Skip to content

Benjamin Zimmer

Preventing an Outbreak? The Impact of COVID-19 on North Korea

nations, as they work to return to a post-pandemic normalcy, are taking a holistic look at the impact of COVID-19 within their borders. North Korea, however, maintains that, despite testing 31,794 people, zero cases have been confirmed within its borders. According to a statement from its Ministry of Foreign Affairs, North Korea’s ability to maintain zero cases within its borders is due to “the measures of isolation and quarantine” taken early enough “by the Party and the government of the DPRK” and the “concerted action and mobilization of the whole society and entire people.” North Korea’s actions, however, were designed to spare a vulnerable health care system from a catastrophic shock rather than ensure quality of life for regular North Koreans.

Biden’s Peninsula: A Korea Policy Outline for a New Administration

Among the variety of foreign policy challenges the new Biden administration faces, effectively coordinating a policy toward the Korean peninsula is a critical challenge. After all, the peninsula is home to a key adversary and ally. North Korea The biggest issue inherited by the Biden administration is unraveling the personalized approach to North Korea favored…

Pyongyang’s Princess: The Rise of Kim Yo-Jong

Although Kim Yo-jong has taken on a prominent role within the North Korean regime, she is not poised to be a successor to Kim Jung-un.

In Kim’s Neighborhood: Regional Actors and US-DPRK Relations

Building off prior Charged Affairs articles, a co-authored article diving into the details of South Korea, Japan, and China's regional role in North Korea relations.

Coercive Coal: Chinese Energy Investment in Developing Countries

Chinese coal power investment increases the vulnerability of developing countries to Beijing’s coercive leverage.

Enhancing the Image: Chinese Renewable Energy Investment in OECD Europe

As China increases investments in renewable energy, questions about Beijing’s motivation arise, as these seemingly benign investments correlate with a rise in China’s perceived international reliability and responsibility.

Trusting the Enemy: Barriers to Diplomacy in US-North Korea Relationship

As the United States-North Korea relationship becomes more complex, a key hurdle for the two nations to address is a growing lack of trust. Addressing this lack of trust in the relationship can create a situation in which diplomacy can be effective.

Pressuring Friends: Recent Developments in the ROK-US Alliance

Since October several key issues—defense cost sharing and GSOMIA in particular—have caused contention in the United States-South Korea alliance. Rising pressure provides room for adversaries to exploit the alliance for their own gain and draws into question the many benefits of a strong alliance.

A Return to Militarism: The Symbolism of Recent North Korean Missile Tests

As the year comes to a close, North Korea's new nuclear missile tests should heighten security concerns for the United States and place pressure on the Trump Administration to change strategies.

Maritime Security on the Korean Peninsula: The Story of the Northern Limit Line

North Korea denuclearization may provide a path to ending violent clashes along the Northern Limit line, a long disputed maritime demarcation between North and South Korea.

Preventing an Outbreak? The Impact of COVID-19 on North Korea

nations, as they work to return to a post-pandemic normalcy, are taking a holistic look at the impact of COVID-19 within their borders. North Korea, however, maintains that, despite testing 31,794 people, zero cases have been confirmed within its borders. According to a statement from its Ministry of Foreign Affairs, North Korea’s ability to maintain zero cases within its borders is due to “the measures of isolation and quarantine” taken early enough “by the Party and the government of the DPRK” and the “concerted action and mobilization of the whole society and entire people.” North Korea’s actions, however, were designed to spare a vulnerable health care system from a catastrophic shock rather than ensure quality of life for regular North Koreans.

Biden’s Peninsula: A Korea Policy Outline for a New Administration

Among the variety of foreign policy challenges the new Biden administration faces, effectively coordinating a policy toward the Korean peninsula is a critical challenge. After all, the peninsula is home to a key adversary and ally. North Korea The biggest issue inherited by the Biden administration is unraveling the personalized approach to North Korea favored…

Pyongyang’s Princess: The Rise of Kim Yo-Jong

Although Kim Yo-jong has taken on a prominent role within the North Korean regime, she is not poised to be a successor to Kim Jung-un.

In Kim’s Neighborhood: Regional Actors and US-DPRK Relations

Building off prior Charged Affairs articles, a co-authored article diving into the details of South Korea, Japan, and China's regional role in North Korea relations.

Coercive Coal: Chinese Energy Investment in Developing Countries

Chinese coal power investment increases the vulnerability of developing countries to Beijing’s coercive leverage.

Enhancing the Image: Chinese Renewable Energy Investment in OECD Europe

As China increases investments in renewable energy, questions about Beijing’s motivation arise, as these seemingly benign investments correlate with a rise in China’s perceived international reliability and responsibility.

Trusting the Enemy: Barriers to Diplomacy in US-North Korea Relationship

As the United States-North Korea relationship becomes more complex, a key hurdle for the two nations to address is a growing lack of trust. Addressing this lack of trust in the relationship can create a situation in which diplomacy can be effective.

Pressuring Friends: Recent Developments in the ROK-US Alliance

Since October several key issues—defense cost sharing and GSOMIA in particular—have caused contention in the United States-South Korea alliance. Rising pressure provides room for adversaries to exploit the alliance for their own gain and draws into question the many benefits of a strong alliance.

A Return to Militarism: The Symbolism of Recent North Korean Missile Tests

As the year comes to a close, North Korea's new nuclear missile tests should heighten security concerns for the United States and place pressure on the Trump Administration to change strategies.

Maritime Security on the Korean Peninsula: The Story of the Northern Limit Line

North Korea denuclearization may provide a path to ending violent clashes along the Northern Limit line, a long disputed maritime demarcation between North and South Korea.