Bruce Klingner, Heritage Foundation

Bruce Klingner

Heritage Foundation

Washington, DC, United States

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  • Heritage Foundation
  • National Interest
  • The Daily Signal
  • The Hill
  • Foreign Affairs
  • ChinaFile

Past articles by Bruce:

Will North Korea Really Do a Full-Range ICBM Test?

Kim Yo-jong, the North Korean leader’s powerful sister, signaled that the regime may conduct a full-range ICBM flight to demonstrate unambiguously the survivability of its reentry vehicles carrying nuclear weapons. Such a launch would further inflame regional tensions and trigger strong allied responses. → Read More

South Korea’s Vows Expanded Regional Role in Indo-Pacific Strategy

In its first-ever Indo-Pacific strategy, Seoul committed to strengthening a regional rules-based order to protect freedom, democracy, and human rights. The document expands on President Yoon Suk Yeol’s earlier pledges to assume greater responsibility for defending democratic principles and is consistent with the U.S. and Japanese national security strategies. → Read More

North Korea’s Provocations Require Strong Allied Response

North Korea has ratcheted up its military activity to unprecedented levels this year. In addition to a record number of missile launches, it has conducted highly provocative ground, air and naval actions near its border with South Korea. Pyongyang was seeking to intimidate the United States and its allies, but it triggered bolder allied actions, including the resumption of large-scale military… → Read More

North Korea’s Increasing Nuclear and Missile Threat to the U.S. and Its Allies

THE ISSUE North Korea has ratcheted up its military activity to unprecedented levels, including a record number of missile launches this year as well as highly provocative actions by its ground, air, and naval units near its border with South Korea. North Korea has steadily improved both the quality and quantity of its nuclear and missile arsenals. In recent years, Pyongyang has unveiled… → Read More

The Troubling New Changes to North Korea’s Nuclear Doctrine

On September 8, 2022, Pyongyang passed a new law that codifies long-standing nuclear doctrine, though with some alarming refinements. Many Western media reports interpreted the law, as well as statements by Kim Jong-un earlier this year, as signaling a dramatic shift toward a new offensive nuclear doctrine that now includes pre-emptive nuclear attack. But there is greater continuity than change… → Read More

South Korea Needs to Embrace a More Expansive Role in Asia

The inauguration of Yoon Suk Yeol as South Korea’s new president quickly led to alignment with the United States on a wide range of foreign and security policies. Yoon declared that a strong alliance with the United States would be the foundation for South Korea’s foreign relations with China and North Korea. He rejected his predecessors’ attempts to balance Seoul’s relationship with Beijing and… → Read More

North Korea’s Hwasong-12 Missile Test Over Japan Must Be Punished

North Korea’s latest ballistic missile launch—its first over Japan since 2017—is another escalation in provocations and reflects the regime’s continued defiance of U.N. requirements that it abandon its nuclear and missile programs. Rather than intimidating the United States and its allies, Pyongyang’s action will only buttress ongoing deterrence initiatives. → Read More

South Korea Can’t Let China Push Them Around on Missile Defense

To hear the Chinese tell it, Seoul has agreed to constrain its national security policies and opposes the operation of a U.S. missile defense system deployed in South Korea. The Yoon Suk Yeol administration has flatly rejected that claim. Despite Chinese hints of coercive action, Seoul affirmed that it would not limit its efforts to defend its people against the growing North Korean nuclear and… → Read More

Waiting for the North-Korean-Nuclear-Test Godot

North Korea analysis often devolves to predicting when the next provocation will occur and then endlessly debating the “signal” that the regime was—or was not—sending to Washington. Lost in the analytic morass is that the “what” is more important than the “when” or “why.” The next nuclear test, in addition to being another serious violation of United Nations resolutions, would indicate that… → Read More

U.S., South Korea to Resume Military Exercises

Washington and Seoul are poised to resume large-scale combined military exercises for the first time in four years. Doing so will repair the degradation to allied deterrence and defense capabilities wrought by years of canceled or reduced military training. While the U.S. and South Korea constrained their militaries, North Korea continued its own military exercises, as well as developed and… → Read More

North Korea’s Support for Russian-Occupied Ukraine Would Violate U.N. Sanctions

North Korea reportedly is discussing sending workers and soldiers to Russian-controlled regions of Ukraine in exchange for shipments of industrial equipment and energy supplies. Any of those actions would violate several U.N. resolutions imposed on North Korea in response to Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile activities. → Read More

Now Is Not the Time for South Korea To Go Nuclear

Polls show that South Koreans increasingly favor both bringing U.S. tactical nuclear weapons back to the Korean Peninsula and developing an indigenous nuclear capability. But the shift in public opinion seems grounded more on national prestige than strategic considerations. → Read More

Killing of Former Prime Minister Shocks Japan, but Shinzo Abe’s Legacy Lives On

Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was fatally shot Friday at a campaign rally ahead of Japan’s elections Sunday for the upper house of its parliament. The event has shocked Japan, which has extremely tight gun control laws and one of the world’s lowest rates of gun violence. → Read More

Biden and Yoon Aligned on Approach to North Korea

When unveiling its North Korea policy last year, the Biden administration vowed to pursue “principled diplomacy.” Specifics remain unclear, but overall, the Biden strategy marks a return to the traditional U.S. approach, which prioritized the importance of the alliance with South Korea while conditioning benefits to Pyongyang on progress toward denuclearization. U.S. and South Korean policies… → Read More

China, Russia Again Block U.N. Action on North Korea

True to form, Beijing and Moscow on Thursday again protected Pyongyang from additional international punishment after the North Korean regime’s repeated violations of U.N. resolutions. U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield proposed additional sanctions in response to North Korea’s spate of missile launches, which she characterized as “a grave threat to international peace and… → Read More

President Biden Should Strengthen Alliances During Asia Trip

During his upcoming trip to South Korea and Japan, President Joe Biden should affirm the U.S. commitment to defending our allies against increasing Chinese and North Korean military threats. China is the preeminent global security threat, and enhancing both alliances are critical to augmenting Washington’s ability to counter threats to U.S. strategic interests. Biden should also urge Seoul and… → Read More

COVID-19 Conditions Deteriorating Rapidly in North Korea

After two years of denial, North Korea admitted its first COVID-19 case on May 12 and imposed a nationwide lockdown in response. The regime’s public admission and draconian response suggests the situation was too severe to remain concealed. Within a day, Pyongyang revealed the epidemic had been raging for weeks and already affected hundreds of thousands of people. → Read More

North Korea Cybercrimes Undermine Sanctions and Threaten America

Pyongyang’s sophisticated cyberwarfare arsenal has triggered far less attention and international response than its nuclear and missile weapons, despite having been used repeatedly in attacks against governments, financial institutions, and industries. North Korea has conducted cyber guerrilla warfare to steal classified military secrets, swipe billions of dollars in money and cybercurrency, and… → Read More

North Korea Cybercrimes Undermine Sanctions and Threaten America

U.S. intelligence assesses Pyongyang as one of the top four cyber threats capable of launching “disruptive or destructive cyberattacks” against the United States. → Read More

The U.S.–Japan Security Alliance Must Act Now to Deter China from Attacking Taiwan

Russia’s second invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, was a brutal reminder of the potential for authoritarian countries to attack smaller countries on their periphery. Moscow’s assault should also be a catalyst for enhancing deterrence against Chinese expansionism in the Indo–Pacific region. → Read More