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North Korea in 21st Century International Relations

Speakers: Dr James Hoare (SOAS), Commentator: Dr Iain Pirie (Warwick), Commentator: Dr Peter Ferdinand (Warwick)

More info: Michiel Foulon (

Tuesday 2 July 2013, 4pm - 6pm, B0.01 (WBS, Scarman Building), The University of Warwick

Lecture, open to staff, PhD students and MA students.

Over the past few months the world was reminded of a number of the pending sources for conflict in the East Asian region and not at least regarding tensions with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). After Kim Jong-un became the country’s supreme leader incidents seemed to escalate from nuclear and missile tests, worrying threats of war, Seoul and other military forces being put on alert as Pyongyang moved missiles, and Pyongyang detaining (and releasing) a Chinese fishing boat and suspending Kaesong industrial operations – just to name a few.

Most recently, though, there have been indications that some of the tensions may be easing as Pyongyang sent conciliatory signals e.g. regarding an international dialogue about denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, a proposed dialogue with the U.S. and rising hopes about a restart of the formal dialogue with South Korea. Yet, these developments surely didn’t stop debates and questions about, not only whether the 21st century will be (East) Asian, but more importantly whether it will be a good or a bad Asian century.

Thus, while recent developments in and about North Korea bewildered parts of the world, academics, politicians and diplomats alike are left with urgent yet poorly answered questions at the dawn of the 21st Century. Some of these issues evolve around reflections of the role of North Korea in Asia’s (fragile) balance of power and the conundrum of, as Dr James Hoare succinctly put it, “how the DPRK handles its external affairs, why it behaves as it does, and what the world can do about it”.

The Warwick East Asia Study Group heartily invites you to its Guest Lecture Event with Dr James Hoare. Dr Hoare is Research Associate at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London and published extensively on the topic of (North) Korea. Some of the many other highlights of Dr Hoare’s career include his appointment as British “Chargé d’affaires” in Pyongyang in 2000 where he lived and worked from 2001 – 2002 and he has been visiting the country frequently ever since.

Listen to the lecture below:


(2m48s: Dr James Hoare (SOAS), 46m50s: Commentators, 1h15m45s: Q&A)

Warwick East Asia Study Group Lecture
North Korea in 21st Century International Relations
Tuesday 2 July, B0.01 (WBS, Scarman Building)

3.30pm: Refreshments and engaging with speakers
4pm: Dr James Hoare (SOAS)
4.40pm: Commentator: Dr Iain Pirie (Warwick)
4.50pm: Commentator: Dr Peter Ferdinand (Warwick)
5pm: Q&A, moderated by Michiel Foulon (Warwick)
6pm: Closing remarks

Lecture, open to staff, PhD students and MA students.