Christopher Steinitz
Research Scientist


Chris Steinitz directs the North Korea program at CNA, focusing on North Korean leadership, strategic calculus, and military operations. He has conducted and contributed to studies of North Korea's strategic calculus, the role of nuclear weapons in North Korea's evolving national strategy, Kim Jong-un's use of provocations, and deterring and dissuading North Korean aggression in the maritime domain. Beyond North Korea, his work has focused on maritime Southeast Asia, the Arab World, maritime domain awareness, multinational interoperability, and coalition-building. He has provided operational analysis afloat to the John C. Stennis Strike Group and has supported the International Mine Countermeasures Exercise at NAVCENT. He also tracks global maritime trends and contributes to CNA's wargame development team.

Steinitz holds an M.A. in Arab Studies from Georgetown University and a B.A. in Political Science from LaSalle University.


July 20, 2020

Christopher Steinitz writes, "Saying that you are at the forefront of vaccine development in the COVID-19 pandemic  will undoubtedly help the Kim Jong-un regime's legitimacy internally."

Radio Free Asia: "'North Korea's Claim to Develop Corona Vaccine Is for Internal Support'"

July 7, 2020

Chris Steinitz writes, "With so many variables in play, it is difficult to be optimistic about ending the Korean War to an end by 2025, but it is not impossible."

The National Interest: "Why It Is Hard to Get Both Koreas and America to Align in Favor of Peace"

April 28, 2020

Ken Gause, Chris Steinitz, and Elizabeth Yang write, "There have been significant shifts over the last year that reveal some of Kim Jong-un's intentions in changing historical North Korean decision-making framework for future governance."

The Peninsula: Four Possible Post-Kim Jong-Un Regimes

July 17, 2019

Christopher Steinitz says, "By reaching out to party members, by reaching out to the people, it makes them invested in maintaining this location which is an important symbol for the Kim family."

CNN: "How Did Kim Jong Un Get His Armored Mercedes?" (3:10)

June 26, 2019

Christopher Steinitz writes, "Despite the high-level diplomatic exchanges, the fundamental goals and interests of Trump, Xi and Kim — the truths of the U.S.-China-North Korea triangle — have not changed."

The Hill: "Keep Expectations Low for Breakthroughs from G-20's High-Level Meetings"

February 6, 2019

Ken Gause and Chris Steinitz say, "Kim Jong-un has to think strategically for his long term survival and that of his family's regime. He cannot settle for tactical wins for short term gains."

The National Interest: "North Korea and America's Second Summit: Here's What Ken Gause and Chris Steinitz Think Will Happen"