Atsuhito Isozaki

Atsuhito Isozaki

Professor, Keio University

Isozaki Atsuhito is a professor at Keio University, based in Yokohama, Japan. His research focuses on contemporary North Korean politics and Japan-North Korea relations. Previously, he served as a special analyst on North Korean politics in the Intelligence and Analysis Service of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was a senior researcher on North Korean politics at the Japanese embassy in Beijing. In addition to this, he was selected as a Japan scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center and held several teaching positions including a part-time lecturer at the University of Tokyo and Japan’s National Police Academy. He received his MA in Law from Keio University and studied abroad at the Seoul National University. His major publications include Tourism in North Korea (2019)New Introduction to North Korean Studies (2017) and North Korea and Human Security (2009).

In this pool photo distributed by Sputnik agency, Russia's President Vladimir Putin (left) shakes hands with North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un during their meeting at the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia on 13 September 2023. (Vladimir Smirnov/Pool/AFP)

Why Kim Jong-un’s first trip after the pandemic was not to China, but Russia

The solidarity between North Korea and Russia based on an “anti-imperialist” or anti-American mindset can be said to be a strategic and simple construct: “An enemy’s friend is an enemy.” 
A handout picture shows a part of what is believed to be a space launch vehicle that North Korea said crashed into the sea off the west coast of the divided peninsula, and which the South Korean military had salvaged, at an unidentified location in South Korea, 15 June 2023. (The Defense Ministry/Handout via Reuters)

North Korea's failed launch of Kim Jong-un's 'No. 1' spy satellite

Japanese academic Atsuhito Isozaki examines North Korea's failed military reconnaissance satellite launch, noting how domestic media handled it quietly this time as compared to another failed launch in 2012. How is Kim Jong-un's regime evolving?
In this handout file photo taken and released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on 21 June 2019 North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (right) shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping upon his arrival at Pyongyang international airport in Pyongyang. (KCNA via KNS/AFP)

A China-North Korea summit may be good for the world

It appears that China and North Korea are in a renewed honeymoon phase, with a possible China-North Korea summit on the cards. This may not necessarily be all bad, says Japanese academic Atsuhito Isozaki.
Commuters wearing face masks ride a tramcar in Pyongyang on February 26, 2020. (Kim Won-Jin/AFP)

North Korea demonstrating superiority of regime through epidemic control

Lockdown state, zero Chinese tourists, zero infected case... Keio University’s Atsuhito Isozaki notes that for health and political reasons, North Korea is treating the possible outbreak of Covid-19 as a matter of “national survival”. In the immediate, however, rising prices brought on by disruptions in supply are a key threat.