Symposium: The Korean War Began 70 Years Ago This Week. We Asked the World’s Top Experts Whether It’ll End Before Turning 75

Symposium: The Korean War Began 70 Years Ago This Week. We Asked the World’s Top Experts Whether It’ll End Before Turning 75

Over 50 top analysts and thinkers with a wide range of perspectives as the Korean War—a war that has never formally ended—turns 70. 

Editor's Note: Please also check out the Center for the National Interest's two-part profile Kim Jong-un's sister Kim Yo-jong as well as a recent report on how North Korea perceives U.S.-South Korea joint military exercises as well as analysis concerning the recent rise in tensions between Japan and South Korea. 

Though the 1953 Armistice Agreement halted actual combat operations that claimed the lives of millions of people, the Korean Peninsula has nonetheless remained in a state of war since.

With that said, as the world commemorates the 70th anniversary of the start of the Korean War, the Center for the National Interest’s Korean Studies team decided to ask dozens of the world’s top experts a simple question: Do you believe that the Korean War will finally come to an end before its next major anniversary in 2025? 

Below you will find links to each expert's analysis. Every day for the next several days, we will update this page with new perspectives. Please check back frequently! 

July 15:

Yun Sun: Senior Fellow, Co-Director of the East Asia Program, and Director of the China Program at the Stimson Center.

Kacie Miura: Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Relations at the University of San Diego and Research Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.

Zhu Feng: Director of the Institute of International Studies and Executive Director of the Collaborative Innovation Center of South China Sea Studies at Nanjing University.

Denny Roy: Senior Fellow at the East-West Center (EWC).

Jihwan Hwang: professor of International Relations at the University of Seoul, Korea and member of the Presidential Commission on Policy Planning. 

July 14:

Stephan Haggard: Lawrence and Sallye Krause Professor of Korea-Pacific Studies and Director of the Korea-Pacific Program at the University of California, San Diego’s School of Global Policy and Strategy.

Richard Javad Heydarian: Research Fellow at National Chengchi University and author of The Indo-Pacific: Trump, China, and the New Struggle for Global Mastery.

Patricia Schouker: DC-based energy and security analyst, Non-Resident Fellow at the Colorado School of Mines's Payne Institute for Public Policy, and Associate Member of Oxford University's New College.

Charles K. Armstrong: Korea Foundation Professor of Korean Studies in the Social Sciences at Columbia University.

July 13: 

Grażyna Strnad: Associate Professor at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań.Jihwan Hwang: Professor of International Relations at the University of Seoul and Member of the Presidential Commission on Policy Planning.

Se Young Jang: Assistant Professor in Korean Studies at Universiteit Leiden, former South Korean Foreign Service Officer, and former fellow at: MIT’s Security Studies Program; the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s Nuclear Policy Program; the Pacific Forum; the Harvard Kennedy School; George Washington University’s Institute for Security and Conflict Studies; the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs.

Bridget L. Coggins: Visiting Scholar at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy’s Center for Strategic Studies and Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Minseon Ku: PhD candidate in International Relations at Ohio State University.

July 10:

Timo Kivimäki: Professor of International Relations at the University of Bath and author of both Can Peace Research Make Peace? and The Long Peace of East Asia.

July 9:

Yong-Chool Ha: Korea Foundation Professor of Korean Social Science at the University of Washington’s Jackson School of International Studies.

Joshua Fitt: Researcher at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS).

Yu Bin Kim: PhD candidate in Political Science at the University of Missouri.

July 8:

Darcie Draudt: Advisor for Public Policy at StratWays Group and PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science at Johns Hopkins University.

Scott A. Snyder: Senior Fellow for Korea Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and author of South Korea at the Crossroads: Autonomy and Alliance in an Era of Rival Powers.

July 7:

Welton Chang: Chief Technology Officer at Human Rights First (HRF), former Senior Researcher at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, and former intelligence officer at the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and US Army.

Damin Jung: Politics and Defense Reporter with The Korea Times.

Jieun Baek: Founder and Director of Lumen, a non-profit working to provide North Koreans with access to uncensored information, and author of North Korea’s Hidden Revolution: How the Information Underground is Transforming a Closed Society.

Jeenho Hahm: Doctor of International Affairs candidate at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).

Spencer D. Bakich: Associate Professor of International Studies and Director of the National Security Program at the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) and author of Success and Failure in Limited War: Information and Strategy in the Korean, Vietnam, Persian Gulf, and Iraq Wars.

Eric J. Ballbach: Director of Research Unit “North Korea and International Security” at the Freie Universität Berlin’s Institute of Korean Studies and Korea Foundation Visiting Fellow at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP).

Chris Steinitz: Director of the North Korea Program and Research Scientist at CNA.

July 6:

John Nilsson-Wright: Korea Foundation Korea Fellow and Senior Fellow for Northeast Asia at Chatham House, Senior Lecturer in Japanese Politics and International Relations at the University of Cambridge, and an Official Fellow at the University of Cambridge’s Darwin College.

Malcolm Davis: Senior Analyst in Defence Strategy and Capability at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI).

Sung-han Kim: Professor at Korea University and former South Korean Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

July 5:

Chung Min Lee: Senior Fellow in the Asia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Chairman of the Advisory Council of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), and former South Korean Ambassador for National Security Affairs.

July 3:

Daniel F. Runde: Senior Vice President, Director of the Project on Prosperity and Development, and William A. Schreyer Chair in Global Analysis at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

Steph Umbert: Director of Membership at the Center for International Maritime Security (CIMSEC) and a Summer Research Associate for Korean Studies at the Center for the National Interest (CFTNI). 

July 2:

Robert Gallucci: Professor at Georgetown University and former Dean of its Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, former Ambassador at Large leading the US negotiation efforts with North Korea which resulted in the 1994 Agreed Framework, and former US Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs.

Ted Galen Carpenter: Senior Fellow in Security Studies at the Cato Institute and a Contributing Editor at The National Interest (TNI).

Gordon G. Chang: author of Nuclear Showdown: North Korea Takes On the World and Losing South Korea.

June 30:

Robert E. Kelly: Professor of International Relations at Pusan National University.

Andrew Yeo: Professor of Politics at The Catholic University of America, author of Asia's Regional Architecture: Alliances and Institutions in the Pacific Century, and co-editor of North Korean Human Rights: Activists and Networks.

June 29:

Kate Kizer: Policy Director at Win Without War.

Jonathan Corrado: Director of Policy at The Korea Society (TKS).

Michael D. Cohen: Senior Lecturer at the National Security College of the Australian National University’s Crawford School of Public Policy, author of When Proliferation Causes Peace: The Psychology of Nuclear Crises, and co-editor of North Korea and Nuclear Weapons: Entering the New Era of Deterrence.

Bruce Bennett & Soo Kim: Bruce is a Senior Defense Analyst at the RAND Corporation and a Professor at its Pardee RAND Graduate School; Soo is a Policy Analyst at the RAND Corporation.

June 26:

Antonio Fiori: Associate Professor of History and Institutions of Asia at the Università di Bologna and Adjunct Professor at Korea University.

Seong-ho Sheen: Professor of International Security and Director of the International Security Center at Seoul National University’s (SNU) Graduate School of International Studies (GSIS) and Member of the South Korean Ministry of Defense’s Policy Advisory Board.

June 25:

Bruce Klingner: Senior Research Fellow for Northeast Asia at The Heritage Foundation and former CIA Deputy Division Chief for Korean Analysis.

Wallace C. Gregson, Jr.: Senior Director of the China and the Pacific Program at the Center for the National Interest (CFTNI), former Commander of Marine Corps Forces, Pacific, former Commanding General of Fleet Marine Force, Pacific, and former Commander of Marine Corps Bases, Pacific.

John Dale Grover: Korean Studies fellow at The Center for the National Interest and assistant managing editor at The National Interest.

Haksoon Paik: President of the Sejong Institute, Member of the Board of Directors of the Kim Dae-jung Peace Center, and author of The History of Power in North Korea: Ideas, Identities, and Structures.

Stephen Noerper: Senior Director for Policy at The Korea Society (TKS), Adjunct Professor at Columbia University, Senior Advisor to the UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs’s Programme to Support Cooperation in Northeast Asia, and Member of the National Committee on North Korea.

Jessica J. Lee: Senior Research Fellow in the East Asia Program at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft.

June 24:

Evans J.R. Revere: Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Center for East Asia Policy Studies, Senior Advisor at Albright Stonebridge Group, former President and CEO of The Korea Society (TKS), and former US Acting Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs

Sang Hyun Lee: Senior Research Fellow at the Sejong Institute.

Joseph R. DeTrani: former US Special Envoy for Negotiations with North Korea, former Associate Director of National Intelligence, former Mission Manager for North Korea at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, former Director of the National Counter Proliferation Center (NCPC), and former Special Adviser to the Director of National Intelligence.

Michael O’Hanlon: Senior Fellow and Director of Research in Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution, author of A Skeptic’s Case for Nuclear Disarmament, and author of the upcoming book The Art of War in an Age of Peace: A U.S. Grand Strategy of Resolute Restraint.

Mitchell Lerner: Professor of History and Director of the Institute for Korean Studies at Ohio State University.

Miyeon Oh: Senior Fellow and Director of the Asia Security Initiative in the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security.

Joseph S. Nye, Jr.: Professor at, and former Dean of, Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and author of Do Morals Matter? Presidents and Foreign Policy from FDR to Trump.

Jihyun Park: North Korean defector, Outreach Director at Connect: North Korea, Co-Director of Stepping Stones, and co-author of Deux Coréennes.

Image: North Korean man waves as a South Korean man weeps after luncheon meeting during inter-Korean temporary family reunions at Mount Kumgang resort via Reuters.