Mongolia and North Korea: A President's Perspective

National Committee on North Korea


June 18, 2024, 4:00 pm EDT to 5:00 pm EDT


Mongolia and North Korea: A President's Perspective

Tuesday, June 18
4:00pm ET
Online via Zoom 


Elbegdorj Tsakhia
Former President of Mongolia, 2009-2017

Jenny Town
Senior Fellow at the Stimson Center
Director of Stimson's Korea Program and 38 North

Keith Luse
Executive Director, NCNK

Geopolitical developments in Northeast Asia are in flux. The consequences of the alignment between Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un are unsettling for leaders within the region and present a challenge to US interests. The strengthening of ties by the US, Japan and the Republic of Korea as embodied in the establishment of a permanent secretariat to enhance relations among the three countries is unsettling for Chinese leaders and an irritant to the North Koreans.

Through the decades, following the demise of the Soviet Union, Mongolia has established a relatively quiet and effective path in northeast Asia, working to balance its bilateral interaction with Russia and China while maintaining good relations with South and North Korea. What are the keys to Mongolia's success on these fronts and how has it achieved simultaneous ongoing dialogue with both Koreas? How is Mongolia positioned today to effectively navigate within the region given the ever changing dynamics?

Please join NCNK for a discussion featuring former Mongolian President Elbegdorj Tsakhia, a highly regarded international statesman. In addition to President Elbegdorj, Jenny Town, a Senior Fellow at the Stimson Center and the Director of Stimson's Korea Program and 38 North will participate as the discussant. NCNK Executive Director Keith Luse will moderate.

About the Speakers

"We should never take democracy for granted. Neither should we worship it. It must be nurtured and strengthened on a daily basis. It is our way of living, our state of mind." - The Elders website, June 2024

A former journalist and  freedom fighter, Elbegdorj Tsakhia was a leader in the 1990 democratic revolution in Mongolia. After the fall of the Soviet Union, Elbegdorj led Mongolia's transition to democracy. Serving first in Mongolia's Parliament, later as Prime Minister and then President of Mongolia, Elbegdorj championed nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. He was an advocate on a range of issues including the promotion of democracy, women's rights and climate change. The President's work in these areas continues through the Elbegdorj Institute. 

In addition to being a member of "The Elders", he is a Bernard and Susan Liautaud Visiting Fellow at Stanford University. Mr. Elbegdorj holds a Masters of Public Administration from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government and a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the Land Forces Military Academy of Lviv of the former USSR.

Jenny Town is a Senior Fellow at the Stimson Center and Director of Stimson’s Korea Program and 38 North. Her research areas include North Korea, US-DPRK relations, US-ROK alliance relations and extended deterrence, and Northeast Asia regional security. Her first trip to Ulaanbaatar was in 2014 to participate in US-DPRK bilateral meetings. Since then she has been a regular participant in the annual UB Dialogue, started under President Elbegdorj, and works with a number of Mongolian scholars and think tanks on regional security matters.


View Original Invitation.