Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs
Korean Peninsula Affairs Center presents
Is There a Diplomatic Way Forward With North Korea?
A key question. Perhaps a few small details need to be put in order first. Like, for example, getting right the history of the past 30 years of engagement with the DPRK. Without that as a foundation, any answer to the question will become trapped inside the same bubble of common wisdom that has produced countless bad decisions, bad decisions which have had bad consequences.
Robert (‘Bob’) Carlin is a Nonresident Fellow at the Stimson Center. From both in and out of government, he has been following North Korea since 1974 and has made more than 30 trips there. In 2013, Carlin updated Don Oberdorfer’s classic history of the Korean Peninsula, The Two Koreas. From 2002-2006, Carlin was senior policy advisor at the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO), leading numerous delegations to the North for talks and observing developments in-country. From 1989-2002, he was a division chief in the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research. During much of that period, he also served as Senior Policy Advisor, and took part in all phases of US-DPRK negotiations from 1992-2000. From 1971-1989, Carlin was an analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency. Carlin received his AM in East Asian regional studies from Harvard University in 1971 and his BA in political science from Claremont Men’s College.
This event was first published on January 26, 2021 and last updated on March 29, 2021.