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The Revolution will be Thumb Drived: North Korean Access to Outside Media

While North Korea under the Kim regime has tried to maintain tight control of information sources within its borders, the North Korean populace in recent years has found creative ways to access outside media, which includes everything from foreign news broadcasts to the latest South Korean dramas. Nat Kretchen, Deputy Director at the Open Technology Fund, participated in a panel here at KEI this week and discussed his research on North Korea’s developing information environment. Nat sat...

Duration: 00:21:11

North Korea’s “Guerrilla Internationalism”

With North Korea becoming an increasingly dangerous threat to the U.S. and its allies, it can be all too easy to overlook North Korea’s origins and how its foreign policy first took shape. One of the lesser known aspects of North Korea’s foreign policy was its heavy involvement in supporting non-state actor and rebel movements in Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia. Benjamin Young, a PhD Candidate in East Asian History at George Washington University, recently presented his paper...

Duration: 00:24:34

American Eggs-ports to South Korea

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Korean Trade Minister Kim Hyun-chong met this week to discuss the future of the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA). With concerns of a possible withdrawal hovering over the talks, the two countries agreed to move forward on working to improve the agreement, which is surely welcome news for US exporters that have benefitted from the KORUS FTA. This week we sat down with Sam Cho, founder and CEO of Seven Seas Export, to discuss his...

Duration: 00:25:41

Keeping North Korean Human Rights in the Conversation

With North Korea launching missile after missile and even conducting a massive nuclear test within the last month or so, attention is understandably focused on how to get the regime in Pyongyang to back down from its provocative actions. But at the same time, there is another important issue that can also affect how the world deals with North Korea - human rights. Olivia Enos of the Heritage Foundation researches human rights issues around Asia including the DPRK, and believes that...

Duration: 00:17:20

Korea’s Role in Regional Financial Cooperation

The Global Financial Crisis highlighted the importance of international coordination to prevent, manage, and resolve financial crises. To this end, global institutions such as the G20 and IMF have garnered significant attention, but complementary institutions at the regional level also play an important role. Though it may not be the largest economy in these initiatives, South Korea has increasingly played a central role in their advancement, such as the Chiang Mai Initiative...

Duration: 00:19:58

The Debate over Video Game Addiction

With the increasing prevalence and acceptance of video games and e-sports has also come an increasing concern about potential negative side effects of spending too much time playing video games. From the debate over violent games causing real violence to the concerns about kids becoming addicted to their favorite game, these concerns are nothing new. But the debate continues in the scientific community about whether video game addiction even technically exists and, if it does, how to...

Duration: 00:25:32

Creating Consensus on KORUS

Entering into effect in 2012, the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA) has brought benefits for both the United States and South Korea. But the Trump Administration recently called for a review of the agreement, even going so far as to suggest that the United States may withdraw from KORUS altogether. To shed some light on the complicated details of KORUS and the U.S.-Korea trade defecit, Korean Kontext host Jenna Gibson sat down with three KEI experts specializing in economics...

Duration: 00:24:59

[Rebroadcast] How to Write About North Korea

Many of the news stories about North Korea that make their way into the Western media fall into one of two categories: 1) breaking news about provocations and the nuclear crisis or 2) look at the crazy thing Kim Jong Un did today. As a journalist who covered the DPRK from both Seoul and Pyongyang, Jean Lee is working to get past the caricatures that often make their way into how we see North Koreans. Jean, who is now a Global Fellow at the Wilson Center, is here in DC for an event she...

Duration: 00:22:20

[Rebroadcast] Behind the Scenes of South Korea’s Space Program

With the recent retirement by Yi So-yeon, South Korea’s remaining astronaut, many have turned attention to Korea, wondering whether there is a future for its space program. According to Daniel Pinkston of the International Crisis Group, South Korea’s space program is a necessary and integral part of President Park Geun-hye’s future economic policies. Furthermore, it can and is being used used to enhance its relations with its allies. Challenges that do arise include how its space program...

Duration: 00:33:26

[Rebroadcast] Kevin O’Donnell: National Director of Peace Corps

In this episode from 2011, we spoke with Kevin O’Donnell, who, after decades on a private sector career path, became the first-ever Peace Corps country director for South Korea, followed by a term as national director of the Peace Corps. Mr. O’Donnell shares with us his accounts of moving to Korea for the first time, some of the challenges he faced during a budget crisis, and the relationship between the Peace Corps and its host nations.

Duration: 00:38:05

Keeping up with North Korea

The last month has seen two North Korean ICBM tests, a new round of UN sanctions, and threats exchanged between Washington and Pyongyang. To catch up on the latest developments from the Korean Peninsula and try to make sense of some of the rhetoric that has been coming out of the Trump Administration, three members of the KEI staff sat down with Korean Kontext host Jenna Gibson for this episode of the podcast. Mark Tokola, KEI’s vice president, Troy Stangarone, our senior director, and...

Duration: 00:22:54

Korean Study Abroad on the Decline?

After more than a decade as the number three sender of foreign students to the United States, last year South Korea dropped to number four, after several years of declining enrollments. Why, after years of sending tens of thousands of students of all ages to study in the United States, are Koreans less keen on coming to the U.S.? To answer this question, Korean Kontext host Jenna Gibson sat down with education expert Vincent Flores, EducationUSA’s Regional Educational Advising...

Duration: 00:16:19

Should the U.S. be concerned about Chinese-North Korean relations?

As North Korea’s largest trading partner and political ally, China is a crucial factor in any potential solution to curb North Korea’s weapons programs. President Trump expressed hope earlier this year that China would help in the U.S.’s effort to restrain North Korea, which he would later tweet that it had “not worked out.” How important is China to North Korea, and what does this mean for the national security of the U.S. and its Pacific allies? What measures can be taken to encourage...

Duration: 00:15:07

Learning Korean and Supporting Seniors: SAY’s Two in One Model of Teaching

Founded in 2014, Korean startup SAY (Seniors and Youth) is a Korean tutoring company with a social mission behind their work - helping Korean retirees find meaningful work. To do this, they have set up a company that connects young foreigners who are eager to learn the Korean language with older Koreans who are eager to share their time and experience. In this episode, Korean Kontext host Jenna Gibson sits down with two of SAY’s founders, Yongmin Cho and Quan Nguyen, to discuss the...

Duration: 00:21:10

Colonel Edward Forney and the Hungnam Evacuation

In December 1950, while fighting the advancing Chinese army and bitter Korean winter, Colonel Edward Forney and other American and Korean officers managed to evacuate all troops as well as 100,000 North Korean refugees out of the port city of Hungnam. Now, 67 years later, Colonel Forney’s grandson, Ned Forney, was invited to Washington, DC to take part in a ceremony at the National Marine Corps Museum’s new memorial for those who faught in the Chosin Reservoir battle that made the...

Duration: 00:24:01

A Discussion with Charlie Rangel, Former Congressman and Korean War Veteran

On June 26, a day after the 67th anniversary of the start of the Korean War, KEI hosted an event on Capitol Hill to honor three current and former members of Congress who are veterans of the conflict in Korea. One of them was former Congressman Charlie Rangel of New York, who fought in several major battles in Korea, earning a Purple Heart, the Bronze Star with Valor, and three battle stars. While in Washington for the reception, Rangel sat down with KEI President Donald Manzullo, who...

Duration: 00:20:08

Going Together to the Twenty-First Century: U.S.-Korea Cooperation on Science and Technology

With this week’s summit between American President Donald Trump and Korean President Moon Jae-In, it’s worth looking back at one of the major positive outcomes from the previous U.S.-ROK summit - a joint statement on “New Frontiers of Cooperation,” highlighting areas of science and technology for future U.S.-Korea cooperation. From cybersecurity to clean energy, then-Presidents Obama and Park agreed to push forward together on a variety of science and tech projects. Now, a year on and...

Duration: 00:24:04

How do American News Outlets Cover Korea?

North Korea is no stranger to news headlines in America. The provocative actions of the secretive nation have made them a prime target for constant media coverage stateside. On the other hand, South Korea often gets overshadowed by the North in American news despite being an important economic and security partner. In this special episode, we talk with Korean Kontext host Jenna Gibson about how North and South Korea are covered in U.S. media outlets and the implications for public...

Duration: 00:21:47

Prepping for PyeongChang: Looking Ahead to the Winter 2018 Olympics

In February 2018, the South Korean city of PyeongChang will play host to the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. With less than a year to go, Korea has been hard at work preparing for the big event, making sure fans from around the world feel welcome in PyeongChang. Recently, host Jenna Gibson sat down with two officials involved in the planning for the Olympics. In this episode, Ok Hee Kang, Executive Vice President of the International Tourism Promotion Division at the Korea Tourism...

Duration: 00:12:21

Visit Korea: American Tourism to South Korea on the Rise

In 2016, the number of American tourists visiting South Korea grew 12 percent, continuing a trend of slow but steady growth over the last few years. What is making more Americans curious about travelling to Korea? And what kinds of activities are they doing once they get there? In this episode, Korean Kontext host Jenna Gibson sits down with Sung Kim of the Korea Tourism Organization’s New York office to discuss recent trends in tourism to Korea, and how they are trying to encourage...

Duration: 00:14:44

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