From KL with Love: North Korea-Malaysia Relations


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When: Jun 1 2021 - 9:30am until Jun 1 2021 - 10:15am
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:

 From KL with Love: North Korea-Malaysia Relations


Dr. Chiew-Ping Hoo
Senior Lecturer, Strategic Studies and International Relations Program,
National University of Malaysia (UKM)

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

Mr. Keith Luse (Opening Remarks)
Executive Director,
National Committee on North Korea

East-West Center in Washington · From KL With Love - North Korea - Malaysia Relations

In March 2021, North Korea severed diplomatic relations with Malaysia, breaking ties with a country that until a few years previously had been on friendly terms withNorth Korea propaganda poster Pyongyang. In this North Korea in the World webinar, we talked with Dr. Chiew-Ping Hoo about the history of North Korea’s relations with Malaysia, and the scope of the country’s relationship in recent years. The discussion took a close look at the Kim Jong Nam assassination and its aftermath, and looked at how it changed the scope of this relationship, culminating with Malaysia’s 2021 extradition of a DPRK businessman to the US and Pyongyang’s subsequent decision to cut diplomatic ties.

This North Korea in the World webinar was the second 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 website collects and curates information and data on North Korea’s external economic and diplomatic relations.


Dr. Chiew-Ping Hoo is Senior Lecturer in the Strategic Studies and International Relations Program at the National University of Malaysia (UKM). She is concurrently co-founder and co-convener of the East Asia and International Relations (EAIR) Caucus at UKM. She was 2017 Shangri-la Dialogue’s Southeast Asian Young Leaders Programme (SEAYLP) Associate Research Fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS-Asia). Chiew-Ping was also Korea Foundation Field Research Fellow at Seoul National University in 2010, and Academy of Korean Studies (AKS) research fellow in 2011. Her main research interests include South Korean foreign policy, North Korean provocations, IR theory, and Korea-Southeast Asia relations. She is currently leading a Korea Foundation-funded project on Southeast Asia-North Korea relations, examining the security-economic linkages and strategic uncertainties of North Korean security challenges in the region.

Mr. Ross Tokola is the Executive Associate to the Director at the East-West Center in Washington, where he gives advice and support to the Director on ongoing near-term and long-term strategic projects and programs. He is also responsible for the Congressional Staff Program on Asia and for North Korea in the World. Previously, Mr. Tokola was a Program Officer at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies during his five years in Seoul, and worked for the US 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 B.A. and M.A. in Philosophy from Heythrop College, University of London, and a M.Phil. in International Relations from the Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Cambridge.

Mr. Keith Luse is the Executive Director of the National Committee on North Korea. Previously, Luse was the Senior East Asia Policy Advisor for Chairman and later Ranking Member Senator Richard G. Lugar at the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee from 2003 until 2013. Luse also served as Staff Director for Mr. Lugar at the Senate Agriculture Committee from 1999 through 2002, where the Senator also served as Chairman and later Ranking Member. While at the Senate Agriculture Committee, Luse made the first of eventually five trips to North Korea. Luse’s Bachelor of Arts degree in political science is from Indiana University. His graduate certificate in public management and additional graduate studies were obtained at Indiana University – Purdue University, Indianapolis.

Primary Contact Info:
Name: Sarah Wang
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