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NIAS Guest Lecture: Inter-Korean and Kim-Trump Summits and the Future of the Korean Divide
September 13, 2018 - 15:00-16:30
U.S. President Donald Trump hailed his recent summit with North Korean Chairman Kim Jong-un as a “very important event in world history,” claiming Kim has given his “unwavering” commitment to dismantle its “very substantial” nuclear arsenal. How does this summit, along with the April summit between the two Koreas, affect the 70-year division on the Korean Peninsula? We often approach the Korean divide as a historical event which started with Korea’s liberation from Japan in 1945 and lasted during the past 70 years. Simplistic and static, this vision aims to explain the entirety of the question of the Korean divide mainly from the perspectives of superpower politics. In contrast, this talk introduces more nuanced and sophisticated perspectives to illustrate the various forces which had affected the Korean divide and rapprochement. In this way, this lecture seeks to provide a yardstick in looking at a multitude of problems arising from the Korean divide, including nuclear and missile crises.
Key-young Son is Humanities Kore Professor at the Asiatic Research Institute, Korea University. He is editor-in-chief of the East Asian Community Review, a peer-reviewed journal published by Palgrave. He was former diplomacy writer and political editor at the Korea Times. He served as lecturer at the School of East Asian Studies, the University of Sheffield in Britain and visiting associate professor at the School of Law, Tohoku University, in Sendai, Japan. His most recent publications is Order Wars and Floating Balance: How the Rising Powers Are Reshaping Our Worldview in the Twenty-First Century (Routledge, 2018)