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Robert King

Distinguished Fellow
Korea Economic Institute of America
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About Robert King

Ambassador Robert King is currently a Non-Resident Fellow at the Korea Economic Institute of America (KEI) and a Senior Advisor to the Korea Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Prior to joining KEI, he was the Special Envoy for North Korean Human Rights Issues following confirmation by the United States Senate in November 2009. Ambassador King worked as the leading U.S. official on human rights and humanitarian affairs for North Korea. Prior to his appointment, he worked on Capitol Hill for 25 years. He was concurrently Staff Director of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the U. S. House of Representatives (2007-2008), Democratic Staff Director of the Committee (2001-2007), and had held various professional staff positions on the Committee since 1993. He has authored five books and more than 40 articles on international relations. Ambassador King holds a Ph.D. in International Relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

You’ve probably heard the Korean War referred to as an unfinished conflict – but that’s not just a reference to the frozen war on the Peninsula. The sudden outbreak of…

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Region: Asia

August 7, 2020

Should the international community suspend advocacy for human rights in favor of cooperation with odious regimes to fight the COVID-19 pandemic? This appears upon first glance like a trade-off, but…

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April 10, 2020

As the worst of the COVID pandemic begins to fade, North Korea’s weak health care system and its lack of wide-spread vaccinations against the disease are apparently now able to handle the return home of North Koreans who were away from their home country when the COVID pandemic initially broke out.  North Koreans were officially…

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Region: Asia

November 28, 2023

The number of North Korean refugees fleeing their homeland and reaching South Korea for resettlement has increased during the first nine months of 2023, though the numbers are still far below the number of refugees that reached South Korea in the previous decade.  At the same time, disturbing reports indicate that China is forcibly returning…

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Region: Asia

October 31, 2023

At the end of August, U.S. officials at the United Nations headquarters in New York and White House officials in Washington cited intelligence reports that Moscow was seeking weapons and ammunition from North Korea.  Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York, stated that “Russia is negotiating potential deals…

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Region: Asia,Europe

September 27, 2023

On July 18, 2023, U.S. Army soldier Pvt Travis King, who was on a civilian tour of the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone that marks the boundary between South Korea and North Korea) bolted from the tour group and sprinted onto the North Korean side of the boundary.  He was chased by soldiers guarding the south side…

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Region: Asia

August 2, 2023