RAND Experts Available to Discuss China-North Korea Relations Ahead of Summit

June 18, 2019

Chinese President Xi Jinping will make his first trip to North Korea and meet with North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un on June 20th. RAND has experts available to discuss the latest developments.

Bruce Bennett is a senior international/defense researcher at RAND who works primarily on research topics such as strategy, force planning, and counterproliferation within the RAND International Security and Defense Policy Center. Kim has been trying to get the countries around him to relax the United Nations/United States economic sanctions on North Korea, which are designed to induce North Korean denuclearization and appear to be causing economic problems in North Korea. Bennett is prepared to talk about steps the United States could be taking to get North Korea to start its promised but thus far avoided denuclearization.

Andrew Scobell is a senior political scientist at RAND and an adjunct professor at Georgetown University's Edmund A. Walsh School of Government and Public Service. Scobell was born and raised in Hong Kong and regularly makes research trips to the region. He can discuss why Xi may have chosen to travel to Pyongyang now, when all four previous Xi-Kim summits took place in China and what the implications of a Xi-Kim summit are for the United States.

Soo Kim is a policy analyst at RAND. Her broad coverage areas include inter-Korean relations, decision-making in North and South Korea, the intelligence community, and homeland security. A native Korean speaker, Kim served as an all-source Korea analyst in the CIA, where she focused on the DPRK's media/propaganda analysis, leadership, nuclear strategy, and external relations. She can discuss the Kim regime's calculus behind the upcoming Xi-Kim summit, the role of South Korea in the deadlocked nuclear negotiations, and leadership intentions in the US, North Korea, and South Korea.

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

Timothy Heath is a senior international defense researcher at RAND and member of the Pardee RAND Graduate School faculty. Fluent in Mandarin Chinese, his work specializes in China, Asia and security topics. He can address China's relationship with North Korea under Xi Jinping.

J.D. Williams is a senior defense policy researcher at RAND focusing on national security, intelligence, and military issues. He can discuss North Korean and Chinese military capabilities, strategy, and posture, as well as the regional threat situation.

RAND has VideoLink ReadyCam facilities in Washington, D.C., Santa Monica and Pittsburgh. RAND experts also are available via Skype.

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