April 22

Keith Luse

North Korea: The Path Forward for the Biden Administration

Member-only Briefing

Thursday, April 22, 2021 | 6:00 PM – 7:15 PM ET

When Obama was leaving the office, he told Donald Trump that North Korea would likely be his most urgent problem as president. In his first formal press conference since the inauguration, President Biden maintained that it is still a top foreign policy issue. Last month, North Korea provided two reminders to the Biden administration why North Korea should remain at the top of his list: Pyongyang tested two short-range cruise missiles on March 21 and two short-range ballistic missiles on March 25. Several sources claim that the Biden administration will soon finalize its policy review on North Korea. Obviously, the path forward is not without obstacles – old and new. What are the key policy choices and challenges that Biden is facing with North Korea? How will US-North Korea relations look like under the Biden administration? Join us on April 22nd at 6.00 PM EDT for a member-only discussion with Mr. Keith Luse, Executive Director of the National Committee on North Korea.


Keith Luse

Keith Luse is the Executive Director of the National Committee on North Korea. Previously, Luse was the Senior East Asia Policy Advisor for Chairman and later Ranking Member Senator Richard G. Lugar at the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations
Committee from 2003 until 2013. Luse also served as Staff Director for Mr. Lugar at the Senate Agriculture Committee from 1999 through 2002, where the Senator also served as Chairman and later Ranking Member. While at the Senate Agriculture Committee, Luse made the first of eventually five trips to North Korea.

Mr. Luse joined Senator Lugar’s Indiana Office in 1978 and was appointed State Director in 1982. In the 1990’s while in the private sector, Luse traveled throughout East Asia for eight years, conducting research for U.S. businesses.

In addition to assisting Senator Lugar at the Foreign Relations Committee on legislative initiatives, Luse directed or participated in several oversight projects and investigations. They included the integrity of the U.S. – funded humanitarian assistance distribution process inside North Korea; the murder of Americans in Papua, Indonesia; corruption and transparency challenges at The Asia Development Bank and The World Bank, and an evaluation of the effectiveness of U.S. foreign assistance to countries in East Asia with an emphasis on Cambodia and Indonesia.

Luse’s reports to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee included “China’s Impact on Korean Peninsula Unification and Questions for the Senate” (2012); “Trafficking and Extortion of Burmese Migrants in Malaysia and Southern Thailand” (2009); and “North Korea and Its Nuclear Program – A Reality Check” (2008).

In 2016, Luse was presented the Vietnam “Medal of Friendship” by President Truong Tan Sang for active contributions to the process of Normalization and Development of the U.S. – Vietnam relationship.

Upon departing the Senate in 2013, Luse received the Philippine Legion of Honor Award from President Aquino for assisting Senator Lugar’s efforts to foster relations between the United States and the Philippines and Southeast Asia. He is also a Co-Recipient of the 2010 Kato Ryozo Award for Service to the U.S. – Japan Alliance.

Luse has traveled extensively in East Asia including five visits to North Korea, and has participated in numerous Track 1.5 and Track 2 sessions about North Korea or with North Korean officials outside of their country.

Luse is an Advisory Board Member of The Center for Constitutional Democracy at Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law. He formerly served on the Boards of The American Center for International Leadership, The Indianapolis Museum of Indian Heritage and The Indianapolis Hispano-American Center. From 1989 to 1991 he was Chairman of the Indiana Republican Party.

Luse has also been a guest lecturer at The University of Indonesia (Jakarta), The Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs Diplomatic Academy, The Vietnam Ministry of Foreign Affairs Diplomatic Academy (Hanoi), The Foreign Language Institute (Pyongyang), The Indonesian Parliament (Jakarta) and several American universities.

Luse’s Bachelor of Arts degree in political science is from Indiana University. His graduate certificate in public management and additional graduate studies were obtained at Indiana University – Purdue University, Indianapolis.




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