London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

Book launch: Shrimp to Whale: South Korea from the Forgotten War to K-Pop

with Ramon Pacheco Pardo and Martin Uden
Date: Wednesday 15 June 2022, 6:30pm - 8pm
KCCUK | Grand Buildings | 1-3 Strand | London WC2N 5BW | | [Map]

Tickets: Free | Register here
Poster for Shrimp to Whale book launch

Join author Ramon Pacheco Pardo for the launch of his book Shrimp to Whale: From the Forgotten War to K-Pop and learn about the the incredible rise of South Korea, from colonisation and civil war to today’s thriving nation.


South Korea has a remarkable history. Born from the ashes of imperial domination, partition and a devastating war, back in the 1950s there were real doubts about its survival as an independent state. Yet South Korea endures: today it is a boisterous democracy, a vibrant market economy, a tech powerhouse, and home to the coolest of cultures. In just seventy years, this society has grown from a shrimp into a whale.

What explains this extraordinary transformation? For some, it was individual South Koreans who fought to change their country, and still strive to shape it. For others, it was forward-looking political and business leaders with a vision. Either way, it’s clear that this is the story of a people who dreamt big, and whose dreams came true.

Shrimp to Whale is a lively history of South Korea, from its millennia-old roots, through the division of the Peninsula, dictatorship and economic growth, to today’s global powerhouse.


Ramon Pacheco Pardo is Professor of International Relations at King’s College London, and KF-VUB Korea Chair at the Brussels School of Governance. He is also a non-resident adjunct fellow with the Center for Strategic Studies Korea Chair, and a non-resident fellow at the Sejong Institute. Ramon has lived twice in South Korea, and remains a regular visitor there for both work and leisure. He regularly teaches and provides media commentary about the country.


Martin Uden served as Ambassador in Seoul from 2008-2011, having had two previous postings in the Embassy there. He was previously Consul-General in San Francisco, and had postings to Bonn, Ottawa and Lagos. While on leave from the Foreign Office, he worked for the UN in New York as Coordinator of the Panel of Experts on sanctions against the DPRK from 2012-14. He published Times Past in Korea in 2003, based on his collection of old books on Korea. He is currently Chairman of the British Korean Society and President of the British Korean War Veterans Association.

After leaving the Foreign Office, he worked for HSBC in Hong Kong from 2015-17, and now works for his alma mater, Queen Mary University of London, and is on the Advisory Board of QMUL’s Global Policy Institute. He is also on the Advisory Council on National Records and Archives

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