On February 7, 2010, BUCSA invited Jonathan D. Pollack, Senior Fellow in Foreign Policy in the John L. Thornton China Center at the Brookings Institution to speak on the current and historic relationship between the People’s Republic of China and the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea.
China’s relationship with North Korea (and its presumed influence over decision making in Pyongyang) constitute major considerations in U.S. policy deliberations over the Korean peninsula and in the continued efforts to inhibit North Korea’s nuclear weapons development. However, Pollack noted that these issues need to be understood in their fuller historical context.
The presentation highlighted the complex nature of this relationship over the better part of the last century and compared the attitudes of Kim Il-sung, Kim Jong-il, and heir-apparent Kim Jong-un.
Jonathan D. Pollack is Senior Fellow in Foreign Policy in the John L. Thornton China Center at the Brookings Institution. He is also Research Associate in the National Asia Research Program of the National Bureau of Asian Research and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. He was previously Professor of Asian and Pacific Studies and Chairman of the Asia-Pacific Studies Group at the Naval War College, where he also chaired the Strategic Research Department between 2000 and 2004. He has taught at Brandeis University, the Rand Graduate School of Policy Studies, UCLA, as well as at the Naval War College. A specialist on East Asian international politics and security, he has published extensively on Chinese political-military strategy, U.S.- China relations, the political and security dynamics of the Korean Peninsula, and U.S. strategy and policy in Asia and the Pacific. His latest study, No Exit: North Korea, Nuclear Weapons, and International Security, will be published in early 2011 by Routledge, for the International Institute for Strategic Studies. This event is cosponsored by the BU Center for International Relations.