The North Korea Playbook: Five Facts You Need to Know
Victor Cha - D.S. Song-KF Professor of Government and International Affairs, Georgetown University
The Council on East Asian Studies is pleased to present the Inaugural Seong-Yawng Park GRD ’65 and Marguerite Clark Park Memorial Lecture
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? Dr. 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.
Professor Victor D. 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 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 is also co-authoring a new book, Korea After Unification: Planning for the Inevitable to be published by Columbia University Press. He published articles on international relations and East Asia in journals including Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, International Security, Political Science Quarterly, Survival, International Studies Quarterly, International Journal of the History of Sport, and Asian Survey. Professor Cha is a former John M. Olin National Security Fellow at Harvard University, two-time Fulbright Scholar, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Scholar at Columbia University, and Hoover National Fellow, CISAC Fellow, and William J. Perry Fellow at Stanford University. He is a Fellow in Human Freedom (non-resident) at the George W. Bush Institute in Dallas, Texas.
Dr. Cha is a dedicated teacher and academician. He holds Georgetown’s Distinguished Principal Investigator Award for 2016, the Dean’s Teaching Award for 2010 and the Distinguished Research Award for 2011. He founded in 2012 Georgetown’s Master’s degree in Asian Studies and brought a U.S. Department of Education Title VI grant in East Asia to the University for the first time in Georgetown’s history in 2009. He has served on every major committee assignment at the University, including the University’s Rank and Tenure Committee as a presidential appointment.
Dr. Cha serves on nine editorial boards of academic journals and is co-editor of the Contemporary Asia Book Series at Columbia University Press. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Fulbright Association. He has been the principal investigator on nineteen major research grant projects ranging between $40,000 and $1.6 million from private foundations and the U.S. government.
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 is a Senior Adviser to Teneo Intelligence, and works as an independent consultant helping clients in sectors ranging from business and finance to entertainment.
Dr. Cha received his Ph.D. in political science at Columbia University in 1994, his Master’s in International Affairs from Columbia in 1988, M.A. Honours in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from Oxford University (Hertford College), and B.A. in Economics from Columbia in 1979.
Seong-Yawng Park GRD ’65 and Marguerite Clark Park Memorial Lecture was made possible by a generous gift from the estate of the Park family. The principal objective of this gift is to foster the study of Korea at Yale by bringing recognition of the Korean peninsula and its affairs and achievements to Yale and the wider community.