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Nov. 30: Broadcast Advisory: Carnegie Mellon University's Kiron K. Skinner Available To Discuss Wikileaks, North Korea

Contact: Shilo Raube / 412-268-6094 / sraube@andrew.cmu.edu

Broadcast Advisory: Carnegie Mellon University's Kiron K. Skinner
Available To Discuss Wikileaks, North Korea


Kiron SkinnerThe Story: U.S. foreign policy currently faces two big challenges: the latest Wikileaks documents and the Korean crisis. Carnegie Mellon University's Kiron K. Skinner is one of the country's most renowned experts in international relations and U.S. foreign policy. Skinner, an associate professor of social and decision sciences and director of CMU's Center for International Relations and Politics, serves on the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Executive Panel, the National Security Education Board and the Council on Foreign Relations. From 2001-2007, she was a member of the U.S. Defense Department's Defense Policy board as an adviser on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Skinner sees a strong comparison between the Wikileaks and the 1979 Spy Den documents — when Iranian radicals published classified cables from the U.S. Embassy in Tehran to Washington, D.C. "This type of violation of international understandings among states undermines the capacity of U.S. leaders to conduct diplomacy, as it did during the Iran revolution," Skinner said. "Documents are published outside of the larger context in which they are written; cables written by lower level officials, many of whom may not be in the decision loop, get magnified. This suggests that the U.S. cannot keep secrets, inflames opposition from radical corners and confuses the public."

Noting the escalating tension on the Korean peninsula, Skinner feels that the U.S.'s options are limited. "The gateway to North Korea is through China, and China has few incentives to 'solve' the North Korean problem," she said. "A unified Korean peninsula would put a democracy on China's borders and lead to a refugee crisis. Addressing North Korea as a problem also means facing the failure of Communism in the region. Trying to get China to see North Korea from our perspective is perhaps the biggest foreign-policy challenge outside of the Middle East."

Availability: Professor Skinner is available for phone, Skype or on-camera interviews to share more on these topics.

CMU TV Studio: We can connect Professor Skinner to your outlet through Carnegie Mellon's new state-of-the-art TV studio. Working with Pittsburgh International Telecommunications (PIT), we offer domestic and international connectivity via satellite and fiber. PIT owns and operates one of the largest satellite facilities in the world. Please contact us for more information and to make arrangements.

For more information: Shilo Raube, 412-268-6094, sraube@andrew.cmu.edu

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