Will Moon Push for Engagement with Pyongyang?

By J. James Kim

J. James KIM is the director of the Asan Institute for Policy Studies (Washington, DC) and research fellow at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies (Seoul). He is also an adjunct lecturer in the SIPA Executive Master of Public Administration program at Columbia University. Previously, he was an assistant professor of political science at the California State Polytechnic University (Pomona).

In his first days in office, newly elected South Korean President Moon Jae-in has tried to reassure the governments of the United States, Japan, and China that he will work to reduce tensions with North Korea, however his preference for engagement over sanctions has some experts wondering if his North Korea policies will clash with those of the Trump Administration. So far, Moon has pledged to work closely with regional partners, especially the United States, saying, “The alliance with the United States is and will always be the foundation of our diplomacy and national security.”

As Moon embarks on his term as president, The Cipher Brief spoke to James Kim, the director of the Asan Institute’s Washington, D.C. office, to learn more about what Moon’s presidency means for South Korea and for the United States.

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