Monday, December 11, 2017

Visiting Scholar Spotlight: Jong-Gu Lee, ROK

The Game of Chicken and U.S. Policy toward North Korea After North Korea’s 6th Nuclear Test

I am Jong-Gu Lee, a visiting scholar from the Republic of Korea conducting research at the Sigur Center for Asian Studies at the Elliott School of International Affairs. I am honored to study at the Elliott School, which is known to be one of the top schools for international relations. These last six months in Washington D.C. have been the best time of my life because I was able to learn many things. I spent my time here taking several classes that I was interested in and attending meaningful seminars and colloquiums. I am sure that the experience here will lead me to a better future.

During this period, I conducted a research project about potential U.S. policy responses to North Korea’s sixth nuclear test by applying a specific variant of game theory known as “Chicken-Game.” My study also includes policy suggestions for the ROK government. Chicken game theory was applied to the research because the nature of the conflict between the United States and North Korea aligns with this theory’s proposition. In other words, the theory is applicable to my study because the conflict of the two states is related to the nuclear issue, and neither side can abandon their stances on the issue.

The primary assumption of chicken game theory is as follows: two teenagers, here designated as player A and player B, who line up at opposite ends of a stretch of roadway drive stolen cars at full speed directly toward one another. Each player has two choices - to swerve or not to swerve - but whoever swerves first is “chicken” and loses the game. Thus, there are four possible outcomes for this chicken game:
(1) If A and B players swerve at the same time, both are “chicken,” but neither loses face;
(2) if A swerves and B does not, then A is“chicken” and B gains status among peers;
(3) alternatively, if B swerves and A does not, the payoffs are reversed;
(4) finally, if both continue straight ahead without swerving, they both crash, and then
the payoff in this case is death.

The result of my study shows that the U.S. and North Korea have both increased threat levels to compel other states to change their behavior to serve their own respective goals. The U.S. government will continue to maintain a hawkish stance on North Korea in the future. While the U.S. will increase pressure to compel significant changes in North Korea’s behavior, it will also prepare for contingencies with military options. At the same time, the U.S. will continue to conduct negotiations with North Korea under the table for a dramatic agreement.

Based on the result of my study, I have three suggestions for the ROK government. First, the ROK should recognize that it is riding in the car with the U.S., and based on that notion, the ROK must pursue consistent policies toward North Korea’s nuclear program along with strengthened U.S.-ROK cooperation. Second, the ROK should perform two-track policies by continuing sanctions and  pressure against North Korea, while maintaining room for negotiation. Third, in terms of military measures, the ROK should validate the credibility of the U.S. extended deterrence; furthermore, it should be ready to retaliate against North Korea’s potential provocations or full-scale war by establishing and declaring practical rules of engagement.

Last but not least, I want to emphasize once again that repeated “Chicken-Games” can significantly reduce the chances of survival among players. We have to genuinely consider whether we have
become desensitized to North Korea's provocations and nuclear threats. North Korea’s nuclear weapons are not acceptable for the prosperity and peace of the Korean Peninsula, and the chicken games with North Korea should no longer be repeated. Therefore, the ROK and the United States must establish an effective and mutually-agreed strategy to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue at this time.

While this summary does not fully explore or explain the details of my research I hope it will help anyone who is interested in researching about North Korea’s nuclear program and potential U.S. policy responses to that program. I would like to thank the Sigur Center for Asian Studies, the Elliott School, and the George Washington University for providing me with the opportunity to conduct this
research endeavor, and thank the readers for their interest in this topic.

Internship with TextOre

TextOre is looking for an intern or junior analyst who is passionate about following political and geostrategic news in China and/or Russia. The position requires proficiency in listening to and reading Chinese or Russian. Interns will be paid a stipend based on the number of hours they work.
Daily responsibilities would include reading through national-level Russian and Chinese sources and writing summaries of articles that cover topics like South China Sea issues, One Belt, One Road projects, business agreements, relationships with foreign countries, and breakthroughs in science and technology. Previous experience in producing academic-level reports and familiarity with writing queries, updating databases, using data analytic software, and advanced web searching are considered a plus. 

Interested applicants should submit their resume to Rick Gunnell ( Potential candidates will be sent a proficiency test that is intended to assess both your skills in summarizing an article and one-to-one translation. Candidates only interested in translation may work remotely; full-time candidates are expected to work in Fairfax, VA. Only U.S. citizens may apply for this job.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Film Screening

Film Screening: 
"Spirits' Homecoming, Unfinished Story"
Thursday, December 14, 2017
5:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Marvin Center Amphitheater (3rd Floor)
800 21st Street, NW
Washington, DC 20052

*Event is free of charge*

Reception before film-screening and Q&A session with Director Jungrae Cho after the screening.
About the Film (From Director Jungrae Cho)

"Spirits' Homecoming, Unfinished Story" is part dramatization and part documentary. It is a visual testimony of the "Comfort Women," and it contains additional scenes from the movie "Spirits' Homecoming" along with filmed documentations of the "Comfort Women" from the House of Sharing archives. Through their testimonies, we provide proof of the victims of Japanese war crimes during WWII and the unspeakable atrocities they experienced. Unfortunately, a satisfying resolution has still not been achieved. We hope this film can further ignite discussions about this issue and make us think about what we can do to contribute and make a difference.

"Spirits' Homecoming" was released in 2016 and has been screened globally after its release in South Korea. In the hopes to bring awareness about the issue of Japanese military sexual slavery, the film was screened at 10 different countries in 61 cities over 1,300 times and over 100 lectures. Many viewers who encountered this painful past for the first time have continuously asked, "Did this really happen"?

This event is organized by the Washington Coalition for Comfort Women Issues (WCCW).
The WCCW was founded in December 1992 in Washington D.C. to advocate rights of wartime victims and their lawful reparations. Our mission is to contribute to eradication and prevention of sex crimes against women by promoting public awareness.  WCCW is dedicated to being the voice for "Comfort Women" victims who were euphemistically called by the Japanese Imperial Military to refer to women who were imprisoned and forced into sexual slavery during the World War II.  WCCW is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan, research and educational organization. 

This event is co-sponsored by the GW Institute for Korean Studies (GWIKS). GWIKS is part of the Elliott School for International Affairs at the George Washington University. The establishment of GWIKS in 2016 was made possible by a generous grant from the Academy of Korean Studies (AKS). The mission of the GWIKS is to consolidate, strengthen, and grow the existing Korean studies program at GW, and more generally in the greater D.C. area. To find out more about GWIKS, please click  here!

Connect with GWIKS
Like us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter

Friday, December 1, 2017

Short to Median Term Job opportunity

Umana Business Consultants, LLC., are bidding on a research project pertaining to USA-China Information Technology (IT) specifically for The US CHINA Economic and Security Review Commission.

Umana Business Consultants, LLC  (UBC) is a Federal Contracting Company who have, in the past performed research projects / studies for Departments of the US Government. They have experience in executing IT research projects both short term and long term. We have also executed  IT “Fast Track Research” projects in 90 days.

The challenge that we face today is that we understand the U.S.A. IT.,  however Chinese IT is a different environment. 

We are seeking candidates interested in the intersection of IT, cybersecurity, censorship and regulation of the internet, and politics and policy of China.

Please direct all queries to Luis Umana-Williams, President of UBC, via the means below. Thank you. 

Umana Business Consultants, LLC  is a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business and an 8a Company.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Asia Events Weekly Roundup: December 3 - December 9

Every week, Asia on E Street compiles a list of upcoming free Asia-related think tank talks, panel discussions, and other such events in Washington DC.

Our Asia Events Weekly Roundup for December 3 - December 9:

Kashmir: Pakistan's Perspective
Monday, December 4, 12:00pm
Atlantic Council

Winning the Third World: The Sino-American Rivalry
Monday, December 4, 11:00am-12:00pm

Pakistan’s Ambassador on Peace and Stability in South Asia
Tuesday, December 5, 9:00am-10:15am
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

US-Taiwan Economic Relations: Domestic and International Drivers
Tuesday, December 5, 10:00am-2:30pm
Sigur Center for Asian Studies

Public Perspectives on the North Korean Nuclear Crisis
Tuesday, December 5, 10:00am
Atlantic Council

Launch-The Leverage Paradox: Pakistan and the United States
Wednesday, December 6, 10:30am-12:00pm
Wilson Center

China’s Impact on Global Development and Conflict
Thursday, December 7, 2:30pm-4:00pm
United States Institute of Peace

The politics of foreign policy: An examination of Tokyo and Washington
Thursday, December 7, 9:00am-11:00am

A Conversation on U.S.-India Relations with Ambassador Richard Verma
Thursday, December 7, 11:00am-12:00pm
Wilson Center

US-China Relations: Perilous Past, Uncertain Present (Third Edition) with Professor Robert Sutter
Thursday, December 7, 12:30pm-1:45pm
Sigur Center for Asian Studies

China Risk and China Opportunity for the U.S.-Japan Alliance
Friday, December 8, 10:30am-12:00pm
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Monday, November 27, 2017

American Councils Taiwan Programs

American Councils for International Education is pleased to announce that it is now accepting applications for its summer 2018 study abroad offerings in Taiwan. With an 8-week intensive language program in Tainan and a new 4-week area studies program in Taipei, we look forward to welcoming students of all academic backgrounds and language levels to Taiwan next summer. Scholarship funding and U.S. academic credit is available to participants on both programs:

Host: National Cheng Kung University – Tainan, Taiwan
Dates: June 21 – August 18, 2018
Eligibility: Students 18 and over with 1-3 years of university-level Chinese by summer 2018
Program Features:
·         20 hours per week of small-group and individualized one-on-one Chinese instruction
·         Local student conversation partners
·         Hands-on culture classes introducing students to topics such as calligraphy, Taiwanese cooking, and traditional medicine
·         Day trips and overnight excursions providing participants a deeper understanding of Taiwanese history and culture
·         Community service opportunities and a weekend homestay with a local host family allowing participants to apply their language skills in a variety of authentic contexts
·         Two semesters’ worth of Chinese language credit offered through Bryn Mawr College

Host: National Chengchi University – Taipei, Taiwan
Dates: July 14 – August 11, 2018
Eligibility: All students 18 and over (no Chinese language background required)
Program Features:
  • Coursework in Taiwanese culture, society, history, and politics taught in English by expert faculty
  • Daily Chinese language instruction (taught at the beginner and intermediate levels)
  • Hands-on culture classes introducing students to topics such as tai chi, calligraphy, and traditional handicrafts
  • Regular field trips allowing participants further meaningful engagement with course content 
  • Academic credit in sociology and political science offered through Bryn Mawr College

Financial Aid
Through the generous support of the Taiwan Ministry of Education, all U.S. students applying for AC Study Abroad scholarship funding for either program in Taiwan will automatically also be considered for additional scholarships of up to $2500, awarded based on financial need and academic merit.

Past program participants have successfully applied additional outside sources of financial aid, including Fund for Education Abroad ScholarshipsFreeman Awards for Study in Asia , and Gilman Scholarships  to further reduce their out-of-pocket costs.  

The deadline to apply for both programs is February 15, 2018.

Full Time Job Opportunity

Vacancy announcement #VAR00262 for the Research Manager - Asia Section, GS-0101-15 has opened on USAJOBS. 

The position is linked to the Library’s employment website and CRS Careers website (; you can also view the announcement on USAJOBS at: