Jin Kai

Jin Kai

Non-Resident Scholar, Sigur Center for Asian Studies of the Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University, Washington DC

Dr Jin Kai is a non-resident scholar at the Sigur Center for Asian Studies of the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University, Washington DC. He is also a visiting scholar at the Yonsei Institute for Sinology at Yonsei University, Seoul in South Korea. His research areas include Chinese foreign policy, China-US relations and security in Northeast Asia.

This pool image distributed by Sputnik agency shows Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) and North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un shaking hands during their meeting at the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia on 13 September 2023. (Vladimir Smirnov/Pool/AFP)

US's 'axis of evil' narrative could escalate tensions on Korean peninsula

With North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s visit to Russia recently, observers worry that North Korea and Russia, together with China, are drawing closer, forming a greater “axis” of nuclear threat. But academic Jin Kai sees the sense of a greater “alliance” forming as all part of the US and its allies’ “geopolitical imagination”, which could see them taking steps that escalate the situation in the Korean peninsula.
Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (right) and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol shake hands during their bilateral meeting as part of the G7 Leaders' Summit in Hiroshima on 21 May 2023. (Hiro Komae/AFP)

Seoul-Tokyo rapprochement: Stop-gap measure or long-term goal?

Japan and South Korea’s recent closeness may not just be a product of wariness of China, but US interests too, says Jin Kai, a visiting scholar at the Yonsei Institute for Sinology at Yonsei University, Seoul. But is closer Japan-South Korea-US trilateral cooperation sustainable amid tense dynamics in East Asia and the Korean peninsula?
This undated picture released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on 27 November 2022 shows North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un (centre right) and his daughter (centre left) posing with soldiers who contributed to the test-firing of the new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), at an unknown location in North Korea. (KCNA via KNS/AFP)

Can China avert North Korea's seventh nuclear test?

With North Korea’s seventh testing of a nuclear weapon looking imminent, Chinese academic Jin Kai notes that the ROK’s hardened stance and the US’s inconsistent policies are not helping to calm rising tensions in the Korean peninsula. And while it is perceived to hold sway over North Korea, China’s influence over its neighbour may be overrated in truth.
A couple (front, left) wear traditional hanbok dress as they walk across a road in Seoul, South Korea, on 7 January 2022. (Anthony Wallace/AFP)

When neighbours disagree: Did China 'steal' South Korea’s culture and historical memory?

When the Chinese featured a lady wearing a hanbok — what to the Koreans is their national costume — at the Winter Olympics opening ceremony, it was as if the band-aid on rising China-South Korean tensions was peeled off. Soon after, cries of foul play and the Chinese “snatching” medals from the South Koreans followed. Are greater squabbles on the horizon for these Northeast Asian neighbours?