38 North Senior Fellow Rachel Minyoung Lee and Nonresident Fellow Robert Carlin review North Korea’s foreign policy strategy and evolving approaches to South Korea, the role North Korea’s Foreign Ministry website has played in signaling major policy shifts, and how Pyongyang’s external relations are likely to play to play out in the near to mid term future.

Kim Jong Un’s recent statements about South Korea and unification have once again raised questions about North Korea’s foreign and South Korea policies and their ultimate goal. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the forging of China-North Korea diplomatic ties, and Putin is expected to make a reciprocal visit to Pyongyang in the coming months, giving Kim ample opportunity to further strengthen ties with Beijing and Moscow. Adding to the complexity are what appear to be mixed signals from North Korea as it seems to shift attention away from national defense to the economy. Where is North Korea headed with key players in the region, and will the outcome of the US presidential election affect Pyongyang’s calculations?


  • Natalia Slavney
    Natalia Slavney

    Research Analyst and Assistant Editor || Korea Program and 38 North


  • Rachel Minyoung Lee
    Rachel Minyoung Lee

    Senior Fellow || Korea Program and 38 North

  • Robert Carlin
    Robert Carlin

    Nonresident Fellow and Nonresident Scholar || Stimson Center and James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies