Seoul Shift: What to Expect From South Korea’s New President


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Asian Security Seminar

When: Feb 21 2008 (All day)
Where: East-West Center in Washington Conference Rm, 2nd Floor (1819 L St., NW, Washington, DC 20036)

Time: 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM

As the February 25 inauguration date for ROK President-elect Lee Myung-bak approaches, questions abound about what the future will hold for the new conservative administration.While plans for an inter-Korean “peace zone,” a shipyard complex in North Korea, and other major diplomatic initiatives have been temporarily suspended by Lee’s Transition Committee, other plans—such as a controversial proposal to restructure the government—have been gaining currency. How will Lee’s presidency affect the Six Party process designed to denuclearize North Korea? What will he do about human rights in North Korea? Will the new administration be able to improve Seoul’s relationships with Washington and Tokyo? J.J. Suh, Director of the Korea Studies Program at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and Peter Beck, Executive Director of the U.S. Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, will bring their expertise to bear on the continuities and challenges faced by the new South Korean administration, and the implications of the governmental transition for the U.S. and East Asia.

J.J. Suh is Associate Professor and Director of the Korea Studies Program at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He received his PhD in Political Science from University of Pennsylvania and taught at Cornell University. His publications include Power, Interest and Identity in Military Alliances (2007), Rethinking Security in East Asia (2004, co-edited with Peter Katzenstein and Allen Carlson), and numerous articles on military balance on Korea, U.S. policies toward Korea and Asia, U.S.-Korea relationship, and inter-Korea relationship. He is currently engaged in research on how “history wars” have shaped the regional order in Northeast Asia and will affect its future course, and editing a volume on North Korea.

Peter M. Beck is the executive director of the U.S. Committee for Human Rights in North Korea. He is also a columnist for Weekly Chosun and The Korea Herald. Prior to joining the Committee, he directed the International Crisis Group’s Northeast Asia Project in Seoul (2004-2007) and was the Director of Research and Academic Affairs at the Korea Economic Institute in Washington, DC (1997-2004). He has served as a member of the Ministry of Unification’s Policy Advisory Committee (2005-2007), and as an adjunct faculty member at American, Ewha, Georgetown and Yonsei universities. He received his B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley, completed the Korean language program at Seoul National University, and conducted his graduate studies at U.C. San Diego’s Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies.

Primary Contact Info:
Name: Mariko Tsuji
Phone: 202-327-9752