Peering Beyond the DMZ: Understanding North Korea behind the Headlines

Negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang over North Korea’s nuclear weapons program are at an impasse, and tensions are rising. And while neither side appears to want a war, the path to a diplomatic solution remains unclear. What is obvious, however, is that most U.S. policymakers have little understanding of what the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is or how it operates, a fact that limits America’s ability to peacefully resolve the crisis.

Heidi Linton, Randall Spadoni, and Daniel Jasper, by contrast, have firsthand knowledge of the DPRK. Their organizations maintain long-term aid programs in North Korea, and all three have spent time there as part of humanitarian missions, including trips to parts of the country closed to most visitors.

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Heidi Linton, Executive Director, Christian Friends of Korea

Randall Spadoni, North Korea Program Director and Senior Regional Advisor for East Asia, World Vision

Daniel Jasper, Public Education and Advocacy Coordinator for Asia, American Friends Service Committee;

Doug Bandow (moderator), Senior Fellow, Cato Institute