To end the 2015 public program line up, the NCAFP recently hosted a sold-out event featuring Ambassador Sung Kim, Special Representative for North Korea Policy and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Korea and Japan at the United States Department of State; Ambassador Hwang Joon-kook, Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea; and Professor Charles K. Armstrong, the Korea Foundation Professor of Korean Studies in the Social Sciences at Columbia University. The panel was moderated by Professor Donald S. Zagoria, Senior Vice President of the NCAFP.
The conversation focused on the North Korean nuclear issue, including prospects for resuming the Six-Party Talks. The conversation was very timely as Ambassador Kim and Ambassador Hwang met with their Japanese counterpart to discuss similar issues in Washington, DC only the day before. This trilateral meeting between the United States, South Korea and Japan came after North Korea’s failed submarine-launched missile (SLBM) test over the previous weekend.
Professor Zagoria opened the panel by reminding everyone that a divided Korean Peninsula has been a source of tension in East Asia for the past 70 years, where the region has seen both a “hot” Korean War and a Cold War in that time. Ambassador Kim summarized the U.S.’ policy towards North Korea, emphasizing the need for diplomacy and a united international community. Echoing the need for international cooperation, Ambassador Hwang pointed out that the North Korean nuclear issue is one of the few sensitive international security problems that major powers agree on. Professor Armstrong outlined three schools of thought for trying to solve the nuclear issue. Following the discussion, the panelists answered questions from members of the international diplomatic community and others in the audience.
The NCAFP would like to thank the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in New York for their support of this event.