North Korea is the land of punditry, controversy and bad intelligence. Policy debates swirl in Washington over how U.S. policy should address this foreign policy challenge. Much of these debates is informed by a mix of opinion, ideology and politics. How do we make sense of it all? Victor Cha and his Beyond Parallel microsite at CSIS try to cut through the noise to bring data to the study of North Korea and foreign policy. He will discuss five data points that are critical to an understanding of the North Korea problem today and its policy challenges.
Victor Cha holds the D.S. Song-KF Professorship in Government and International Affairs at Georgetown University. In 2009, he was also named as Senior Adviser for Asia and Korea Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. He left the White House in 2007 after serving since 2004 as Director for Asian Affairs at the National Security Council. At the White House, he was responsible primarily for Japan, the Korean peninsula, Australia/New Zealand and Pacific Island nation affairs. Dr. Cha was also the Deputy Head of Delegation for the United States at the Six Party Talks in Beijing, and received two Outstanding Service commendations during his tenure at the NSC. He is the author of five books, including the award-winning Alignment Despite Antagonism: The United States-Korea-Japan Security Triangle (Stanford University Press) (winner of the 2000 Ohira Book Prize), and The Impossible State: North Korea, Past and Future (Harper Collins Ecco, 2012) which was selected by Foreign Affairs as a “Best Book on the Asia-Pacific for 2012.” His newest book is Powerplay: Origins of the American Alliance System in Asia (Princeton University Press, 2016). He has testified before Congress numerous times on Asian security issues. In 2018, he joined NBC and MSNBC as a News Contributor. Prior to joining NBC, he had been a guest analyst for various media including CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, The Colbert Report, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, Fox News, PBS, Huffington Post, Wall Street Journal, MSNBC, CNBC, BBC, and National Public Radio. His op-eds have appeared in the Washington Post, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Foreign Policy, Japan Times, and Financial Times. He holds a B.A., an M.I.A., and a Ph.D. from Columbia University, as well as an M.A. from Oxford University.