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 | 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.

1 May 2019 - 3:00AM

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 much to offer the Korean peace process, from denuclearisation expertise to experience as a mediator
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.

9 Apr 2019 - 9:32AM

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.

A dual-track strategy, with Chinese involvement, is needed to secure peace on the Korean peninsula
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.

13 Feb 2019 - 3:36AM

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.

When Trump meets Kim, Vietnam’s history can help shine a light on Korea’s path to peace
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.

28 Dec 2018 - 10:05AM

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.

Will North Korea disarm? That may depend on how the US and China play their cards in the next phase of nuclear talks
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.

5 Nov 2018 - 2:00AM

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

The US midterm elections will not only shake up Trump’s backyard but also have implications for Asia
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.

4 Oct 2018 - 3:54AM

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.

North Korea is unlikely to give up its nuclear deterrent without a change in ‘hostile’ US policy
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.

24 Aug 2018 - 5:58AM

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.

How to break the stalemate on the Korean peninsula as North and South Korea take centre-stage
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.

26 Jul 2018 - 8:10PM

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.

Six ways for North and South Korea to keep up the momentum for peace
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

12 Jun 2018 - 1:02AM

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

After Kim meets Trump, here’s how peace could break out on the Korean peninsula – just don’t expect a quick fix
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

25 May 2018 - 6:37PM

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

North Korea tag-team diplomacy takes a hit as Trump learns that loose lips sink summits 
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.

20 Jul 2018 - 8:47PM

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.

US-North Korea summit can undo the historical mistakes that led to division
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.

20 Apr 2018 - 10:08AM

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

US-North Korea summit location is still up in the air, but it will be determined by down-to-earth factors
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.

15 Mar 2018 - 6:33PM

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.

Can Donald Trump act as a ‘stabiliser’ to ensure the US-North Korea summit succeeds?
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.

1 Mar 2018 - 9:45AM

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.

Kim Jong-un can’t just wish away US role on the Korean peninsula
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.

23 Jan 2018 - 6:46PM

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.

Winter Olympics could be a first step towards necessary negotiations on North Korea
Time for the US and China to get on the same page on North Korea’s political future
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.

20 Jul 2018 - 2:55PM

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.

UN-led multilateral talks offer the best hope for peace in Korea
North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests defy the US, the cold war’s end, and simple solutions
Why China is best-placed to cool the war rhetoric between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump
Was Ho Chi Minh the reason why the Vietnam War is history, but the wounds of Korea still fester?
Hand-wringing over North Korea only benefits Kim Jong-un
South Korea’s new president must hit the ground running to deal with North Korea
On relations with China and North Korea, Trump has the makings of a statesman
US concessions on Korean peninsula could go a long way
US and China must join hands to halt Kim Jong-un’s nuclear quest
The US needs China’s help to engineer peace on the Korean peninsula
Hostility simmers, keeping the North Korean nuclear threat alive
Under Trump, America can defuse the Korean nuclear crisis – with help from China and Russia
Deployment of US missile defence system gives China less incentive to seek diplomatic solutions
How China the ‘bad cop’ in Southeast Asia turns into a ‘good cop’ in East Asia