What to Do About North Korea: Some Thoughts on a "Destructive Engagement" Strategy

Philippines Conference Room
  • Andrei Lankov

North Korea is widely regarded internationally as a long-term threat to regional peace and stability and to the international nuclear nonproliferation regime. Conservatives support the use of sanctions and other pressures to counter these threats, while liberals hope that reasonable efforts at accommodation will persuade the Pyongyang regime to change course. Professor Lankov maintains that neither approach will work. He urges a new approach, based on engagement but with the long-term goal of inducing regime change from within North Korea.

Andrei Lankov, a historian of Korea and one of the world's top experts on North Korea, is an associate professor at Kookmin University in Seoul. He received undergraduate and graduate degrees at Leningrad State University and attended Kim Il Sung University in Pyongyang, North Korea. He has also taught at Leningrad State University and Australian National University. Lankov is the author of many books in English, Korean, and Russian, including From Stalin to Kim Il Sung: The Formation of North Korea, 1945-1960; Crisis in North Korea: The Failure of De-Stalinization, 1956; North of the DMZ: Essays on Daily Life in North Korea; and The Dawn of Modern Korea. Among his most recent articles is "Staying Alive: Why North Korea Will Not Change," which appeared in the March/April 2008 edition of Foreign Affairs. He is also a columnist for the Chosun Ilbo and Korea Times in South Korea.

This special seminar is supported by a generous grant from Koret Foundation.