Despite seven decades of American military and political engagement on the Korean peninsula, Pyongyang’s dynastic communist regime continues to challenge US policymakers as well as stability in East Asia. Like its predecessors, the Biden administration has sought to mix diplomacy and deterrence, while cooperating with its allies in Seoul, Tokyo, and elsewhere to constrain North Korea’s nuclear threat. The results: like his father and grandfather, Kim Chong Un has continued to build his nuclear arsenal despite the costs to Pyongyang and the North Korean people. 70 years after the end of the Korean war, the question is obvious. Is the past prologue? Is Kim’s arsenal simply a fact we must live with, and if it is, what are the risks?
Kent Harrington, President of Harrington Group, LLC, has more than 40 years of experience on trade, economic, defense, and foreign policy issues as a specialist on intelligence analysis and Asia. He has provided political-economic assessments and strategic counsel on government relations to leading companies in the United States, Europe, and Asia.
At the Central Intelligence Agency, Mr. Harrington led the intelligence community’s collection and research on international economic, foreign policy and national security issues, including serving four Directors of Central Intelligence as the National Intelligence Officer for East Asia. He has worked with leaders around the world in several assignments, including as CIA chief of station in Tokyo, and served as CIA’s Director of Public Affairs, playing a major role in providing greater public access to intelligence and in crisis management.
Mr. Harrington has a BA from Duke University and an MA in international relations from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. His commentary and analysis has appeared in the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Asian Wall Street Journal, Washington Times, Foreign Affairs, the Washington Quarterly, on-line at Project-Syndicate.org and in leading media around the world. Links can be found at www.kentmichaelharrington.com. His “In the National Interest” column appears regularly at www.Mediavillage.com. He has published two novels: The Gift of a Falcon (McGraw Hill, 1988); A Brother to Dragons (Donald I. Fine/Penguin, 1993).