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Two Friday seminars: Human cloning and Korean security

Two opportunities for free seminars this Friday: lunchtime at Chatham House with Ambassador Chun, and early evening at SOAS. First, details of the Chatham House talk:

Chatham House Korea Discussion Group
Friday 14 November, 12.30-14.00
Lunch: 12.00 (£10 charge)

Korea: Update on the Security and Economic Situation
SPEAKER: Ambassador Chun Yung-woo, Embassy of the Republic of Korea
CHAIR: DR Jim Hoare, Chargé d’Affaires, British Embassy in Pyongyang, DPRK (2001-2003)

Ambassador Chun has had a long and distinguished career in the Republic of Korea’s foreign ministry, most recently as his government’s representative to the critical Six Party Talks dealing with the North Korean nuclear crisis. His talk is likely to prove wide-ranging, covering contemporary developments both in the economic and security field. The ambassador has generously agreed to participate in a comprehensive question and answer session with the participants at the seminar. The meeting, therefore, is a rare opportunity to hear the views of a senior and influential South Korean government official.

The talk and the question and answer session will be held under the Chatham House Rule.

To register for this event please reply to asia [at] chathamhouse [dot] org [dot] uk

Secondly, the SOAS early evening seminar:

Choon Key Chekar, CESAGEN, Cardiff University
A very Korean scandal?: inconsistency in cultural explanations for ‘ova donation campaign’

Description of Talk:
‘The topic I particularly want to address in this seminar is based on a research project I am taking part in at Cesagen (The ESRC Centre for Economic and Social Aspects of Genomics): “Comparative Analyses of ‘Public Discourse’ and ‘Discourses about the Public’ in Relation to Stem Cell Research”.

South Korean clone expert Hwang Woo Suk made headlines worldwide when his Seoul National University team claimed to make two breakthroughs in their embryonic stem cell research in 2004 and 2005. Then again he made headlines firstly because of his unethical egg procurement and then fabrication of his data. Both Korean and non-Korean media have attempted to explain both the outstanding scientific achievement and fraudulent failure as something to do with Korean culture and traditions. While analysing media representation of the breakthrough and scandal in South Korean national newspapers, however, I found cultural explanations were mobilised by the media in an unproblematic way. By comparing cultural explanations in media representation of ova donations and alleged issues (including reproductive rights) in Korean and non-Korean media, this talk will discuss how the cultural explanation can obscure as much as it reveals.’

The seminar will take place in room G52 of the main SOAS building and is open to the public.

Please see for updates.

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