My C.V. can be downloaded from here. My official bio can be found here.


My name is Sungmin Cho, and I am a professor of the the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies (DKI APCSS), an academic institute of the U.S. Department of Defense, based in Honolulu, Hawaii. I joined the APCSS in August 2018. My area of research interests covers China-Korean Peninsula relations, North Korea’s nuclear program, Korean unification, and the US alliance in East Asia. I also closely follows the domestic politics of China and North Korea.

Prior to arriving at APCSS, I was a lecturer for the Asian Studies Program at Georgetown University from 2016 to 2018, where I taught the domestic politics of China and the politics of nuclear weapons in East Asia for both undergraduate and graduate students. I have published or forthcoming articles on the politics and security affairs of Northeast Asia in peer-reviewed journals, including World Politics, Journal of Contemporary China, The China Journal, Asian Security, Journal of Indo-Pacific Affairs, and Korea Observer. My commentaries also appeared in Foreign Affairs, The Washington Quarterly, War on the RocksThe Diplomat, and Defense One, among others.

For the doctoral dissertation research, I conducted two rounds of fieldwork in China in 2015-2016, supported by Georgetown University’s summer research funds and the Smith Richardson Foundation. I did archival works in Beijing and interviewed former Chinese officials to explore China’s strategic openness to the Western democracy promotion programs. Previously between 2008-2010, I did fieldwork in the Chaoxian Autonomous Region in Northeastern China for my master’s thesis on China-North Korea relationship.

Before starting graduate studies, I served in the Republic of Korea Army for three years, which I completed at the rank of first lieutenant. As an interpretation officer of the Capital Corps of the ROK Army, I participated in the US-ROK joint exercises to defend the Seoul Metropolitan Area in 2005. I was later deployed to Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan as part of the Multinational Forces-Iraq in 2006. Returning from Iraq, I worked in the Korean Army Logistics Command in 2007-2008, managing the military sales from the United States to South Korea.

I was a proud member of Pacific Forum’s Young Leaders Program in 2009-2010. I worked at Pacific Forum for one year as a residential fellow under the James A. Kelly Korean Studies Program in 2011.

I received my PhD in Government from Georgetown University, Master’s degree in International Relations from Peking University, and B.A. in Political Science from Korea University. I also spent a year as a visiting student at the University of British Columbia.

I am an avid fan of movies and books. I traveled by bicycle from Beijing to Nanjing in China in the winter of 2009, and along the border between China and North Korea in the summer of 2010. A native Korean, I speak Korean, English and Mandarin Chinese.