April 2, 2010
Colloquium Speaker: Joel Wit
Joel S. Wit is a former U.S. State Department official who worked on U.S. policy towards North Korea from 1992-2002. He is currently a Visiting Fellow at the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkin's School of Advanced International Studies and a Senior Adjunct Fellow at Columbia University's Weatherhead Institute for East Asia Studies. In his 20 years spent in Washington D.C., aside from his government service, Mr. Wit has worked as a Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution and the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He is the co-author, along with Robert Gallucci and Daniel Poneman, of Going Critical: The First North Korea Nuclear Crisis published by the Brookings Institution Press in 2004 as well as numerous journal and newspaper articles. He has visited North Korea many times during the course of his work.
With what appears to be the successful completion of U.S. Special Representative Stephen Bosworth's recent trip to Pyongyang, the real work of negotiating with Pyongyang appears ready to begin. While most experts believed it would be difficult if not impossible to get the North Koreans to return to the Six party Talks, in fact, the real problem will be, once those talks begin, to secure real progress towards and the eventual elimination of North Korea's nuclear weapons program. What are the prospects for achieving denuclearization of North Korea? And what strategy should the United States pursue to achieve that objective now that talks seem imminent? Mr. Wit will touch on these issues drawing on his years of experience in the U.S. State Department as well as of dealing directly with the North Koreans and other key countries in the region including China, South Korea and Japan.