DPRK’s Europe Ambassador: Kim Pyong-il and DPRK Diplomacy in Europe


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When: Jul 19 2022 - 9:00am
Where: Zoom Webinar

East-West Center and National Committee on North Korea logos

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

 The DPRK's Europe Ambassador: Kim Pyong-Il and DPRK Diplomacy in Europe


Dr. Nicolas Levi
Assistant Professor,
Institute of Mediterranean and oriental Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences

Ms. Esther Im (Opening Remarks)
Program Manager,
National Committee on North Korea

Mr. Ross Tokola (Moderator)
Executive Associate to the Director
East-West Center in Washington

Kim Pyong-il is the half brother to Kim Jong-il and uncle to current North Korea ruler Kim Jong Un. He spent 40 years in Europe as a foreign diplomat, and notably served as North Korea’s Ambassador to Hungary, Bulgaria, Finland, Poland, and the Czech Republic. Just before the pandemic he returned to North Korea. Some have speculated, given his heritage, he could be a successor should anything happen to Kim Jong Un. Please join the National Committee on North Korea and the East-West Center in Washington for a North Korea in the World webinar for a discussion with Dr. Nicolas Levi on who Kim Pyong-il is and what role has played in facilitating North Korea relations with Europe.

This North Korea in the World webinar was the third in a series examining North Korea's historical and contemporary relations with countries in Europe and how those countries navigate relations between the United States, South Korea, and North Korea. How do these countries manage to walk the 38th parallel? How successful are they, and what can we learn from it? It follows a prior North Korea in the World webinar series on North Korea’s relations with countries across 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.


Dr. Nicolas Levi is an analyst on North Korean issues. Author of 8 books, more than 40 academic articles, and over 50 analytical reports on the Korean Peninsula, Poland, and related issues. He conducts lectures at top universities in Poland and abroad. Nicolas has published extensively and offers expert commentary on Korea, including for AP News, The Independent, The National Interest, NK News, Radio Free Asia and The Times. Nicolas has a PhD in Political Sciences from the Institute of Political Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences. He also extensively visited the Korean Peninsula and China nearly 15 times. 





Esther imEsther S. Im is Program Manager 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.





Ross TokolaRoss Tokola is the Executive Associate to the Director at the East-West Center in Washington. Mr. Tokola gives advice and support to the Director on ongoing near-term and long-term strategic projects and programs, and helps monitor progress and ensure effective coordination with East-West Center in Washington staff and stakeholders. Previously, Mr. Tokola was a Program Officer at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies during his five years in Seoul, and worked for the U.S. embassies both in the Republic of Korea and in the United Kingdom. In addition to studying the Korean language at Sogang University in Seoul, he holds a first class honors B.A. and M.A. in Philosophy from Heythrop College, University of London, and an M.Phil. in International Relations from the University of Cambridge.