Virtual Suggestions: Google and North Korea, by Peter Hayes and Roger Cavazos

[Long-time friend of CanKor, Peter Hayes is Director of the Nautilus Institute and a member of the Editorial Board of Global Asia. He is also Adjunct Professor of International Relations at RMIT University. Roger Cavazos is an Associate at the Nautilus Institute focusing on North Korea and China. The following article is is taken from PacNet #4 published on Thursday, 10 January 2013. The PacNet Newsletter is a weekly publication of Pacific Forum CSIS, generated from a network of policy research institutes designed to facilitate communication on timely events in the region and to serve as a vehicle for sharing research results and analyses. –CanKor]

Google Executive Eric Schmidt visits Kim Il Sung University's "electronic library" (Photo by Reuters)

Google Executive Eric Schmidt visits Kim Il Sung University’s “electronic library” (Photo by Reuters)

Despite the media attention paid to Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt during his visit to North Korea, make no mistake, Bill Richardson and Tony Namkung are the driving force behind the visit. Richardson has sojourned to North Korea half a dozen times and Namkung has visited at least 100 times. Eric Schmidt was likely the “juicy bait” to seal the deal with the North Koreans. Even a reclusive North Korea knows a great deal when they see one.

Assuredly DPRK leaders will enjoy chewing the cud with Schmidt about the state of the world’s knowledge economy. Equally obvious is that North Korea will publicly embrace Google and the open Internet, yet maintain or strengthen tight controls over the North Korean intranet. Read the rest of this entry »

Books: “Getting to Yes in Korea” by Walter C. Clemens, Jr.

GETTING TO YES IN KOREA, by Walter C. Clemens, Jr. (with a Foreword by Governor Bill Richardson). Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers, 2010. x, 262 pp. paperback. ISBN 978-1-59451-407-4. This book review was written by CanKor Editor-in-Chief Erich Weingartner.

Many papers and books have been published over the years about North Korean negotiating behaviour and how to defend against it: Over the Line: North Korea’s Negotiating Strategy by Chuck Downs (AEI Press, 1999), Negotiating on the Edge: North Korean Negotiating Behavior by Scott Snyder (USIP Press, 1999) and To the Brink and Back: Negotiating with North Korea by Richard Saccone (Hollym, 2003), to name just three.

Walter C. Clemens, Jr., takes a different approach. He examines Washington’s negotiating behaviour for clues about what elements have failed and what might succeed in getting to “yes” with the DPRK. This is done by first taking the reader on a tour of history that illustrates major missed opportunities in negotiations of the past, as well as dramatic and surprising breakthroughs involving the USA and its Cold War adversaries, the USSR and China. The fourth chapter on the fateful decisions that produced the permanent division of Korea should be required reading for anyone intending to become involved with the DPRK, whether students, humanitarians or diplomats. Read the rest of this entry »

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