In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, we are joined by Dr. Victor Cha to discuss the changing dynamics on the Korean Peninsula and the relationship between China and North Korea. He explains that despite outward appearances, the China-DPRK relationship is deeply fraught and not as close as it may seem. Dr. Cha reveals that between a strict Covid-19 lockdown and the sanctions imposed between 2016-2017, North Korea’s dependence on China has fallen and Beijing may now lack adequate tools to place pressure on Pyongyang. Lastly, Dr. Cha challenges the notion that the United States and China share goals for a nuclear-free Korean peninsula. Rather, he contends, the two share common ground in wanting to prevent conflict on the peninsula.
Dr. Victor Cha is a Senior Vice President for Asia and holds the CSIS Korea Chair. He is professor of government and holds the D.S. Song-KF Chair in the Department of Government and the School of Foreign Service (SFS) at Georgetown University. In July 2019, he was appointed vice dean for faculty and graduate affairs in SFS. While working for the White House between 2004-2007, Dr. Cha was the director for Asian affairs at the National Security Council. He was responsible primarily for Japan, the Korean peninsula, Australia/New Zealand, and Pacific Island nation affairs. Dr. Cha was also the deputy head of delegation for the United States at the Six-Party Talks in Beijing. He is the author of five books, including the award-winning Alignment Despite Antagonism: The United States-Korea-Japan Security Triangle.