North Korea: Sabre-rattling or imminent threat?

Talk Thursday 25 April 2013, 7:00 PM

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has announced that it has entered into a ‘state of war’ with the US and the Republic of Korea (ROK). The US defence secretary, Chuck Hagel, has declared that DPRK poses “a real and clear danger”. Is this a war of words or could talk of war precipitate a full-blown military conflict?

Join us with a panel of experts to break down the escalating rhetoric and examine the intentions of DPRK. We will be asking if Kim Jong-un, the 29-year-old inexperienced leader, is just attempting to bolster his image at home or if there is any weight behind his threats.


Chaired by Charles Scanlon, BBC East Asia editor. He was BBC Korea correspondent from 1994 – 1997 and Japan and Korea correspondent 2000 – 2007.


Dr John Swenson-Wright is Fuji Bank University senior lecturer in Modern Japanese Studies at the East Asia Institute, University of Cambridge. He is a senior consulting fellow at the Asia Programme, Chatham House.

Andrea Berger is a research fellow for nuclear analysis at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) and deputy director of the UK project on nuclear issues.

John Everard is a retired British diplomat, who served as British Ambassador to North Korea. He is author of Only Beautiful, Please: A British Diplomat in North Korea and is now a consultant for the UN.