The Korean War as Lived Experience: New Approaches to the Conflict After 70 Years Summary

On September 10 – 11, 2020, the GW Institute for Korea (GWIKS), Sigur Center for Asian Studies, and the KDI School of Public Policy and Management co-hosted a virtual international conference in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Korean War. During the two-day conference, recognized experts revisited and presented new approaches to the history of the Korean war.

The event started off with congratulatory remarks from Iliana Feldman, the Interim Dean of the GW Elliott School of International Affairs, Jong-Il You, the Dean of the KDI School of Public Policy and Management, and Soo Hyuck Lee, the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to the US, highlighting the importance of international cooperation. Professor Keun-Sik Jung from Seoul National University analyzed the conditions for peace by taking a multi-lateral approach and suggested that East Asia needs a mutually recognizing peace – including the normalization of the intra-Korea relationship and also between the US and North Korea.

Following the introductory session, was ‘The Korean War and Its Impact on Civilians’ session. Moderated by Gregg Brazinsky, Professor of History and International Affairs at GW, three professors each from Canada, South Korea and the US presented their insights into the war, going beyond the military and political aspect, and focusing on the lives of Korean people who had to endure through the war. All three speakers spoke in relations to the structure of power: Assistant Professor Jeongmin Kim from the University of Manitoba, elaborated on the creation of a black market in the exchange of US Military Payment Certificates and Korean/Japanese sexual labor; and the government’s deliberate ignorance on the issue; Professor Janice Kim from York University introduced her research on what the Korean War meant to the regional people. Lastly, Professor Hak Jae Kim, from Seoul National University, emphasized the importance of common commemoration effort and continuation of a peacemaking endeavor under the structure of international power hierarchy.

On the second day, Professor William Stueck from the University of Georgia moderated the second session of the conference: ‘New Approaches to Studying the Roles of Foreign Powers and POW’s’. Professor Avram Agov from Langara College shared his research on the impact of the Korean War to socialist countries and socialist countries’ humanitarian aid to North Korea. David Chang form Hong Kong University of Science and Technology focused his presentation on his book ‘The Hijacked War’, arguing that the Chinese prisoners of war (POWs) hijacked the Korean War.

The conference concluded with a roundtable discussion pondering on the outlook of the peace process in the Korean Peninsula. Panelists pinpointed the significance of overcoming different narratives of the war, the economic gap, and psychological warfare. They also discussed the role of feminism in the negotiation process, the US and its approach tactics and ideologies in Asian politics, and the danger of falling into binary identities. The discussion ended with many agreeing that it is important to actually have both South Korea and North Korea come together to reach a peace settlement.

 

9/22 Roundtable Discussions: U.S.-Korea Relations in the Era of U.S.-China Strategic Rivalry

The GW Institute for Korean Studies, the GW East Asia National Resource Center, and Ajou University US-China Policy Institute Present:

Korea Policy Forum

Virtual Roundtable Discussions:
U.S.-Korea Relations in the Era of U.S.-China Strategic Rivalry

Tuesday, September 22, 2020
8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. (EDT)
9:30 p.m. – 11:30 p.m. (KST)
Livestream via Zoom

This event is on the record and open to the public.

 

Registration

Event Description

The intensifying strategic rivalry between the U.S. and China under the Trump administration has exposed the U.S.-Korea relations to a greater deal of uncertainty. With China’s economic rise and assertive diplomatic posture, this new strategic shock could last in the coming years regardless of the results of the U.S. presidential election this year. What are the challenges and opportunities that should be identified by the decades-old allies? What are the necessary steps that Seoul and Washington should take to reduce the strategic risks in the coming months and years? Please join the GW Institute for Korean Studies for an online roundtable discussion with experts from both the U.S. and South Korea on Washington and Seoul’s strategic thinking and priorities in Northeast Asia.

Roundtable Participants (Alphabetical Order)

(1) South Korea
Beomchul Shin (Director of Diplomacy and Security Center, Korea Research Institute for National Strategy)
Byung-Yeon Kim (Professor in the Department of Economics, Seoul National University)
Chaesung Chun (Professor in the Department of Political Science and International Relations, Seoul National University)
Heung-Kyu Kim (Director of U.S.-China Policy Institute, Ajou University)
Sang Hyun Lee (Senior Research Fellow, Sejong Institute)
Sung-Han Kim (Dean of the Graduate School of International Studies, Korea University)
Wang Hwi Lee (Professor in the Division of International Studies, Ajou University)

(2) The United States
Elbridge Colby (Co-Founder and Principal, The Marathon Initiative)
Eric Sayers (Vice President, Beacon Global Strategies)
John Fleming (Senior Director for Strategic Projects, Owl Cyber Defense Solutions)
Jung Pak (SK-Korea Foundation Chair in Korea Studies, Brookings Institution)
Scott Snyder (Director of the Program on U.S.-Korea policy, Council on Foreign Relations)
William Brown (Principal, Northeast Asia Economics and Intelligence Advisory)
Yonho Kim (Associate Director, GW Institute for Korean Studies)

 

Program

 

The Korea Policy Forum is made possible by a generous grant provided by the KDI School of Public Policy and Management.

Korea Policy Forum on “Security on the Korean Peninsula and the U.S.-ROK Relations” Summary”

On September 3, 2020, the GW Institute for Korea (GWIKS) and East Asia National Resource Center co-sponsored the Korea Policy Forum on “Security on the Korean Peninsula and the U.S.-ROK Relations”. Moderated by Jisoo M. Kim, Director of the GW Institute for Korea, Soo Hyuck Lee, the Korean Ambassador to the United States reviewed the seventy years of U.S.-ROK cooperation and examined what the next seventy years may look like.

Ambassador Lee began by retracing back to 1950 when the US and ROK formed the foundation of alliance during the Korean War. What started off as a military partnership now has evolved into a comprehensive strategic alliance that goes beyond security, economy, and cultural cooperation. This includes supporting one another with COVID-19 test kits, exchanging public health intellectuals, sharing pop-culture contents, and more. Ambassador Lee also underscored the friendship between the two countries by using a ‘tree’ as a metaphor: military alliance as roots and trunks which provides stability and strength, economic cooperation as branches and leaves that determines the volume and structure, and cultural elements as fruits and flowers which wakes our senses and receives our admiration. Closing his speech Ambassador Lee used a Korean proverb, ‘A tree with deep roots will have many fruits’, to emphasize that our strong bilateral relationship will foster prosperity for both countries in the years to come.

Followed by his speech was a Q&A session in which Ambassador Lee touched on various topics ranging from international political issues to advice on how to become a diplomat. Questions were submitted in advance from students in the US and South Korea, from Japan, India, Australia, and Malaysia.

Responding to the first question, Ambassador Lee claimed transparency, openness, and cooperation with civil society, medical workers, and the public as the key elements to South Korea’s early success in fighting the pandemic. He also mentioned while there is no universal solution to tackling the pandemic, it is crucial to cooperate with the international community.

Many students also brought up questions on the post-pandemic international relations. Ambassador Lee reassured that the security based alliance between the US and South Korea continues to stay firm. In response to concerns on the current relationship, he argued that confrontations on certain agendas may exist but through negotiations, the two countries will be able to reach an agreement. He also mentioned the significance of China as an economic partner to South Korea. Thus, it is important for South Korea to manage a balance between security and economy with these international partners.

Expanding on international politics, Ambassador Lee elaborated on how the future of North Korea and its nuclear issue remains unpredictable. Despite the uncertainty, for the sake of economic growth, eventually, North Korea is expected to comply with the international community.

Lastly, the webinar ended with Ambassador Lee providing advice for students interested in becoming a diplomat. He underscored the significance of studying humanities by reading many books in history, literature, and philosophy in order to build intellectual power and develop communication skills.

9/3 Korea Policy Forum: Security on the Korean Peninsula and the U.S.-ROK Relations

Thursday, September 3, 2020
10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. ET
Livestream via Zoom

Registration

If you have a question for Ambassador Lee, please submit it when you complete the guest registration. Registered guests will receive Eventbrite confirmation email with details for joining the virtual event. This event is on the record and open to the public.

Event Description

During the last seventy years, the bilateral relationship between the Republic of Korea and the United States of America has been a lynchpin through which peace and stability has been maintained in Northeast Asia. A relationship that was originally a military alliance has evolved to become a partnership incorporating political, economic, and cultural cooperation as well.

The ongoing pandemic has proven to be another area where the partnership has demonstrated real results, as both country’s governments and businesses have undertaken new measures to cooperate in areas related to health and welfare and worked to reinvigorate bilateral trade.

Please join us for an online discussion with Soo Hyuck Lee, the Korean Ambassador to the United States, as he looks back on the evolution of seventy years of bilateral cooperation and examines what lies ahead for the relationship’s next seventy years.

Speaker

Soo Hyuck Lee, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to the U.S.

An experienced Diplomat and former Legislator, Ambassador Lee has served as Korean Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the United States since October 2019. Prior to his appointment, Ambassador Lee served as a Member of the 20th Korean National Assembly, where he was a member of the Foreign Affairs and Unification Committee, an Endowed Chair Professor at Dankook University in Seoul and First Deputy Director of the National Intelligence Service. He was previously the Ambassador to Germany, Deputy Minister for Political Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and Minister Counselor at the Korean Embassy in the United States. Ambassador Lee has published multiple works, including Conversations with Unified Germany (2006), Transforming Events – Analysis of North Korea’s Nuclear Issues (2008) and North Korea is a Reality (2011). He has twice been awarded the Order of Service Merit. He received his BA in International Relations from Seoul National University and MA in Political Science from Yonsei University. He is married with two sons.

Moderator

Jisoo M. Kim, Director, GW Institute for Korean Studies

Jisoo M. Kim is Korea Foundation Associate Professor of History, International Affairs, and East Asian Languages and Literatures and Director of the Institute for Korean Studies at GW. She received her Ph.D. in Korean History from Columbia University. She is a specialist in gender and legal history of early modern Korea. Her broader research interests include gender and sexuality, crime and justice, forensic medicine, literary representations of the law, history of emotions, vernacular, and gender writing. She is the author of The Emotions of Justice: Gender, Status, and Legal Performance in Chosŏn Korea (University of Washington Press, 2015), which was awarded the 2017 James Palais Prize of the Association for Asian Studies. She is also the co-editor of The Great East Asian War and the Birth of the Korean Nation by JaHyun Kim Haboush (Columbia University Press, 2016). She is currently working on two book projects titled Suspicious Deaths: Forensic Medicine, Dead Bodies, and Criminal Justice in Chosŏn Korea and Sexual Desire and Gendered Subjects: Decriminalization of Adultery Law in Korean History.

 

The Korea Policy Forum is made possible by a generous grant provided by the KDI School of Public Policy and Management.

9/10-11: Conference in Commemoration of the 70th Anniversary of the Korean War

The Korean War as Lived Experience:
New Approaches to the Conflict after 70 Years

Thursday, September 10 – Friday, September 11, 2020, EDT

Livestream via Zoom

Registration

Program (PDF)

Registered guests will receive a confirmation email with details for joining the virtual event.
This event is on the record and open to the public.

In commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Korean War, the GW Institute of Korean Studies, Sigur Center for Asian Studies, and KDI School of Public Policy and Management will be hosting a virtual international conference on the war bringing together recognized experts from around the globe. The conference will highlight new approaches to the international and social history of the war. Presenters will explore both Great Power decision making and the local impacts of the war with the goal of understanding the complex and multifaceted influence of the war.

Schedule

Thursday, September 10
06:00 p.m. – 09:00 p.m.

Introductory Session: Congratulatory Remarks
Ilana Feldman (Interim Dean, The Elliot School of International Affairs)
Jong-Il You (Dean, KDI School of Public Policy and Management)
Soo Hyuck Lee (Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to the U.S.)

Keynote Speech
Keun-Sik Jung (Professor, Seoul National University)
The Legacy of Korean War and Overcoming the Cold war: A Study on Strategic Village
Moderator: Jisoo Kim (Director, GW Institute for Korean Studies)
Session I
Jeongmin Kim (Assistant Professor, University of Manitoba)
The Birth of Global Money: Military Payment Certificates and the Sexual Economy of War and Base during the Korean War

Janice Kim (Associate Professor of History, York University)
Fractured Patriarchy: The Effects of Civilian Displacement during the Korean War

HakJae Kim (Humanities Korea Professor, Seoul National University)
Once upon a time in Korea: Five Issues about the Korean War

Commentator: Gregg Brazinsky (Professor of History and International Affairs, the George Washington University)

Friday, September 11
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Session II

Avram Agov (Faculty Member, Langara College)
International politics behind socialist humanitarian aid to North Korea during the Korean War

Steven Lee (Associate Professor of History, University of British Columbia)
The Canadian Peace Congress and the Korean War

David Chang (Associate Professor of History, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)
The Forgotten War or the Hijacked War? How Chinese POWs and Chiang Kai-shek Hijacked the Korean War

Commentator: William Stueck (Professor Emeritus of History, University of Georgia)

08:00 p.m. – 09:30 p.m.
Roundtable Discussions

Keun-Sik Jung (Professor, Seoul National University)

Gregg Brazinsky (Professor of History and International Affairs, the George Washington University)

Christine Ahn (Founder and Executive Director, Women Cross DMZ)

Suzy Kim (Associate Professor of Korean History, Rutgers University)

Moderator: Jisoo Kim (Director, GW Institute for Korean Studies)

10/2 North Korea Economic Forum: Special Public Webinar “Supply and Demand of Refined Oil Product in North Korea”

Speaker: David von Hippel

Friday, October 2, 2020

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time

Virtual Event via Zoom

This event is on the record and open to the public.

Registration

Program (PDF)

Event Description

North Korea’s energy situation has been one of the most debated topics among North Korea watchers since the tough U.N. sanctions were imposed in 2017 and 2018. Despite the tight sanctions on North Korea’s oil imports, North Korea seems to have figure out its coping mechanism to prevent serious disruptions to their economy. What are the measures taken by North Korea to offset oil supply restrictions? How can we connect the dots between North Korea’s oil supply and demand? Please join the North Korea Economic Forum of the GW Institute for Korean Studies for an online discussion on the challenges for North Korea’s energy sector and their coping mechanism.

Speaker

David von Hippel is an independent consultant and Nautilus Institute Senior Associate based in Eugene, Oregon. His work with Nautilus has centered on energy and environmental issues in Asia, and particularly in Northeast Asia. He has been involved in several projects, including an ongoing multi-nation Regional Energy Security Project for Nautilus Institute, centered around energy paths analysis, and the related East Asia Science and Security Network and follow-on projects that focused on potential nuclear materials issues in the region. He has done extensive analyses of the patterns of fuels use and prospects for energy efficiency and energy sector redevelopment in North Korea, and is currently preparing an update to an Energy Sector Analysis for that country. Dr. von Hippel holds M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Energy and Resources from the University of California-Berkeley, and M.A. and B.S. degrees from the University of Oregon

Discussant

Daniel Wertz is the Program Manager at the National Committee on North Korea (NCNK), where he has worked since 2011. Wertz manages research and publications at NCNK, and is also the lead researcher and editor of North Korea in the World, an interactive website exploring North Korea’s external economic and diplomatic relations. He also serves as Chair of the Steering Committee of George Washington University’s North Korea Economic Forum. Prior to working at NCNK, Wertz was a research assistant at the U.S.-Korea Institute at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Wertz received master’s degrees in International and World History in a joint program from Columbia University and the London School of Economics, and a bachelor’s degree in History from Wesleyan University.

Moderator

Celeste Arrington is Korea Foundation Associate Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at GW. She specializes in comparative politics, with a regional focus on the Koreas and Japan. Her research and teaching focus on law and social movements, the media, lawyers, policy processes, historical justice, North Korean human rights, and qualitative methods. She is also interested in the international relations and security of Northeast Asia and transnational activism. She is the author of Accidental Activists: Victims and Government Accountability in South Korea and Japan (2016) and has published in Comparative Political Studies, Law & Society Review, Journal of East Asian Studies, Pacific Affairs, Asian Survey, and the Washington Post, among others. She received a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, an MPhil from the University of Cambridge, and an A.B. from Princeton University. She is currently writing a book that analyzes the role of lawyers and legal activism in Japanese and Korean policies related to persons with disabilities and tobacco control.

North Korea Economic Forum Background

The North Korea Economic Forum (NKEF) is part of policy program at the George Washington University’s Institute for Korean Studies (GWIKS). The Forum aims to promote the understanding of North Korean economic issues, distribute the well-balanced, deeply touched, and multi-dimensionally explored pictures of North Korean economy and to expand the network among the various North Korean economy watchers. The Forum is mostly a closed and off-the-record meeting where participants can freely and seriously discuss the critical issues. Mr. Daniel Wertz is currently the chair of the NKEF and is leading the meetings. It also organizes special conferences made public throughout the academic year. The Forum is made possible by a generous grant provided by the KDI School of Public Policy and Management.

 

10/5 Current Development Trends in North Korea

Monday, October 5, 2020

9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Eastern

Virtual Event via Zoom

This event is on the record and open to the public.

Registration

Program (PDF)

 

Event Description

The North Korean economy, which was already pressured hard by tight international sanctions, faced unprecedented economic challenges since the global outbreak of COVID-19.  The health crisis revealed the vulnerability of North Korea’s economic system and raised questions about the validity of Pyongyang’s economic development plans. In this context, the first part of our second North Korea Economic Forum Annual Conference will examine the current development trends in North Korea in the areas of public infrastructure, tourism, and mobile telecommunications.

Schedule

Congratulatory Remarks

09:00 a.m. – 09:15 a.m.

Moderator: Jisoo Kim (Director, GW Institute for Korean Studies)

Ilana Feldman (Interim Dean, Elliott School of International Affairs, GW)

Jong-Il You (Dean, KDI School of Public Policy and Management)

Daniel Wertz (Chair, North Korea Economic Forum)

 

Panel Discussion

09:15 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Moderator: Celeste Arrington (Korea Foundation Associate Professor of Political Science and International Affair, The George Washington University)

 

Speakers

Jerome Sauvage (Consultant, Former UN Coordinator in North Korea)

“The State of Public Infrastructure in the DPR Korea: Power, Water and Sanitation, Health”

Matt Kulesza (Senior North Korean Tour Guide & Media Liaison, Young Pioneer Tours)

“How the Chinese spike in North Korea tourism is affecting the industry”

Yonho Kim (Associate Director, GW Institute for Korean Studies)

“Transferring Airtime: A Precursor to Mobile Money in North Korea?”

 

Discussants

Joongho Kim (Non-Resident Scholar, GW Institute for Korean Studies)

Randall Spadoni (North Korea Program Director, World Vision)

 

Background

The North Korea Economic Forum (NKEF) is part of policy program at the George Washington University’s Institute for Korean Studies (GWIKS). The Forum aims to promote the understanding of North Korean economic issues, distribute the well-balanced, deeply touched, and multi-dimensionally explored pictures of North Korean economy and to expand the network among the various North Korean economy watchers. The Forum is mostly a closed and off-the-record meeting where participants can freely and seriously discuss the critical issues. Mr. Daniel Wertz is currently the chair of the NKEF and is leading the meetings. It also organizes special conferences made public throughout the academic year. The Forum is made possible by a generous grant provided by the KDI School of Public Policy and Management.

The 2nd North Korea Economic Forum Annual Conference (Part II) on “Researching North Korea: Sources, Methods, and Pitfalls” will be held on Oct. 12~13.

 

 

10/09 Immanuel Kim’s Book Talk – “Life and Culture in North Korea: Friend and North Korean Comedy Film”

Speaker: Immanuel Kim, The George Washington University

Friday, October 9, 2020

4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Easten Time

Virtual Event via Zoom

This event is on the record and open to the public.

Registration

Event Description

This study analyzes North Korean comedy films from the late 1960s to present day. It examines the most iconic comedy films and comedians to show how North Koreans have enjoyed themselves and have established a culture of humor that challenges, subverts, and, at times, reinforces the dominant political ideology. Immanuel Kim argues that comedy films, popular comedians, and the viewers have an intricate interdependent relationship that shaped the film culture—the pre/post production of filmmaking, film-watching experience, and the legacies of actors—in North Korea.

 

Speaker

Immanuel Kim is Korea Foundation and Kim-Renaud Associate Professor of Korean Literature and Culture Studies. Prior to working at the George Washington University, he was Assistant Professor in the Department of Asian and Asian American Studies at Binghamton University (SUNY).  Dr. Kim
received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Riverside. He is an authority on North Korean literature and film and is the author of a recent book on North Korean literature, Rewriting Revolution: Women, Sexuality, and Memory in North Korean Fiction (University of Hawaii Press, 2018).

 


Discussant

Dong Hoon Kim is an associate professor in the Department of Cinema Studies at the University of Oregon. His research interests include visual culture, early cinema, media spectatorship, and East Asian film, media, and popular culture. Kim is the author of Eclipsed Cinema: the Film Culture of Colonial Korea published in 2017 by Edinburgh University Press.

 

 

 

 

 

10/12-13 North Korea Economic Forum Annual Conference (Part II) Researching North Korea: Sources, Methods, and Pitfalls

October 12-13, 2020

9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. (ET)

Virtual Event via Zoom

Registration

Program PDF

 

Event Description

North Korea has been considered as a ‘hard target’ by analysts because of the country’s lack of transparency and accessibility. Its economy is no exception. With the dynamic marketization North Korea watchers have difficulty in collecting the economic data and relevant information. Sources and methods themselves are often main debate topics. In this context, the second part of our second North Korea Economic Forum Annual Conference will examine sources, methods and pitfalls of researching North Korea in the areas of interview techniques, official economic data satellite imagery analysis, maritime monitoring, illicit finance networks, and unclassified commercial data.

 

Schedule

Monday, October 12  (9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.)

Session I. Traditional Methodology: Researching a Hard Target

Moderator: William Newcomb (Fellow, Center for Advanced Defense Studies)

 

Speakers:

Sandra Fahy (Associate Professor of Anthropology, Sophia University)
Interview Techniques for Qualitative Research

 

Stephen Haggard (Krause Distinguished Professor, School of Global Policy and Strategy, UCSD)
Liuya Zhang (PhD Candidate, Ohio State University)
Researching a Hard Target: The Use of Official Economic Data

 

Jenny Town (Fellow, Stimson Center and Deputy Director of 38 North)
Eyes In the Sky: How Satellite Imagery Can Enhance Understanding of North Korea

 

Discussants:

Barbra Demick (Janice B. and Milford D. Gerton Fellow, New York Public Library’s Cullman Center)

 

Nicholas Eberstadt (Henry Wendt Chair in Political Economy, American Enterprise Institute)

 

Melissa Hanham (Deputy Director of Open Nuclear Network, One Earth Future Foundation)

 

Tuesday, October 13 (9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.)

Session II. Cutting Edge: Researching a Hard Target

Moderator: John Park (Director of Korea Project, Harvard Kennedy School)

 

Speakers:

Neil Watts (Former Member UN Panel of Experts for North Korea)
Watching Through the Lens of a Long Telescope: Monitoring North Korean Sanctions Evasion in the Maritime Domain

 

Andrea Mihailescu (Nonresident Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council and Adjunct Faculty, Pepperdine University’s School of Public Policy) North Korea’s Illicit Finance Networks Remain Highly Resilient

 

David Asher (Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute)
Disrupting North Korea’s Regime Using Unclassified Commercial Data as Intelligence

 

Discussants:

Hamish MacDonald (Associate Fellow, Royal United Services Institute)

 

Jason Arterburn (Program Director of Counterproliferation Cell, Center for Advanced Defense Studies)

 

Markus Garlauskas (Nonresident Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council)

 

Background

The North Korea Economic Forum (NKEF) is part of policy program at the George Washington University’s Institute for Korean Studies (GWIKS). The Forum aims to promote the understanding of North Korean economic issues, distribute the well-balanced, deeply touched, and multi-dimensionally explored pictures of North Korean economy and to expand the network among the various North Korean economy watchers. The Forum is mostly a closed and off-the-record meeting where participants can freely and seriously discuss the critical issues. Mr. Daniel Wertz is currently the chair of the NKEF and is leading the meetings. It also organizes special conferences made public throughout the academic year. The Forum is made possible by a generous grant provided by the KDI School of Public Policy and Management.

 

As a part of the 2nd Annual Conference, a separate webinar on “Current Development Trends in North Korea” is to be held on October 5, 2020.

This event is on the record and open to the public.

10/14 The Korean War, Remembrance, and the Making of Modern Puerto Rico

Speaker: Harry Franqui-Rivera,  Associate Professor of History, Bloomfield College

Introductory Speaker: Jisoo Kim, Director, GW Institute for Korean Studies; Co-Director, East Asia NRC

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. ET

Livestream via Zoom

RSVP

Event Description

No conflict has been as impactful and transformative for Puerto Rico and Puerto Ricans as the Korean War. In slightly over three years of fighting some 61,000 Puerto Ricans served in the U.S. Armed Forces. The Puerto Rican involvement in the Korean War was as large as in World War II, a war of a global scale, and larger than in Vietnam, the longest American conflict to that point.

The Korean War was also the first time Puerto Rican troops were thrown into combat in large numbers, as Puerto Rican units, and for a prolonged period of time since they started serving in the Unites States Armed Forces in 1899. Most of the Puerto Ricans who served in this war were members of the 65th United States Army Infantry Regiment. During the war, this regiment (known as “el sesenta y cinco”), and its men (the Borinqueneers), became a national icon representing the hopes of a people willing to sacrifice their youth for a better future, acceptance and respectability, equality, a path towards decolonization, and a democracy that had and has proven elusive to them.

The significance of the Puerto Rican participation in the Forgotten War had been lost and it was not until recently that these histories started to be uncovered, eventually leading to Congress awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to the 65th in recognition of their service. The award also recognizes that when the 65th fought under the flags of Puerto Rico, the United States, and the United Nations, they did so carrying an undue burden.

Introductory Speaker

Jisoo Kim, Director, GW Institute for Korean Studies; Co-Director, East Asia NRC

Speaker

Dr. Harry Franqui-Rivera is an Associate Professor of History at Bloomfield College, New Jersey. He served as Research Associate at the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College, City University of New York (2012-2016). Dr. Franqui-Rivera is a published author, public intellectual, cultural critic, blogger and NBC, Latino Rebels, and Huff Post contributor. His work has been featured in national and international media outlets, including the New York Times; and he has been a guest in several National Public Radio programs including Throughline, Borinquén; and; On The Media, The Puerto Rican Debt Narrative. In his academic work, Doctor Franqui-Rivera specializes in Puerto Rican, Caribbean, Latino, Latin American, and Military History and focuses on the 19th and 20th centuries. Among other interests, he addresses the issues of nation building, national identities, citizenship, military institutions, and imperial-colonial relations.

His latest book, Soldiers of the Nation: Military Service and Modern Puerto Rico,1868-1952, was published by the University of Nebraska Press in 2018. His second book manuscript, Fighting on Two Fronts: The Ordeal of the Puerto Rican Soldier during the Korean War will be published by Centro Press. He is currently conducting research on the Vietnam War and the Puerto Rican experience for a third book tentatively entitled: Patriotism and Resistance: The Vietnam War and Political and Cultural Strife in Puerto Rican Communities.

 

Korean woman in the 1950s leaning against car

10/30 Cold War Cosmopolitanism: Period Style in 1950s Korean Cinema

Soh Jaipil Lecture Series

Speaker

Christina Klein, Associate Professor of English and Director of American Studies, Boston College

Moderator

Immanuel Kim, Korea Foundation and Kim-Renaud Associate Professor of Korean Literature and Culture Studies,
the George Washington University

Date&Time

Friday, October 30, 2020
2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Virtual Event

RSVP

Event Description

South Korea in the 1950s was home to a burgeoning film culture, one of the many “Golden Age cinemas” that flourished in Asia during the postwar years. Cold War Cosmopolitanism offers a transnational cultural history of South Korean film style in this period, focusing on the works of Han Hyung-mo, director of the era’s most glamorous and popular women’s pictures, including the blockbuster Madame Freedom (1956). Christina Klein provides a unique approach to the study of film style, illuminating how Han’s films took shape within a “free world” network of aesthetic and material ties created by the legacies of Japanese colonialism, the construction of US military bases, the waging of the cultural Cold War, the forging of regional political alliances, and the import of popular cultures from around the world.

Speaker

Christina Klein holds a BA in Film Studies from Wesleyan and Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale. In addition to her new book, Cold War Cosmopolitanism, which was just published by the University of California Press, she is the author of Cold War Orientalism: Asia in the Middlebrow Imagination, 1945-1961 (California, 2003). Her articles on Korean and other Asian cinemas have been published in The Journal of Korean Studies, Transnational Cinemas, American Quarterly, Journal of Chinese Cinemas, Comparative American Studies, and Cinema Journal. She teaches film, English, and American Studies at Boston College.

 

 

Moderator

Immanuel Kim is Korea Foundation and Kim-Renaud Associate Professor of Korean Literature and Culture Studies. Prior to working at the George Washington University, he was Assistant Professor in the Department of Asian and Asian American Studies at Binghamton University (SUNY).  Dr. Kim received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Riverside. He is an authority on North Korean literature and film and is the author of a recent book on North Korean literature, Rewriting Revolution: Women, Sexuality, and Memory in North Korean Fiction (University of Hawaii Press, 2018).

 

 

GW Institute for Korean Studies

11/20 The Survival of the Chosŏn Dynasty in the Imjin War (1592-98) and the Issue of Governance

Soh Jaipil Lecture Series

Speaker

Nam-lin Hur, Professor, the University of British Columbia

Moderator

    Jisoo M. Kim, Director, GW Institute for Korean Studies

Date & Time

Friday, November 20, 2020

3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Virtual Event

 

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Event Description

Within three weeks of the invasion, the Japanese took Hansŏng, the capital of Chosŏn, and King Sŏnjo fled to the north. Japan’s sudden invasion dealt a blow of life or death to the dynasty King Sŏnjo had inherited. Seven years later, Japan’s invader regime gave up the war without achieving anything and, two years later, it collapsed. Ming China which sent a rescue force to Korea suffered heavy casualties and financial losses. A few decades later, it also collapsed. But the Chosŏn dynasty survived and enjoyed longevity for three more centuries. The war unfolded in Korea only. What helped the Chosŏn dynasty survive the crisis? The avenues of Chosŏn Korea’s survival were two: military and diplomatic. In this talk, Hur examines the ways in which the military avenue contributed to the survival of the Chosŏn dynasty. From the beginning to the end, King Sŏnjo was determined to destroy the Japanese invaders even though his country’s military capability was not a match. In 1592, the most critical year, Chosŏn Korea had already been able to frustrate Hideyoshi’s goals far before Ming China committed a large rescue force. In 1593, Ming China, which failed to strike the Japanese out, sought a negotiated settlement to the war to 1596, but to no avail. In 1597 the Japanese resumed a massive attack on the Chosŏn, and the Ming sent a larger force. The Ming force depended on supplies which the Chosŏn procured (to a great extent) and transported to the front. How was Chosŏn Korea able to do the job that contributed to frustrate the Japanese? In answering these questions, Hur pays attention to the modus operandi of Chosŏn Korea’s governance.

Speaker

Nam-lin Hur (Ph.D., Princeton) is a professor in the Department of Asian Studies, The University of British Columbia. His teaching focuses upon premodern Japanese history and international relations in premodern East Asia. His major publications include: Prayer and Play in Late Tokugawa Japan: Asakusa Sensōji and Edo Society (Harvard University Asia Center, 2000); Death and Social Order in Tokugawa Japan: Buddhism, Anti-Christianity, and the Danka System (Harvard University Asia Center, 2007); “National Defense in Shambles: Wartime Military Build-up in Chosŏn Korea, 1592-98,” Seoul Journal of Korean Studies 22/2 (2009); “The Celestial Warriors: Ming Military Aid and Abuse during the Korean War, 1592-98” in The East Asian War, 1592-1598: International Relations, Violence, and Memory (Routledge, 2015); and “Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s Invasion of the Chosŏn Kingdom, 1592-1598” in Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Asian History (Oxford University Press, 2019). Currently, Hur is writing a book on Japan’s invasion of Chosŏn Korea in 1592-1598 and Ming China’s involvement.

Moderator

jk Jisoo M. Kim is Korea Foundation Associate Professor of History, International Affairs, and East Asian Languages and Literatures and Director of the Institute for Korean Studies at GW. She received her Ph.D. in Korean History from Columbia University. She is a specialist in gender and legal history of early modern Korea. Her broader research interests include gender and sexuality, crime and justice, forensic medicine, literary representations of the law, history of emotions, vernacular, and gender writing. She is the author of The Emotions of Justice: Gender, Status, and Legal Performance in Chosŏn Korea (University of Washington Press, 2015), which was awarded the 2017 James Palais Prize of the Association for Asian Studies. She is also the co-editor of The Great East Asian War and the Birth of the Korean Nation by JaHyun Kim Haboush (Columbia University Press, 2016). She is currently working on two book projects titled Suspicious Deaths: Forensic Medicine, Dead Bodies, and Criminal Justice in Chosŏn Korea and Sexual Desire and Gendered Subjects: Decriminalization of Adultery Law in Korean History.

 

GW Institute for Korean Studies

12/02 Dictator’s Modernity Dilemma: Development and Democracy in ROK, 1961-1987

Speaker: Dr. Joan Cho Wesleyan University

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time

Virtual Event via Zoom

This event is on the record and open to the public.

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Event Description

Dictator’s Modernity Dilemma: Development and Democracy in South Korea, 1961-1987 aims to reconcile the two seemingly contradictory views regarding Korea’s path to modernity and democracy. At first blush, South Korea illustrates the basic premise of modernization theory: economic development leads to democracy. However, under Park Chung Hee (1961-1979) and Chun Doo Hwan (1980-1988), Korea’s political system became increasingly authoritarian alongside the growth of the national economy. These South Korean autocrats sought legitimacy of their coup-born regimes by holding legislative elections and investing in economic development. In this book project, I argue and demonstrate that the structural foundations of modernization (industrial complexes and higher education in particular) had an initial stabilizing effect on authoritarian rule by increasing regime support, but also contributed to the development of mobilizing structures for anti-regime protests in the 1970s and 1980s. By highlighting the differential impacts of modernization structures over time, this research shows how socioeconomic development acted as a “double-edged sword” by stabilizing the regimes at first, but destabilizing the dictatorship over time.

Speaker

Dr. Joan Cho is an Assistant Professor of East Asian Studies and Government at Wesleyan University. Cho specializes in authoritarianism, democratization, social movements, and authoritarian legacies in Korea and East Asia. Her research on authoritarian regime support, South Korean democracy movement, and electoral accountability in post-transition South Korea are published in Electoral Studies, Journal of East Asian Studies, Studies in Comparative International Development, and Routledge Handbook of Korean Culture and Society. Cho’s other writings have appeared in the Pacific Affairs and The Conversation. Dr. Cho received her Ph.D. and A.M. degrees in Political Science from the Department of Government at Harvard University and a B.A. (cum laude with honors) in Political Science from the University of Rochester. She is an Associate-in-research of the Council of East Asian Studies at Yale University, Executive Secretary of the Association of Korean Political Studies, and a 2018-2019 U.S.-Korea NextGen Scholar. Cho previously held visiting fellow positions at the Asiatic Research Institute at Korea University, Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, and the Center for International Studies at Seoul National University.

Moderator 

Jisoo M. Kim is Korea Foundation Associate Professor of History, International Affairs, and East Asian Languages and Literatures and Director of the Institute for Korean Studies at GW. She is also Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Korean Studies. She is a specialist in gender and legal history of early modern Korea. Her broader research interests include gender and sexuality, crime and justice, forensic medicine, literary representations of the law, history of emotions, vernacular, and gender writing. She is the author of The Emotions of Justice: Gender, Status, and Legal Performance in Chosŏn Korea (University of Washington Press, 2015), which was awarded the 2017 James Palais Prize of the Association for Asian Studies. She is also the co-editor of The Great East Asian War and the Birth of the Korean Nation by JaHyun Kim Haboush (Columbia University Press, 2016). She is currently working on a book project entitled Sexual Desire and Gendered Subjects: Decriminalization of Adultery Law in Korean History. She received her M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. in Korean History from Columbia University.

 

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