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Naoko Aoki is a research associate at the Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland. She works primarily on security issues that concern the Asia-Pacific region.

She holds a Ph.D. in international security policy from the University of Maryland, College Park. Her dissertation explored the impact of US domestic politics on the implementation of the two denuclearization agreements that the United States had with North Korea. She holds an M.A. in international relations and international economics from The Johns Hopkins University, Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).

Dr. Aoki is also an adjunct professorial lecturer at American University. Previously, she worked as a Nuclear Security Fellow in the U.S. House of Representatives and was a Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow and an adjunct political scientist at the RAND Corporation. She was formerly with Kyodo News, Japan’s largest news agency, reporting on the Japanese government from Tokyo before serving as a Beijing correspondent. She has visited North Korea 18 times on reporting trips.

She has appeared as a commentator on East Asian issues in broadcast media including PBS, NPR, and BBC and has been quoted in global print media including The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Foreign Policy, The Independent, The Globe and Mail, South China Morning Post, Al Jazeera, North Korean news website NK News and online Asia-Pacific current affairs magazine The Diplomat.

Areas of Interest
  • East Asian security, North Korea, Nuclear security, International Security