Video: Crossing the ICBM Threshold: The Impact of North Korea’s Recent Ballistic Missile Test on the Asia-Pacific Region

Beyond the Headlines

HONG KONG, August 3, 2017 — Recent intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) testing under Kim Jong-un's regiment has resulted in escalating geopolitical risk between North Korea and the U.S. and around the Korean Peninsula.  Dr. John Park, Director of the Korea Working Group at Harvard Kennedy School, breaks down the country’s complex nuclear agenda from their capability of strategic surprises, their source of funding, to the challenges ahead that the global community face. Following a lively Q&A session, Dr. Park dives further into North Korea’s source and management process of its nuclear technology, as well as the positioning between core countries, such as the U.S. and China, and their engagement on this issue. 
(53 min., 36 sec.)

Refer to the time markings below to skip to key highlights of Dr. Park’s presentation.


  1. A whole new momentum under Kim Jong-un's rule (4:12)
  2. North Korea’s strategic surprise (6:24)
  3. Financing North Korea’s nuclear program (8:07)
  4. International reaction and consideration (14:04)

Q&A highlights:

  1. What is the end game for North Korea? (24:39)
  2. Where does North Korea source its technology and how have they been able to accelerate the pace? (29:25)
  3. What would be the predicted engagement between the U.S. and China? (32:08)
  4. Does the U.S. have any meaningful alternatives on their relationship with North Korea? (39:51)

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