the Adjunct Fellow in the Office of the Korea Chair at CSIS. From 2007 to 2008, Dr. Katz served as director for Japan, Korea and Oceanic Affairs on the U.S. National Security Council. They discuss various factors of the on-going South Korea-Japan trade dispute, which direction it might go, and what role the U.S. could play in it all.
2019-08-23
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Piecing Together the North Korean Jigsaw Puzzle

In this episode, Andrew and CSIS?s Victor Cha welcome Anna Fifield, Beijing Bureau Chief of the Washington Post. Fifield is the author of the recent biography, The Great Successor: The Divinely Perfect Destiny of Brilliant Comrade Kim Jong Un. They discuss the challenges of reporting on a reclusive state, the recent Trump-Xi summit, and the future of the relationship between the U.S. and North Korea. (Recorded from remote locations on Friday, June 21, 2019.)
2019-06-24
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Stalled Outreach and the Way Forward: Live from Georgetown University

In this second-ever live episode, students of CSIS Korea Chair Victor Cha?s ?Modern Asia? class join host Andrew Schwartz and guests for a lively discussion about the upcoming meeting between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and President Trump. Guests include Victor Cha, CSIS Korea Chair Senior Fellow Sue Mi Terry, and Kelly Magsamen, the vice president for National Security and International Policy at the Center for American Progress. Download transcript here.
2019-04-10
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Getting Worse Before It Gets Better: Live from CSIS

In this first live episode of The Impossible State, four esteemed guests join host H. Andrew Schwartz to discuss the latest Trump-Kim summit in Hanoi. Panelists included former US Ambassador to South Korea Alexander Vershbow, CSIS Korea experts Victor Cha and Sue Mi Terry, and Washington Post White House reporter David Nakamura.
2019-03-08
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No Deal

Dr. Michael Green, Senior Vice President for Asia at CSIS, joins host Andrew Schwartz to discuss the aftermath of the latest Trump-Kim summit, and reactions from U.S. allies in the region. Download transcript here.
2019-03-01
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Countdown to Round II

In this episode, host H. Andrew Schwartz and CSIS Korea Chair Victor Cha invite Dr. Stephen Noerper to preview the second Trump-Kim summit. Stephen Noerper is the Korea Society senior director for policy and education, a Columbia University adjunct professor, and senior advisor to the United Nations programme in support of cooperation in Northeast Asia.  Download transcript here.
2019-02-22
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The View from Europe

In this episode, experts discuss the upcoming Trump-Kim summit in Hanoi. CSIS's Korea Chair, Victor Cha, and host H. Andrew Schwartz welcome Dr. Ramon Pacheco Pardo, KF-VUB Korea Chair at the Institute for European Studies and Reader in International Relations at King's College London. Pardo offers the view from Europe.  Download transcript here.
2019-02-11
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The Worldwide Threat Assessment and the Missile Defense Review

Tom Karako, senior fellow with the International Security Program and director of the Missile Defense Project at CSIS, joins resident Korea expert Victor Cha and host Andrew Schwartz to discuss the 2019 Missile Defense Review. They also discuss the annual Worldwide Threat Assessment and how North Korea?s threat will play out as President Trump is expected to meet with Kim Jong-un next month. Download transcript here.
2019-01-31
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A Great Deception

David Sanger of the New York Times and resident Korea expert Victor Cha weigh in on the recent CSIS findings of 16 hidden missile bases in North Korea. They discuss David Sanger?s article on the matter, and how the Trump administration has responded to these findings. Download transcript here.
2018-11-16
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The Gathering Health Storm Inside North Korea

Stephen Morrison, the director of CSIS? Global Health Policy Center and resident Korea expert Victor Cha, discuss Morrison?s documentary about the health crisis in North Korea. The Gathering Health Storm Inside North Korea was presented by CSIS? Commission on Strengthening America?s Health Security. You can watch the documentary and find out more at https://healthsecurity.csis.org/articles/the-gathering-health-storm-inside-north-korea/. Download transcript here.
2018-11-02
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60 Minutes and Whiplash

Resident experts Victor Cha and Sue Mi Terry weigh in on the president's latest "60 Minutes" interview. They also discuss what to expect at the next Trump-Kim summit and the newest chapter of Cha's updated seminal book, The Impossible State. (The Impossible State, Updated Edition: North Korea, Past and Future, will be available October 23, 2018.) Download transcript here.
2018-10-15
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Third Summit

David Kang, director of the Korean Studies Institute at the University of Southern California, joins CSIS?s Victor Cha again by phone to discuss the latest Inter-Korean summit, what this means for denuclearization, and what to expect from a potential 2nd Trump-Kim summit. Download full transcript here.
2018-09-25
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Strategizing Engagement

David Kang, director of the Korean Studies Institute at the University of Southern California, joins guest host Victor Cha of CSIS to discuss the second edition of their book, Nuclear North Korea: A Debate on Engagement Strategies from the studio. Originally published in 2003, the new edition?out today?includes updated insights on recent developments.
2018-09-11
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Recovery Operations

Dr. Jennie Jin, an anthropologist with the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency and the lead researcher tasked to identify the recent American POW/MIA remains from North Korea, joins resident expert Victor Cha and host H. Andrew Schwartz by phone from Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Download transcript here. 
2018-08-17
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