The United States and its allies have long applied a policy of dialogue and pressure vis-à-vis North Korea, in an effort to dissuade it from pursuing nuclear weapons and advanced missile technology. But as a new U.S. president prepares to take office, the situation with North Korea has become only more troubling and dangerous, with few appealing options for remedy in sight. Moreover, North Korea has changed significantly since the 2007 nuclear deal, when it agreed to disable nuclear facilities and reveal its entire nuclear program in return for U.S. and allied steps toward normalized relations.

This half-day conference brought together experts on North Korea from the United States and Japan to sift through the latest information on North Korea’s economy, military, and society. We considered various policy options to address the North Korean threat and establish a firm foundation for a harmonious allied approach as U.S. President-elect Donald Trump takes office.

This conference was followed by a light reception.


2:00 p.m.

Introduction and Opening Remarks

George Perkovich

2:15 p.m.

North Korea Assessment: Economy, Society, Military, and Ruling Regime

Hiroyasu Akutsu, Joshua H. Pollack, Atsuhito Isozaki, Yonho Kim, James L. Schoff

4:00 p.m.

Regional Assessment: China’s Role and Alliance Options

Katsuhisa Furukawa, Sue Mi Terry, Evan Medeiros, Victor Cha, James L. Schoff

5:30 p.m

Cocktail reception


George Perkovich

George Perkovich is vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He works primarily on nuclear strategy and nonproliferation issues, and on South Asian security.

Hiroyasu Akutsu

Hiroyasu Akutsu is a senior fellow in the Africa and Asia division of the Regional Studies Department of Japan’s National Institute for Defense Studies. He works on political and military affairs on the Korean peninsula, security issues in Northeast Asia, and Japan’s strategic cooperation with the United States, South Korea, and Australia.

Joshua H. Pollack

Joshua H. Pollack is the editor of the The Nonproliferation Review and a senior research associate at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies' James Martin Center for 
Nonproliferation Studies. He is recognized as a leading expert on nuclear and missile proliferation, focusing on Northeast Asia. 

Atsuhito Isozaki

Atsuhito Isozaki is a Japan scholar at the Wilson Center and serves as an associate professor of North Korean studies at Keio University in Yokohama, Japan. His research focuses on contemporary North Korean politics and Japan–North Korea relations.

Yonho Kim

Yonho Kim is a senior researcher in the U.S.-Korea Institute at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies where he manages projects on maritime negotiations between the Republic of Korea and China and the North Korean political economy.

James L. Schoff

James L. Schoff is a senior fellow in the Carnegie Asia Program. His research focuses on U.S.-Japanese relations and regional engagement, Japanese politics and security, and the private sector’s role in Japanese policymaking.

Katsuhisa Furukawa

Katsuhisa Furukawa was formerly a member of the Panel of Experts established by the United Nations Security Council to assist in monitoring, promoting, and facilitating resolution 1718 (2006) relating to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Sue Mi Terry

Sue Mi Terry is BowerGroupAsia’s managing director for Korea. As one of the world’s top Korea experts, she leads the company’s advisory work and development strategies for BGA clients pursuing opportunities in South Korea and regionally.

Evan Medeiros

Evan Medeiros is managing director, Asia at the Eurasia Group and a nonresident senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He previously served as special assistant to the president and senior director of Asian affairs at the White House’s National Security Council.

Victor Cha

Victor Cha joined CSIS in May 2009 as a senior adviser and the inaugural holder of the Korea Chair. He is also director of Asian studies and holds the D.S. Song-KF Chair in the Department of Government and School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.