December 1: Soh Jaipil Circle with Jihwan Hwang

GWIKS Soh Jaipil Circle

The Third Talk

“Can North Korea Become America’s Friend?”

Featuring Dr. Jihwan Hwang



Friday, December 1, 2017

12:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Lunch Will Be Provided


Elliott School of International Affairs

Chung-Wen Shih Conference Room

Sigur Center for Asian Studies

1957 E Street, NW, Suite 503

Washington, DC 20052


Can North Korea become America’s friend? In recent years, North Korea has seemingly become an exceptional case compared to America’s other old enemies: Iran and Cuba. Although the Trump administration seeks to reverse the Obama administration’s policy, Iran and Cuba have gone through impressive internal and external changes, and have recently been approaching the international community. However, North Korea’s attitude towards the U.S. has become increasingly provocative rather than cooperative. Even with the Obama administration’s engagement diplomacy toward enemy nations, North Korea did not reciprocate. North Korea still continues its hostility and the U.S. has put several economic sanctions against Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile provocations. What differentiates North Korea from Iran and Cuba? This talk compares changes in Iran and Cuba’s domestic politics, economic situation, and security environment with those of North Korea in order to find out what makes North Korea’s course look so different.


With Jihwan Hwang

Jihwan HWANG is Associate Professor of International Relations at the University of Seoul, Korea. He is now a year-long visiting scholar at the Catholic University of America. He is also teaching “Politics in the Two Koreas” at the George Washington University for this semester. He has served in several advisory positions in the Korean government, including the President’s Committee for Unification Preparation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Ministry of Unification. His publications include “The Paradox of South Korea’s Unification Diplomacy” and “The Two Koreas after U.S. Unipolarity.” He is a graduate of Seoul National University and received his PhD in Political Science from the University of Colorado, Boulder.


Moderated by Gregg Brazinsky

Gregg A. BRAZINSKY is Associate Professor of History and International Affairs and Deputy Director of GW Institute for Korean Studies. His research seeks to understand the diverse and multi-faceted interactions among East Asian states and between Asia and the United States. He is the author of Nation Building in South Korea: Koreans, Americans, and the Making of a Democracy (University of North Carolina Press, 2007) and Winning the Third World: Sino-American Rivalry during the Cold War (University of North Carolina Press, 2017). He served as interim director of the GW Institute for Korean Studies during the Spring 2017 semester.

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