Ikenberry Spearheading Project Looking at Future of Korean Peninsula
According to many foreign policy experts the collapse of the North Korean regime is not a question of "if" but more so a question of "when." When this crisis does occur, what are the challenges facing Northeast Asia and the wider world in addressing issues ranging from nuclear weapons, refugees, reunification of the Korean Peninsula, humanitarian assistance, and possible foreign interventions?
To prepare for this future crisis, G. John Ikenberry, the Albert G. Milbank Professor of Politics and International Affairs in the Woodrow Wilson School, has teamed up with Ambassador Mitchell Reiss and other experts in a two year research and track-two project on "The Day After: Northeast Asia in the Aftermath of the Collapse of the DPRK."
The project, supported by $430,000 in grant funding from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Asan Institute, and the Korea Foundation, will bring together a group of American international policy experts and a group of South Korean, Chinese, Japanese, and Russian colleagues to examine the problems, dangers, and challenges that will face the world following the collapse of the North Korean regime. The project is expected to unfold over a two-year period, with high-level meetings in Seoul, Tokyo, Beijing, and Washington, DC.
Ikenberry's co-director of the project, Mitchell Reiss, is President of Washington College and a former diplomat who negotiated nuclear issues with the North Korean government in the mid-1990s. The project work will be managed through the Woodrow Wilson School's Center for International Security Studies (CISS), which is co-directed by Ikenberry.
"This project will really be a first-ever effort to bring high-level experts together to discuss how countries in the region might react to regime collapse in North Korea," says Ikenberry. "There are enormous dangers of miscalculation - particularly between China and the United States - that could follow from the state failure in the North. We hope the track-two dialogues will help foster a better sense of each country’s expectations, fears, and visions of a post-DPRK peninsula."