Why We May Have To Live With A Nuclear North Korea


Welcome to the Rostrum — your weekly dose of insight from The Octavian Report. After Donald Trump’s fiery and troubling speech at the U.N. General Assembly, we caught up with North Korea expert Sue Mi Terry to get her take on what to expect from the U.S., Kim Jong-un, South Korea, Japan, and China. She’ll also be speaking on North Korea at our inaugural Octavian Forum — make sure to reserve your seat here for the event the New York Post has called Davos meets the Aspen Ideas Festival.

Few analysts know North Korea as well as Sue Mi Terry. Her take on the nuclear situation with the Hermit Kingdom is sobering: she sees no clear way for the U.S. to stop North Korean breakout. Once it happens, the options are limited and bad. Whether the U.S. chooses to go with deterrence or military action, we will face huge risks as will significant regional partners like Japan and South Korea.

About Sue Mi Terry: Sue Mi Terry is managing director at Bower Group Asia, an advisory firm that helps
the world’s premier companies and organizations do business in Asia. She leads the company’s advisory work and development strategies for the firm’s clients pursuingopportunities in South Korea and regionally.

Previously, she was Senior Research Scholar at Columbia University’s Weatherhead East Asian Institute (2011-2015) and the National Intelligence Fellow in the David Rockefeller Studies Program at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York (2010-

From 2009 to 2010, she was the Deputy National Intelligence Officer for East Asia at the National Intelligence Council and before that she served as Director for Korea, Japan, and Oceanic Affairs at the National Security Council under both Presidents George W. Bush and Barak Obama (2008-2009). In that role, she formulated, coordinated, and implemented U.S. government policy on Korea, Japan,as well as Australia, New Zealand, and Oceania. Earlier in her career, she served as a Senior Analyst on Korean issues at the Central Intelligence Agency (2001-2008).

Her research is focused on East Asia, particularly Northeast Asia security and U.S.-Northeast Asia relations, North Korea’s evolving nuclear strategy and potential for instability, and the politics, economics, and foreign policies of South Korea. Her views are regularly featured in major media outlets including the BBC, CNN, NBC,Fox News, Bloomberg News and PBS.

Sue holds a Ph.D. (2001) and a Masters of Arts (1998) in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, and Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from New York University (1993).