For those, such as myself, who couldn’t make it to the recent talk on the Diplomatic Outlook on the Korean Peninsula, Chatham House has kindly uploaded a recording of the event, which you can find on the Chatham House website and embedded below.
The Guardian picked up one of the earlier soundbites in the on-the-record briefing, namely that the decision-makers in South Korea regard Brexit with a mixture of bemusement and incredulity. But for those who had missed the news, Ambassador Simon Smith reminded us of the contingency plans recently agreed between the UK and ROK in the eventuality of a no-deal Brexit, whereby the UK would effectively benefit from a bilateral free trade agreement along the lines of the existing EU-ROK FTA.
In the knowledge that most of the discussion was likely to focus on heavier issues such as denuclearisation, reunification, international relations and the like, Simon Smith opened his remarks by emphasising the cultural connections between the UK and Korea: the Paul Smith show currently at the Dongdaemun Design Plaza and the popularity of the movie Bohemian Rhapsody in Korea; conversely, the profile of footballer Son Heung-min in London and of course the recent BTS performances at Wembley.
Simon Smith, United Kingdom Ambassador to the Republic of Korea
Colin Crooks, United Kingdom Ambassador to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
Martin Uden, Executive Chairman, British-Korean Society; United Kingdom Ambassador to the Republic of Korea (2008-11)
Chair: Dr Champa Patel, Head, Asia-Pacific Programme, Chatham House