Negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang over North Korea’s nuclear weapons program are at an impasse, and tensions are rising. And while neither side appears to want a war, the path to a diplomatic solution remains unclear. What is obvious, however, is that most U.S. policymakers have little understanding of what the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is or how it operates, a fact that limits America’s ability to peacefully resolve the crisis.
Heidi Linton, Randall Spadoni, and Daniel Jasper, by contrast, have firsthand knowledge of the DPRK. Their organizations maintain long-term aid programs in North Korea, and all three have spent time there as part of humanitarian missions, including trips to parts of the country closed to most visitors.