Joel S. Wit

Senior Research Scholar

U.S.-North Korea relations and foreign policy

An internationally recognized expert on Northeast Asian security issues and non-proliferation, Joel Wit has 20 years of experience in the U.S. State Department and the Washington think-tank arena. After a short stint on detail to the Central Intelligence Agency writing the first National Intelligence Estimate on ballistic missile proliferation, Mr. Wit was a member of U.S. delegations to the Strategic Arms Limitation and Intermediate Nuclear Force Talks with the Soviet Union. In 1993, he joined the staff of Ambassador Robert L. Gallucci and was an important player in reaching the 1994 U.S.-North Korea Agreed Framework. From 1995-2000, Mr. Wit was the State Department Coordinator for implementation of that agreement, playing a key role in the formation of KEDO and its operations as well as working with North Korea on other aspects of the Agreed Framework.

Mr. Wit has been an International Affairs Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, a Senior Associate at the Henry L. Stimson Center, a Guest Scholar at the Brookings Institution and a Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He has written numerous articles on North Korea and non-proliferation including, "U.S. Strategy Towards North Korea: Rebuilding Dialogue and Engagement," published by Columbia University and the U.S.-Korea Institute at SAIS. Mr. Wit is also the co-author of the book Going Critical: The First North Korean Nuclear Crisis.

Mr. wit is also concurrently Senior Fellow at the U.S.-Korea Institute at SAIS, Johns Hopkins University and is the founder of "38 North" ( and the project lead.