Engage Korea conference at Oxford: How can the international community effectively engage North Korea?

Engage-Korea-logoHow do you engage with a country that says it can’t guarantee the safety of diplomatic staff in its own capital, and warns foreigners in its southern neighbour to go home? Is aggressive enough to threaten to reduce its opponents to a sea of fire, yet sensitive enough to complain that its dignity has been affronted?

Those are the sort of questions that will be grappled with at the Engage Korea conference at Merton College Oxford on 4 May. And a very eminent assembly of speakers it is. Places are still available. Register here.

The running order is roughly as follows (I’m a bit vague as to how the second half of the afternoon works – it’s not clear from the conference website). It’s a very full day, which will involve either staying in Oxford the night before, or getting up at the crack of dawn to get there in time. Haven’t decided which choice I’m going to make, but at least my place in the audience is booked already.

7:30 Registration begins
9:00 Opening remarks
9:30 Plenary 1: DPRK Politics: Style and Substance
Moderator: James Hoare, Charge d’Affairs Pyongyang (established first British Embassy in Pyongyang), Conference Academic Advisory Board Member

Ambassador Karen Wolstenholme, Former UK Ambassador to DPRK 2011-2012
Topic: Prospects for change in DPRK

Tat Yan Kong, Reader in Comparative Politics & Development Studies at SOAS, University of London
Topic: The North Korean Political System in Comparative Perspective

Heonik Kwon, Senior Research Fellow in Anthropology, Trinity College, University of Cambridge
Topic: DPRK Legacy Politics

11:00 Break
11:30 Plenary 2: International Relations and DPRK
Moderator: Ramon Pacheco Pardo, Lecturer in the Department of European & International Studies at King’s College London

Professor Christoph Bluth, FRHistS, School of Politics and International Studies, University of Leeds
Topic: DPRK’s Nuclear and Missile Program

Aidan Foster-Carter, Honorary Senior Research Fellow in Sociology & Modern Korea, Leeds University
Topic: Inter-Korean Relations: Has Sunshine Been Eclipsed?

Adam Cathcart, Lecturer in Asian History, Queen’s University; Assistant Professor of History at Pacific Lutheran University
Topic: DPRK-China relations: how China engages DPRK, particularly in the shared border region

John Swenson-Wright, Senior Lecturer in Modern Japanese Studies, Asian Studies Centre, Faculty of Asian & Middle Eastern Studies, University of Cambridge & Senior Consulting Fellow, Chatham House
Topic: Japan-DPRK Relations

13:00 Lunch
14:00 Panel Session 3a: International Roles in Economic Development
Moderator: Matthew Bates, Aminex PLC; Economics and Trade Analyst, SinoNK.com

Christopher Davis, Reader in Command and Transition Economies, Department of Economics and School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies, University of Oxford
Topic: Lessons for Economic Reform in North Korea from Economic Changes in Russia, Eastern Europe and China

Christopher Green, Manager of International Affairs, Daily NK; Assistant Editor, SinoNK
Topic: Marketization and Yuanization

Ambassador John Everard, Former British Ambassador to North Korea, 2006-2008; Former Coordinator, UN Panel of Experts established pursuant to Security Council Resolution 1874, 2011-2012
Topic: Role of Sanctions on DPRK

Keun-Wook Paik, Senior Research Fellow, Oxford Institute for Energy Studies & Associate Fellow, Chatham House.
Topic: DPRK’s Energy Dilemma

Panel Session 3b: Soft Power Engagement, including Capacity Building – An Alternative Means of Diplomacy?
Moderator: Sabine Burghart, Lecturer and PhD Candidate, University of Vienna

Katharina Zellweger, Pan Tech Fellow in Korean Studies at Asia-Pacific Research Center, Stanford University.
Topic: Role of Humanitarian aid and development cooperation in the DPRK

Professor Asaph Young Chun, Director and Professor, Pyongyang Summer Institute in Survey Science & Quantitative Methodology; Program Chair of Statistics Without Borders, American Statistical Association
Topic: Track “n” Organic Diplomacy in DPRK: Can Science Diplomacy Accomplish What Governments Cannot?

Magnus Andersson, Research Fellow in Asian Studies and Assistant Professor in Human Geography, Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies at Lund University
Topic: Nordic Engagement with DPRK

Speaker: TBA
Topic: Cultural Diplomacy

16:15 Break
Breakout Discussion Groups (Delegates choose one session)
Group 1 16:45 – 17:30

A) Matthew Bates, Aminex PLC; Economics and Trade Analyst, SinoNK.com
Topic:The DPRK Economy: Information and Interpretations

B) Nathan Beauchamp-Mustafaga, Research Assistant, The International Institute for Strategic Studies
Topic: China’s North Korea Policy: The Evolution of Bureaucratic Politics, Leverage and the U.S. Angle

C) Gianluca Spezza, Co-director, NK News; Master in Humanities, University of Torino, MSc Asian Studies (candidate)
Topic: North Korea’s approach to international education: lessons learned, opportunities and challenges

D) Kate Hext and Aidan Foster-Carter, Lecturer in English, University of Exeter
Topic: Cultural Engagement with North Korea

Group 2 17:45 – 18:30

A) Sabine Hae-Ran van Ameijden, MA International Peace and Security, King’s College London
Topic: Economic reform and regime stability in North Korea, focusing on Special Economic Zones

B) Jinsun Bae, Research Associate in Human Geography at Lund University
Topic:China’s Center-Border Interactions regarding Yanbian’s Opening-up toward DPRK

C) Christopher Davis, Reader in Command and Transition Economies, Department of Economics and School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies, University of Oxford
Topic: Health and Reform of Medical Care in North Korea: Lessons from Russia, Eastern Europe and China

D) Robert Winstanley-Chesters, PhD Candidate, University of Leeds
Topic: Ideology and the Construction of Landscape in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

18:40 Special Message from BBC for Korea ; Closing Ceremony
19:30 Evening Social

Conference Date: Saturday, May 4
Location: TS Eliot Theatre, Merton College at the University of Oxford

(automatically generated) Read LKL’s review of this event here.

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