Joel S. Wit

Senior Research Scholar

U.S.-North Korea relations and foreign policy

As a key participant in the establishment of the Korean Peninsular Energy Development Organization (KEDO), Joel Wit continues to serve as part of our KEDO Oral History Project, which in the second phase has developed into the more expansive North Korea's Nuclear Future Project. The original KEDO project sought to capture the lessons learned from KEDO in a way that makes them applicable to the negotiation of future multinational treaties, and the first phase of the project was completed at the end of 2008. The second phase seeks to evaluate the prospects for North Korea's efforts to build a nuclear arsenal over the next decade through focusing on four scenarios: that of denuclearization, stalled negotiations, the failure of diplomacy, and the collapse of a nuclear armed North Korea.

Joel Wit has served as Senior Advisor to Ambassador Robert L. Galluci from 1993-1995, where he developed strategies to help resolve the crisis over North Korea's weapons program, and as Coordinator for the US-North Korea's weapons program and as Coordinator for the US-North Korea Agreed Framework from 1995-1999, where he was the official in charge of implementation. Prior to his efforts on the Agreed Framework, Wit was assigned to the State Department's Office of Strategic Nuclear Policy, where he was responsible for U.S. policy on a range of issues related to nuclear arms control and weapons proliferation. In that capacity from 1988 to 1992, Wit helped negotiate strategic arms control agreements with the former Soviet Union and participated in the Nunn-Lugar program to dismantle its nuclear weapons.

He was also a Guest Scholar at the Brookings Institute from 1999-2001, and is currently a Senior Fellow of the International Security Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies. In addition, he has published numerous articles on Northeast Asian security issues. He has also written numerous articles on North Korea and nonproliferation and is the coauthor of the book Going Critical: The First North Korean Nuclear Crisis (Brookings Institution Press, 2004).

He received his M.I.A. from Columbia University in 1979 and his B.A. from Bucknell University in 1976