Michael Bassett

Michael Bassett is the Veterans Chair of Young Professionals in Foreign Policy, a North Korea analyst for 361 Security and The Asia Institute, and a media analyst for The Rendon Group. He served in the US Army for ten years, four of which were spent as a reconnaissance and intelligence non-commissioned officer (NCO) on the demilitarized zone (DMZ) in Korea. He has a Bachelor’s of Arts and Master’s of Arts in International Communications from American University, and a graduate certificate in North Korean Affairs from Yonsei University. He has lived on the Korean Peninsula for eight years and has family members from both sides of the DMZ.

Cultural Engagement, Not Military, Will End the Korean War

January 10, 2016

The Korean War is the root cause of all human suffering on the peninsula. The cycle must be broken, says Michael Bassett.  In 2013, North Korea conducted its third nuclear test, and the world responded by inducing a period of brinksmanship that came dangerously close to spiraling the unending Korean War out...

How Kim Jong-un is Liberating North Korea

November 27, 2015

Swiss-educated reformer Kim Jong-un is liberating North Korea by proliferating a capitalist, knowledge-based economy, says Michael Bassett.  When Kim Jong-il died, speculation ran awry that North Korea would either collapse or be taken over by hard-liners. Analysts watched doggedly as the young marshal, Kim Jong-un, emplaced a gang of seven in power—a gang whom...

Modern Warfare Korea: The Weaponization of Human Rights

September 11, 2015

It is time to re-imagine North Korea in international politics with a focus on unification, instead of demonization. Ask the average American their thoughts on North Korea and, without hesitation, most will recite the litany of evils that the country is caricatured as, but very few know much beyond a...

Is it Time for the US to Broker Peace in Korea?

March 10, 2015

Like the Vietnam conflict, the Korean War’s long shadow could impact US foreign policy for decades to come. Imagine for a moment that Kim Jong-un isn’t really an evil communist dictator, but a Confucian king ruling a capitalist monarchy. Imagine that positive reforms were taking place in a newly designed...

A Note from North Korea: Rhetoric and Realities

April 11, 2013

After his first of four cultural diplomatic trips to North Korea, Michael Bassett discusses the interplay of rhetoric and reality in the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea. [View, In Picture: A Note From North Korea (Part 1)]

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