John Barry Kotch

John Barry Kotch

John Barry Kotch lived and worked in Asia for more than a decade as an instructor at LG Academy and visiting professor at Hanyang University’s Graduate School of International Studies in Seoul. Earlier, he served with the UN Command as an intelligence adviser to the South Korean Air Force, as a State Department consultant on Korea and special assistant at the Agency for International Development in Washington, D.C. More recently, he was senior adviser and writer at the Pacific Basin Economic Council in Hong Kong. Dr Kotch holds an MBA in international business and a PhD in political science from Columbia University.

Latest from John Barry Kotch

Opinion | 70 years since the Korean war, the threat of armed conflict still hangs over the peninsula

North Korea’s destruction of the inter-Korea liaison office in Kaesong dashed hopes that international diplomacy over the past few years was finally healing divisions. A dual-track approach is needed to defuse Pyongyang’s nuclear threat.

North Korea’s destruction of the inter-Korea liaison office in Kaesong dashed hopes that international diplomacy over the past few years was finally healing divisions. A dual-track approach is needed to defuse Pyongyang’s nuclear threat.

24 Jun 2020 - 9:20AM
Opinion | As Trump targets Iran, North Korea’s Kim would be wise to tone down his rhetoric and lie low

When the US invaded Iraq in 2003, North Korea’s Kim Jong-il went into hiding, fearing he may be targeted like Saddam Hussein. As US-Iran tensions escalate now, it is worth wondering what lesson Kim Jong-un has drawn from that episode.

When the US invaded Iraq in 2003, North Korea’s Kim Jong-il went into hiding, fearing he may be targeted like Saddam Hussein. As US-Iran tensions escalate now, it is worth wondering what lesson Kim Jong-un has drawn from that episode.

13 Jan 2020 - 3:00AM
Opinion | Russia has much to offer the Korean peace process, from denuclearisation expertise to experience as a mediator

Russia has been sidelined in the Korean peace process so long that it’s easy to forget its historical role on the peninsula. The Kim-Putin meeting was a reminder of the major role Moscow could again play.

Russia has been sidelined in the Korean peace process so long that it’s easy to forget its historical role on the peninsula. The Kim-Putin meeting was a reminder of the major role Moscow could again play.

1 May 2019 - 3:00AM
Opinion | A dual-track strategy, with Chinese involvement, is needed to secure peace on the Korean peninsula

To get the peace process back on track, the US and North Korea need to link denuclearisation to a peace mechanism involving multilateral security guarantees. Essentially, the US and China would need to reach an understanding on the Koreas.

To get the peace process back on track, the US and North Korea need to link denuclearisation to a peace mechanism involving multilateral security guarantees. Essentially, the US and China would need to reach an understanding on the Koreas.

9 Apr 2019 - 9:32AM
Opinion | When Trump meets Kim, Vietnam’s history can help shine a light on Korea’s path to peace

Vietnam’s recovery from civil war may offer lessons on the way forward for not just an end to North Korea’s nuclear programme, but also a new security arrangement for the Korean peninsula. There’s just one complication: the US.

Vietnam’s recovery from civil war may offer lessons on the way forward for not just an end to North Korea’s nuclear programme, but also a new security arrangement for the Korean peninsula. There’s just one complication: the US.

13 Feb 2019 - 3:36AM
Opinion | Will North Korea disarm? That may depend on how the US and China play their cards in the next phase of nuclear talks

The North Korean nuclear negotiations are complicated by Pyongyang’s call for the removal of the US nuclear umbrella from the Korean peninsula. Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump are also wild cards in the talks.

The North Korean nuclear negotiations are complicated by Pyongyang’s call for the removal of the US nuclear umbrella from the Korean peninsula. Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump are also wild cards in the talks.

28 Dec 2018 - 10:05AM
Opinion | The US midterm elections will not only shake up Trump’s backyard but also have implications for Asia

The outcome of the US midterm elections will determine whether Trump’s ‘America first’ foreign policy and trade war will continue unabated.

The outcome of the US midterm elections will determine whether Trump’s ‘America first’ foreign policy and trade war will continue unabated.

5 Nov 2018 - 2:00AM
North Korea is unlikely to give up its nuclear deterrent without a change in ‘hostile’ US policy

Washington must consider concrete steps that would convince North Korea to denuclearise, such as gradual sanctions relief, removal of the UN Command or working towards diplomatic relations.

Washington must consider concrete steps that would convince North Korea to denuclearise, such as gradual sanctions relief, removal of the UN Command or working towards diplomatic relations.

4 Oct 2018 - 3:54AM
How to break the stalemate on the Korean peninsula as North and South Korea take centre-stage

North Korea’s demand for a peace treaty ending the Korean war is worth discussion, but not as a precondition to denuclearisation. An agreement to terminate the UN Command might, however, be a better starting point.

North Korea’s demand for a peace treaty ending the Korean war is worth discussion, but not as a precondition to denuclearisation. An agreement to terminate the UN Command might, however, be a better starting point.

24 Aug 2018 - 5:58AM
Six ways for North and South Korea to keep up the momentum for peace

The initial excitement over the summits on the Korean peninsula resulted in little concrete action, but progress can still be made by working towards demilitarisation alongside denuclearisation.

The initial excitement over the summits on the Korean peninsula resulted in little concrete action, but progress can still be made by working towards demilitarisation alongside denuclearisation.

26 Jul 2018 - 8:10PM
After Kim meets Trump, here’s how peace could break out on the Korean peninsula – just don’t expect a quick fix

A peace treaty could relieve the Korean peninsula of its tensions, and a series of confidence- and trust-building measures could produce denuclearisation and end the need for the UN command there. The process, however, would almost certainly be gradual

A peace treaty could relieve the Korean peninsula of its tensions, and a series of confidence- and trust-building measures could produce denuclearisation and end the need for the UN command there. The process, however, would almost certainly be gradual

12 Jun 2018 - 1:02AM
North Korea tag-team diplomacy takes a hit as Trump learns that loose lips sink summits

There are several reasons for the cancellation of the Trump-Kim summit, from too many voices on the US side to gaps in expectations between Washington and both Koreas. However, negotiations can resume after a ‘cooling-off’ period

There are several reasons for the cancellation of the Trump-Kim summit, from too many voices on the US side to gaps in expectations between Washington and both Koreas. However, negotiations can resume after a ‘cooling-off’ period

25 May 2018 - 6:37PM
US-North Korea summit can undo the historical mistakes that led to division

The original Korean division was the product of a poorly thought-out American policy, and that the summits between the two Koreas and then between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump provide opportunities to rectify this mistake.

The original Korean division was the product of a poorly thought-out American policy, and that the summits between the two Koreas and then between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump provide opportunities to rectify this mistake.

20 Jul 2018 - 8:47PM
US-North Korea summit location is still up in the air, but it will be determined by down-to-earth factors

Security, symbolism and the anticipated substance of the meeting will determine the selection of a venue for the Trump-Kim summit.

Security, symbolism and the anticipated substance of the meeting will determine the selection of a venue for the Trump-Kim summit.

20 Apr 2018 - 10:08AM
Can Donald Trump act as a ‘stabiliser’ to ensure the US-North Korea summit succeeds?

The upcoming summit between the US president and the North Korean leader can be productive without falling into Kim Jong-un’s trap, if practical steps and ongoing meetings are put to good use.

The upcoming summit between the US president and the North Korean leader can be productive without falling into Kim Jong-un’s trap, if practical steps and ongoing meetings are put to good use.

15 Mar 2018 - 6:33PM
Kim Jong-un can’t just wish away US role on the Korean peninsula

If a summit of the two Koreas is to succeed where others have failed, negotiations must go beyond the basis of ‘no testing, no exercises’ to consider US deployment in South Korea.

If a summit of the two Koreas is to succeed where others have failed, negotiations must go beyond the basis of ‘no testing, no exercises’ to consider US deployment in South Korea.

1 Mar 2018 - 9:45AM
Winter Olympics could be a first step towards necessary negotiations on North Korea

There are precedents for de-escalation in the North Korean nuclear crisis that can be pursued if the two Koreas, plus China and the US, are willing to seize them, and the Pyeongchang Olympics may be the venue to start this process.

There are precedents for de-escalation in the North Korean nuclear crisis that can be pursued if the two Koreas, plus China and the US, are willing to seize them, and the Pyeongchang Olympics may be the venue to start this process.

23 Jan 2018 - 6:46PM
22 Nov 2017 - 9:20PM
UN-led multilateral talks offer the best hope for peace in Korea

The UN has been a central player in Korean affairs since 1948, and the major powers that are the permanent members of its Security Council have experience in brokering the Iran nuclear deal.

The UN has been a central player in Korean affairs since 1948, and the major powers that are the permanent members of its Security Council have experience in brokering the Iran nuclear deal.

20 Jul 2018 - 2:55PM
20 Jul 2018 - 2:55PM
20 Jul 2018 - 2:55PM
20 Jul 2018 - 2:55PM
20 Jul 2018 - 2:55PM
20 Jul 2018 - 2:55PM
20 Jul 2018 - 2:55PM
20 Jul 2018 - 2:55PM
20 Jul 2018 - 2:55PM
17 Feb 2017 - 9:26PM
13 Jan 2017 - 8:12PM
20 Jul 2018 - 2:54PM