North Korea shocked the world when it recently threatened nuclear war with the U.S. and announced it was severing the armistice signed in 1953 signifying the end of the Korean War. What does this threat mean for the U.S., and particularly for those living on the West Coast? Experts well acquainted with North Korea weigh in on both the political climate and military threat in the short as well as the long term. Please bring your questions.
Gloria Duffy is President and CEO of The Commonwealth Club of California.
Gloria Duffy previously served as US Special Coordinator for Cooperative Threat Reduction and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense in the Clinton Administration. Her mission was to convince the countries of the former Soviet Union to give up their weapons of mass destruction, and to prevent the spread of their nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and material.
In years prior, she was the first Executive Director of Ploughshares Fund, a public charitable grant making foundation in San Francisco; Assistant Director of the Arms Control Association, a public interest group in Washington, DC; editor of Arms Control Today, and a resident consultant at the RAND Corporation.
A San Francisco native, Dr. Duffy holds M.A., M. Phil. and Ph.D. degrees in political science from Columbia University in New York, and an A.B. magna cum laude from Occidental College in Los Angeles. Gloria has also worked with the MacArthur Foundation in Chicago, and been a member of Stanford's Center for International Security and Cooperation since 1980.
David Straub is currently a 2007-2008 Pantech Fellow at the Shorenstein APARC where he is writing a book on recent U.S.-Korea relations.
An educator and commentator on current Northeast Asian affairs, Straub retired from the U.S. Department of State in 2006 as a Senior Foreign Service Officer after a 30-year career focused on Northeast Asian affairs. He worked over 12 years on Korean affairs, first arriving in Seoul in 1979, just months before the assassination of President Park Chung Hee.
Vice President for Resource Development, The Asia Foundation
Prior to joining The Asia Foundation, Yun was a Pantech Scholar in Korean Studies at the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center in the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University. At Stanford, his research focused on the economic and political future of Northeast Asia. From 2001 to 2004, Yun was vice president and assistant to the chairman of H&Q Asia Pacific, a premier U.S. private equity firm investing in Asia. From 1994 to 2001, Yun served as an official at the United States Department of State, serving as a senior advisor to two Assistant Secretaries of State, as a deputy to the head U.S. delegate to the four-party Korea peace talks and as a senior policy advisor to the U.S. Coordinator for North Korea Policy. Prior to government service, Yun practiced law at the firms of Pillsbury Madison & Sutro in San Francisco and Garvey Schubert & Barer in Seattle, and was a foreign legal consultant in Seoul, Korea. Yun attended Brown University and the Columbia School of Law. He graduated with an A.B. in mathematical economics (magna cum laude and phi beta kappa) and was a Fulbright Scholar to Korea. He is on the board of directors of the Ploughshares Fund and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Pacific Council on International Policy.
Korean diplomacy experts Philip Yun and David Straub share why North Korea has intensified its international belligerence. Yun and Straub argue that the rhetoric and threats of war are smoke screens designed to help advance North Korean nuclear capability.