Chatham House: Independent thinking on international affairs

Korean Peninsula

Work on Korea aims to improve understanding of this critical part of the world.


Research on the Korean peninsula focuses on critical aspects of both Koreas, the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). Experts consider the geopolitical and strategic issues shaping relations between the two Koreas, including the nuclear crisis, the balance of conventional forces on the peninsula, leadership transition in the DPRK, economic policy in the North, and humanitarian issues including human rights. 

Research also considers South Korea's increasingly influential role as a 'middle power', addressing issues relating to foreign and economic policy and climate change.

Work on the ROK is closely integrated with research on Japan and China, centring on the critical alliances, particularly the US-ROK and US-Japan relationships. Research also examines the core themes influencing domestic political change within South Korea, including conservative-progressive ideological tensions and leadership politics.

Creative Power in the 21st Century

The Asia Programme is undertaking a project to explore the concept of 'creative' power as it applies to the role of mid-sized powers and global governance at the beginning of the 21st Century. The project will use examples from the present day and as far back as the last ten years to assess (1) the key strategies, (2) the national attributes and (3) the international dynamics that enable creative powers to promote international prosperity and security. In 2014-15, the project will focus on how effective a role creative powers can play in helping to deliver regional security, traditionally defined. It will take as its case study regional security in Northeast Asia, with an emphasis on the Republic of Korea and its role as a creative power.


North Korea Purge: Brutal but Risky Move
BBC News
John Swenson-Wright, December 2013

What Does Pyongyang Want?
BBC News
John Swenson-Wright, June 2013

Northeast Asia: A Region on the Brink?

Event Audio, Transcript, May 2013 

Is North Korea the Ticking Bomb we Thought it To Be?
Event Video, The Frontline Club
John Swenson-Wright, April 2013

What Military Threat Does North Korea Pose?

Expert Comment
Patricia Lewis, April 2013 

North Korea: How to Respond?
Expert Comment
John Swenson-Wright, April 2013 

North Korea's Artful Long Game
John Swenson-Wright, April 2013

North Korea Tests International Resolve

Expert Comment
John Swenson-Wright, April 2013 

North Korea: Will New UN Sanctions Persuade or Provoke?
BBC News
John Swenson-Wright, March 2013 

Nuclear North Korea: Time to Get Tough?
Expert Comment
John Swenson-Wright, February 2013 

China Talks Tough Over North Korea, but is Hesitant to Act
The Guardian
John Swenson-Wright, February 2013

Time for Long-term Solution with North Korea?
Heather Williams, February 2013

Analysis: What is Driving North Korea's Nuclear Test Plan?
BBC News
John Swenson-Wright, January 2013 

North Korea's Nuclear Testing Generates Diminishing Returns
Expert Comment
Heather Williams, January 2013

South Korea: Park's Win Presents Opportunity for Cooperation
Expert Comment
John Swenson-Wright, December 2012

Ten Minutes with Jang Jin-sun
The World Today
December 2012 

The South China Sea: Disputes, Risks and Diplomacy
Event Audio, Transcript, Video
October 2012

Is North Korea Changing?
John Swenson-Wright, October 2012 


For more information please contact Chloe Sageman

Moore Wilson Digital Agency London