30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

East Asia

May 29, 2015 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., May 29, 2015 — President Richard Nixon and his national security adviser Henry Kissinger believed they could compel "the other side" to back down during crises in the Middle East and Vietnam by "push[ing] so many chips into the pot" that Nixon would seem 'crazy' enough to "go much further," according to newly declassified documents published today by the National Security Archive.

Oct 16, 2014 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., October 16, 2014 – Fifty years ago today, on 16 October 1964, the People's Republic of China (PRC) joined the nuclear club when it tested a nuclear device at its Lop Nur test site in Inner Mongolia. For several years, U.S. intelligence had been monitoring Chinese developments, often with anxiety, hampered by the lack of adequate sources. Early on, opinions within the U.S.

Jun 5, 2014 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, June 5, 2014 – During the North Korean nuclear crisis of the 1990s, the United States and South Korea shared blunt concerns about the possible outbreak of military hostilities with Pyongyang, according to newly published internal documentation from the National Security Archive. In April 1994, South Korean Defense Minister Rhee Byong Tae told U.S.

Jun 3, 2014 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, June 3, 2014 – Significant cleavages existed within the Chinese political leadership and security apparatus over the decision to use force against student protesters at Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989, according to US military intelligence. Declassified reports citing well-placed sources inside China describe sharp differences among some of the country's military and political elite, as well as a range of other security-related concerns with important implications for the political longevity of the Chinese leadership.

Jan 23, 2014 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, January 23, 2014 – Forty-six years ago today - well before Edward Snowden was born - the National Security Agency suffered what may still rank as the most significant compromise ever of its code secrets when the American spy ship USS Pueblo was captured by communist forces off the coast of North Korea on January 23, 1968. The U.S.

Apr 11, 2013 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., April 11, 2013 – For decades, the erratic behavior of North Korea's enigmatic leaders has often masked a mix of symbolic and pragmatic motives, according to declassified documents posted today by the National Security Archive. During earlier crises, Kim Jong Un's father and grandfather postured and threatened the region in ways markedly similar to the behavior of the new leader, the records show. While the current Kim is acting even more stridently in some cases, the documents reveal a past pattern characterized by bellicose conduct.

Feb 28, 2013 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., February 28, 2013 – U.S. officials had hopes thirty years ago that a political liberalization and economic reform program China had initiated in Tibet could lead to real improvements in that country, according to declassified documents posted today by the National Security Archive.

Jul 6, 2012 | Briefing Book
A new book and newly-released documents illuminate the history of U.S. efforts to deal with the Korean security dilemma during and since the Cold War. Among the key "lessons learned" are the limits to the ability of Beijing or Moscow to influence North Korea and persuade it to adopt less provocative and destabilizing behavior and policies, and the challenges facing efforts by the United States, South Korea and Japan to work together to address this critical unresolved legacy of the Cold War.

Jun 20, 2012 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., June 20, 2012 –The National Security Archive announces the publication of its latest digital compilation of declassified records on U.S. ties with a critically important global partner – Japan. The new collection, Japan and the United States: Diplomatic, Security, and Economic Relations, Part III, 1961-2000, includes the most recent U.S.

Jul 21, 2011 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., July 21, 2011 – In 2005, U.S. intelligence agencies monitoring Chinese research into high-power microwave (HPM) and electromagnetic pulse (EMP) radiation speculated that Beijing might be trying to develop a capability to incapacitate Taiwan electronically without triggering a U.S. nuclear retaliation, according to documents published in a major new National Security Archive collection. In recent years, China’s development of an assortment of conventional and nuclear weapons has regularly attracted the interest and concern of U.S.

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