The Brief, March 2018



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March  13, 2018 

Will Olympic Diplomacy Lead to Productive U.S.-North Korea Talks?
Following the conclusion of the Winter Olympics in Pyongyang, experts from Johns Hopkins SAIS discuss the significance of Olympic overtures and the outlook for an upcoming U.S.-North Korea summit.  

U.S.-Korea Institute Visiting Scholar Michael Madden wrote in the BBC North Korea’s late announcement to send a full delegation to the Olympics was likely "North Korea maximizing the positive PR effects" of favorable media coverage. Read more

Director of the Edwin O. Reischauer Center for East Asian Studies and Director of Asia Programs Kent E. Calder wrote in Kyodo News that U.S. and Japanese delegations ignored North Korean VIPs at the opening ceremonies and the pointed "diplomatic coolness has clear origins in national interest" to counter North Korean nuclear capabilities. Read more

But following a White House announcement to hold unprecedented U.S.-North Korea talks by the end of May, U.S.-Korea Institute Senior Fellow Joel Wit told NPR that he was very surprised by the planned meeting, although the "North Koreans for months now have been shifting their position towards diplomacy, away from developing their weapons." Hear more

While the outcome of the discussions remain uncertain, U.S.-Korea Institute Assistant Director Jenny Town told Foreign Policy that this is an opportunity for the Trump administration to gain a political win because "if the U.S. does not take advantage, there will be a lot more international opposition to the pressure campaign." Read more  

The Brief highlights Johns Hopkins SAIS expertise on current events and is produced monthly by the Office of Marketing, Communications, and Strategic Initiatives. Like The Brief? Share it on Facebook and Twitter, forward to a friend, or subscribe.