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Professor Easley contributed the lead article to the current issue of World Affairs Journal. According to the editor’s introduction:

“The first article in this issue of WAJ could not be more topical, more focused on practical policy advice, or, frankly, more important at the present time. Continuing a conversation initiated last year in the Summer issue of WAJ on ‘South Korea’s Decisions to Counter the North’ (Easley 2016), Leif-Eric Easley engages the wider ramifications and strategic uncertainty facing ‘Trump, North Korea, and South Korea’s New President’ after the Obama era of ‘strategic patience.’ Detailing how the national interests of the Republic of Korea, the United States, and Japan overlap with regard to North Korea, the author examines the potential pitfalls that the Trumpian approach of strategic uncertainty may bring. And they are sobering. Yet he also argues, inter alia, that if appropriately attuned, strategic uncertainty can be used to positive effect ‘to build pressure against North Korea’s norm-violating behavior and ultimately to avoid conflict.’”

“From Strategic Patience to Strategic Uncertainty: Trump, North Korea, and South Korea’s New President,” World Affairs, Vol. 180, No. 2 (Summer 2017), pp. 7-31.

Full text available at:

* ​This article was published on August 30 at World Affairs Journal. The views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views of the Asan Institute for Policy Studies.​

About Experts

Leif-Eric Easley
Leif-Eric Easley

Visiting Research Fellow

Dr. Leif-Eric EASLEY is a visiting research fellow at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies. Dr. Easley is also an associate professor of International Studies at Ewha Womans University where he teaches international security and political economics. His research interests include contested national identities and changing levels of trust in the bilateral security relationships of Northeast Asia. He was the Northeast Asian History Fellow at the Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (APARC) at Stanford University. He was also a visiting scholar at Yonsei University and the University of Southern California’s Korean Studies Institute. He is actively involved in US-Asia dialogues (Track II diplomacy) with the Asan Institute and the Pacific Forum-Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Dr. Easley received his B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in government from Harvard University.