Institute for Corean-American Studies, Inc.
Selig S. Harrison
Director, Asia Program, Center for International Policy
Scholar, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
The View From Pyongyang:
U.S. Financial Sanctions and The Prospects For Denuclearization
of the Korean Peninsula
ICAS Fall Symposium: Humanity, Peace and Security
October 11, 2006 Wednesday 12:30 PM - 5:30 PM
United States House Rayburn Office
Building Room 2200
Capitol Hill, Washington DC 20515
We are pleased to share with you that Selig S. Harrison will address "The View
From Pyongyang: U.S. Financial Sanctions and The Prospects For Denuclearization
of the Korean Peninsula" at the ICAS Fall Symposium 2006 on October 11, 2006 at the
United States House Rayburn Office Building Room 2200, Capitol Hill, Washington
Selig S Harrison, ICAS Fellow, is Director of the Asia Program at the Center
for International Policy and a senior scholar of the Woodrow Wilson International
Center for Scholars. Selig has specialized in South Asia and East Asia for fifty
years as a journalist and scholar and is the author of five books on Asian affairs
and U.S. relations with Asia, including Korean Endgame: A Strategy For Reunification
and U.S. Disengagement, published by Princeton University Press in May 2002. He
has visited North Korea ten times, most recently in September 2006.
as South Asia Correspondent of the Associated Press from 1951 to 1954, in New Delhi,
returned as South Asia Bureau Chief of The Washington Post from 1962 to 1965, and
served as Northeast Asia Bureau Chief of the Post, based in Tokyo, from 1968 to
1972. From 1974 to 1996, as a senior associate of the Carnegie Endowment for International
Peace, he pursued investigative assignments every year in a variety of countries,
especially those where he worked as a journalist, such as India, Pakistan, China,
Japan, and the two Koreas.
His reputation for giving "early warning" of foreign
policy crises was well established during his career as a foreign correspondent.
In his study of foreign reporting, Between Two Worlds, John Hohenberg, former secretary
of the Pulitzer Prize Board, cited Selig's prediction of the 1965 Indo-Pakistan
war eighteen months before it happened. Hohenberg wrote: "What Harrison foresaw
came to pass, and when it happened, American editors suddenly rose up in their wrath
— as they always do at such times — and demanded, why weren't we told about all
of this? They had been told at great length, but because too many editors were
bored with places like India, they weren't listening. Terming Selig "one of the
few correspondents in all of Asia who was able to maintain a balanced point of view,"
Hohenberg called him a model of the "first-rate correspondent who knows the past
of the area to which he is assigned, writes with clarity and meaning of the present
and has an awareness of the future."
More than a year before the Russians invaded
Afghanistan, Selig warned of this possibility in one of his frequent contributions
to the influential journal Foreign Policy. During the Afghan war, he was one of
the earliest to foresee that the Soviet Union would withdraw its forces and became
a leading advocate of a two-track policy designed to promote a withdrawal through
a combination of military pressure and diplomatic incentives. Selig was also one
of the few who predicted that the Kabul Communist regime would not fall immediately
after withdrawal. Rep. Stephen Solarz, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Asian
and Pacific Affairs, introducing him at a hearing on February 21, 1989, one year
after withdrawal, observed that "with each passing day his reputation as a prophet
is enhanced. I am sure it wasn't easy for Mr. Harrison, in the face of a phalanx
of analysts, academicians, and others who were all saying the opposite, to maintain
his position, but he had the intellectual fortitude and moral strength to stick
by his guns, his analytical guns, and I think he deserves credit for that."
the last week of May, 1972, Selig, representing The Washington Post, and Harrison
Salisbury of the New York Times became the first Americans to visit North Korea
since the Korean War and to interview Kim Il Sung. Following the second of his
five visits to Pyongyang in 1987, he presided over a 1989 Carnegie Endowment symposium
that brought together North Korean spokesmen and American specialists and officials
for the first time and has reported on this meeting in his Endowment study, Dialogue
with North Korea. In 1992, Selig led a Carnegie Endowment delegation to Pyongyang
that learned for the first time that North Korea had reprocessed plutonium.
June, 1994, on his fourth visit, Selig met the late Kim Il Sung for three hours
and won agreement to the concept of a freeze and eventual dismantlement of the North
Korean nuclear program in exchange for U.S. political and economic concessions (for
an account of his discussions in Pyongyang leading to the freeze concept, see Don
Oberdorfer, The Two Koreas, pages 321–22). President Carter, meeting Kim Il Sung
a week later, persuaded the North Korean leader to initiate the freeze immediately,
opening the way for negotiations with the United States that resulted in the U.S.-North
Korean nuclear agreement of October 21, 1994.
In 1994 and 1995 Selig directed a
Carnegie Endowment program on "Japan's Role in International Security Affairs" centering
on a series of U.S.-Japan dialogues on global and regional arms control and nonproliferation
Selig is frequently invited to testify as an expert witness before congressional
committees and lectures at the National Defense University, the National War College
and the State Department's Foreign Service Institute. At the same time, his outspoken,
constructive criticisms of administration policies often appear on op-ed pages of
The Washington Post, the New York Times, and International Herald Tribune. He has
appeared on "The News Hour with Jim Lehrer," "Nightline," and other TV programs
as well as National Public Radio's "All Things Considered" and "Morning Edition."
Selig is the author of five books:
India: The Most Dangerous Decades (Princeton,
China, Oil, and Asia: Conflict Ahead? (Columbia, 1977)
The Widening Gulf:
Asian Nationalism and American Policy (The Free Press, 1978)
In Afghanistan's Shadow
(Carnegie Endowment, 1981)
Korean Endgame: A Strategy for Reunification and U.S.
Disengagement (Princeton, 2002)
He is co-author with Diego Cordovez of Out
of Afghanistan: The Inside Story of the Soviet Withdrawal (Oxford, 1995) and edited
India and the United States (Macmillan, 1960); and Superpower Rivalry in the Indian
Ocean: Indian and American Perspectives (1989). A former managing editor of The
New Republic, Selig has served as senior fellow in charge of Asian studies at the
Brookings Institution, senior fellow at the East-West Center and professorial lecturer
in Asian studies at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International
Studies. He is currently adjunct professor of Asian studies at the Elliott School
of International Affairs, George Washington University.
Selig was a featured speaker
at the ICAS 1998 Winter Symposium.
Sang Joo Kim / signed
Sr. Fellow & Executive Vice President