Naoko Aoki

Photo of Naoko Aoki
Adjunct Political Scientist
Off Site Office


Ph.D. in international security studies, University of MD-College Park; M.A. in international relations, Johns Hopkins University; B.A. in English, Sophia University

Media Resources

This researcher is available for interviews.

To arrange an interview, contact the RAND Office of Media Relations at (310) 451-6913, or email

More Experts


Naoko Aoki is an adjunct political scientist at the RAND Corporation, and was the 2018-2019 Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow. Her research interests include security issues in the Asia-Paciic region with a focus on North Korea, nuclear security policy, security cooperation and the impact of domestic politics on international security policy.

She was formerly with Kyodo News, Japan's largest news agency, covering Japanese domestic politics and economic policy before serving as a Beijing correspondent. She holds a Ph.D. in international security policy from the University of Maryland, College Park, an M.A. in international relations and international economics from The Johns Hopkins University, Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and a B.A. in English from Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan.


  • U.S. President Donald Trump meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the demilitarized zone on the border of North and South Korea, June 30, 2019, photo by Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

    Why U.S. Negotiators Face a Tough Task After the Trump-Kim DMZ Meeting

    Denuclearization talks between the United States and North Korea may be under time constraints tied to America's next presidential election. This further complicates the task facing U.S. negotiators, who seek to reach a deal that endures beyond 2020.

    Jul 15, 2019 The National Interest

  • Missiles being launched during a military drill in North Korea, May 10, 2019, photo by KCNA/Reuters

    Downplaying North Korea's Missile Tests Carries Political and Strategic Risks

    North Korea test-fired short-range ballistic missiles for the first time in 18 months. President Trump is downplaying the tests, refusing to call them a violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions. But if North Korea starts testing longer-range missiles, it could become harder for Washington to return to talks, risking the end of diplomacy with Pyongyang altogether.

    Jun 5, 2019 East Asia Forum

  • North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends wreath laying ceremony at Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Hanoi, Vietnam March 2, 2019, photo by Jorge Silva/Pool/Reuters

    After the Hanoi Summit

    The best-case scenario for U.S.-North Korea relations is that President Trump and Kim Jong-un remain committed to diplomacy. In the worst-case scenario, both countries' frustrations could spiral out of control.

    Mar 13, 2019 The National Interest