Distant Comrades? North Korea and Vietnam


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When: Jun 23 2021 - 12:00pm until Jun 23 2021 - 12:45pm
Where: Zoom Webinar

East-West Center in Washington and National Committee on North Korea logos

The East-West Center in Washington and National Committee on North Korea invite you to the
North Korea in the World Webinar Series:

 Distant Comrades? North Korea and Vietnam


Mr. Khang X. Vu
Doctoral Candidate, Political Science Department,
Boston College

Ms. Esther S. Im (Moderator)
Program Officer,
National Committee on North Korea

Dr.  Satu P. Limaye (Opening Remarks)
Vice President, East-West Center &
Director, East-West Center in Washington

East-West Center in Washington · Distant Comrades? North Korea and Vietnam

Left to right: North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un and General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong
Image: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meets with
Vietnamese President Nguyen Phu Trong in Hanoi,
March 2019. Photo via KCNA.

This webinar examined the broad arc of relations between North Korea and Vietnam, beginning with Pyongyang’s relations with Hanoi during Vietnam’s “American War” and the impact that Hanoi’s victory in that conflict had on North Korea. It discussed the changing scope of the North Korea-Vietnam relationship in the post-Cold War era, and the relevance (or lack of relevance) of Vietnam’s Doi Moi reforms to North Korea. Finally, it assessed contemporary relations between the countries in light of contemporary geopolitics and the 2019 Hanoi summit meeting between the US and North Korea. Mr. Vu recently wrote an analytical piece on this topic for the Lowy Institute's The Interpreter, which is available here

This North Korea in the World webinar was the third in a series examining North Korea’s historical and contemporary relations with countries in the Global South. The North Korea in the World project is a joint initiative of the National Committee on North Korea and the East-West Center in Washington; the NorthKoreaInTheWorld.org website collects and curates information and data on North Korea’s external economic and diplomatic relations.


Khang X. Vu is a doctoral student in the Political Science Department at Boston College, where he focuses on East Asian politics and nuclear weapons. He is a regular contributor to the Lowy Institute's blog The Interpreter and has published on several outlets such as War on the Rocks, The Diplomat, East Asia Forum, The National Interest, among others. His webinar on Vietnam-North Korea relations is based on his forthcoming book chapter in an edited volume on Southeast Asia-North Korea relations. The volume, Southeast Asia-DPRK relations: Drivers, Linkages, and Strategic Ambivalence edited by Chiew-Ping Hoo, Shine Choi, and Brian Bridges, is set to be published by Routledge in 2021. 

Esther S. Im is the Program Officer at the National Committee on North Korea. Previously, she was a Junior Fulbright Researcher in South Korea (2015-16) and a Researcher at the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations, where she covered sanctions, nonproliferation, and disarmament issues during South Korea's second term on the Security Council (2013-15). She has interned at the US-Korea Institute at SAIS, Wilson Center, and Council on Foreign Relations. Esther has a M.Sc in Foreign Service from Georgetown University (MSFS) and a B.A. in International Relations-Political Science from Wellesley College.

Satu P. Limaye is Vice President of the East-West Center and the Director of the East-West Center in Washington where he created and now directs the Asia Matters for America initiative and is the founding editor of the Asia Pacific Bulletin. He is also a Senior Advisor at CNA Corp (Center for Naval Analyses) and Senior Fellow on Asia History and Policy at the Foreign Policy Institute at Paul H. Nitze School of International Studies (SAIS). He is magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Georgetown University and received his doctorate from Oxford University (Magdalen College) where he was a George C. Marshall Scholar. Recent publications include: “America’s ‘Pacific Principle’ in an Indivisible Pacific Islands Region,” (Asia-Pacific Bulletin); “Despite Stumbles, America’s Engagement with Southeast Runs Deep,” (Global Asia); Raging Waters: China, India, Bangladesh, and Brahmaputra Water Politics (Marine Corps University Press); and Russia’s Peripheral Relevance to US-Indo Pacific Relations (Center for the National Interest).

Primary Contact Info:
Name: Sarah Wang
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