To shed light on a wide range of topics that figured in President Trump's second State of the Union address, we've rounded up insights from some of RAND's objective and nonpartisan research, analysis, and expertise.
It is difficult to predict the outcome of the second summit between Kim Jong-Un and Donald Trump. In September, 2018, Kim offered to fully denuclearize during President Trump's first term. But despite Kim's offer, he continued building nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, according to multiple reports. If Kim decides to keep stalling, serious tensions could follow.
North Korean provocations and threats have created an unstable environment on the Korean Peninsula. The United States and its allies must attend to four interconnected problems. Failure to prepare will increase the chance of miscalculation and constrain options to reduce the likelihood or gravity of future conflicts.
While North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has suggested he may be prepared to abandon his nuclear ambitions, there has been no proof that he is serious. The United States could take steps to discover Kim's true intentions.
In early 2018, Kim Jong Un signaled that he was ready to negotiate abandoning North Korea's nuclear weapons with the United States. But since then, Pyongyang hasn't taken steps to denuclearize. The DPRK's actions speak louder than its words.
In this Call with the Experts podcast, RAND senior international/defense researcher Bruce Bennett discusses several potential paths to Korean unification. Lisa Sodders and Khorshied Samad from the RAND Office of Media Relations moderate.
An examination of nine potential paths to Korean unification recommends actions that the Republic of Korea (ROK, or South Korea) and the United States can take to set the conditions for stable reunification, should the opportunity arise.
There are many ways in which Korean unification could occur or be attempted, and each holds vast uncertainties. What actions could South Korea and the United States take to set the conditions for stable reunification?
Kim Jong Un has regularly promised to denuclearize, but he's been all talk. And this year, North Korea has probably built five to nine more nuclear weapons. There are steps that could make a difference if taken before the North Korean nuclear weapon threat grows any further.
South Korea is cautiously optimistic that North Korea will denuclearize, and it hopes that this will lead to the normalization of relations. The vast majority of U.S. observers believe that the North is bluffing. Seoul and Washington should continue to strive for transparency about the future of the peninsula.
This issue spotlights RAND's Gun Policy in America initiative and RAND's evaluation of Housing for Health, a Los Angeles County program that has moved some of its most chronically homeless and vulnerable residents into permanent housing.
Japan has stakes in the outcome of regional diplomacy involving North Korea. It could play a role far beyond simply writing checks for an agreement, but has not held any bilateral meetings with the other actors. Diplomats hoping to fit their approach to the realities of the geopolitical situation could benefit from Japan's active involvement.
This is the third time the United States and North Korea have started down a path toward denuclearization and normalization of relations. The difference now is that Trump and Kim have committed themselves earlier on in the process and more publicly than their predecessors did.
Despite expansive government aid, North Korean defectors in South Korea remain a nation within a nation, co-existent yet separate. If South Korea cannot fully adopt and assimilate 30,805 North Korea defectors, how will South Korea ever embrace roughly 25 million North Koreans in the event of reunification?
The growing costs of planning for Korean military contingencies place a burden on U.S. defense resources. If Tuesday's summit becomes a step toward eventual guarantees against aggression, the U.S. could remove a major Korean conflict from the top rungs of its defense planning roster, freeing resources for other worries.
An examination of the evolution of both allied and adversary use of information power, alongside a comparative analysis of capability areas in which these others excel, can guide future U.S. Army force planning.