A Witness to Change: Three Decades of Korea-watching

A reminder of this Friday’s talk at SOAS.

Friday, January 22nd, 5pm, room G50 (main building)
Warwick Morris, Former UK Ambassador to ROK
A Witness to Change: Three Decades of Korea-watching

Abstract:
Posted in Seoul in January 1975 as the FCO’s first Korean language student, Warwick Morris was to experience the start of tremendous economic development in the Republic of Korea, a tense security situation, a hostile DPRK, and the final years of the hard-hitting Presidency of General Park Chung-Hee. He was to return to a much-changed Korea on the eve of the 1988 Seoul Olympics, a milestone for the ROK, with the country visibly benefitting from a period of remarkable growth, and moving, amidst much public pressure and the end of the Cold War, towards democracy. In his third and final posting to Seoul between 2003 and 2008, Warwick was to witness the ROK’s still young democracy at first hand, its important new relationship with China, and fresh efforts by the US, the ROK and others to engage with the North, efforts that were to be frustrated by the DPRK’s continued missile and nuclear activities. After 13 years spent living 45 minutes drive from the border between two very different Koreas, he looks back on the extraordinary changes wrought in the South over the past 35 years and touches on some of the current issues and challenges that lie ahead on the Korean peninsula.

Speaker Bio:

Warwick Morris retired last year from the British Diplomatic Service, after a 38 year career spent dealing mainly with Asia. He was Britain’s Ambassador to the Republic of Korea for a little over 4 years until Jan 2008, and before that Ambassador to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam for 3 years. He was first posted to Seoul in 1975 to work in the British Embassy after language training at Yonsei University, and was to serve there 3 times for a total of 13 years. While there he visited North Korea in 1991 and 2004. During two postings in London he dealt with NE Asian affairs, defence and security issues, and earlier in his career worked as a diplomat in New Delhi, Mexico City and Paris. Mr Morris is a member of the British Association of Korean Studies and on the committee of the Anglo-Korean Society. He is currently engaged in private sector advisory and consultancy work related to UK business with Korea and Vietnam. A member of the International Institute of Strategic Studies, he provides the BBC with comment on Korean affairs, and continues to take a keen interest in developments on and around the Korean peninsula.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.