The School of Pacific and Asian Studies and the Center for Korea will present a panel discussion titled “A New Stage of North Korean Nuclear Weapons Challenges: Possibilities for Changes from Within?” Thursday, November 16, 2017. The program will take place in the Center for Korean Studies auditorium from from 12 noon to 1:00 p.m.
The panel will feature Prof. Tae-Ung Baik of the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa William S. Richardson School of Law and Prof. Harrison Kim of the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Department of History. R. Anderson Sutton, dean of the School of Pacific and Asian Studies, will moderate the discussion.
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea began its nuclear program in the 1960s, and weaponization started in the 1990s. The nuclear weapons program accelerated in the 2000s as the DPRK withdrew from the nuclear non-proliferation treaty in 2003. With its sixth nuclear test in Gilju on September 3, 2017, North Korea demonstrated that it had developed a hydrogen bomb warhead. The DPRK has also developed a nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile, which is believed to be evolving into one that can carry nuclear warheads to the United States’ territories sooner or later.
The panelists will discuss the current stage of North Korean nuclear weapons challenges and possibilities for changes from within the secluded country. They will address such questions as: What are our options to deal with the nuclear weapons challenges from North Korea? Are there any safe military options that can be used avoiding all-out war? Can a peace talk and peace treaty divert the aggravating course of security challenges? Is there any room for humanitarian and human rights approaches dealing with North Korea?
This event is free and open to the public. For further information about the program, telephone the School of Pacific and Asian Studies at (808) 956‑8818. For information about the facilities, including information regarding access for the handicapped, telephone the Center for Korean Studies at (808) 956‑7041. The University of Hawai‘i is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.
University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa sociology professor Patricia G. Steinhoff will discuss the newly translated book Destiny: The Secret Operations of the Yodogō Exiles in a brown-bag lunch-time session on Thursday, October 19, 2017.
The program, sponsored by the Center for Biographical Research, will take place in Kuykendall 409A from 12 noon to 1:15 p.m.
In 1970, nine members of a Japanese New Left group called the Red Army Faction hijacked a domestic airliner to North Korea intending to acquire the military training to bring about a revolution in Japan. The North Korean government accepted the hijackers—who became known in the media as the Yodogō group—and two years later they announced their conversion to the North Korean juche political ideology.
Destiny: The Secret Operations of the Yodogō Exiles by Kōji Takazawa tells the story of how Takazawa exposed the Yodogō group’s involvement in the kidnapping and luring of several young Japanese to North Korea, as well as the truth behind their Japanese wives’ presence in the country. Takazawa’s research was validated in 2002, when the North Korean government publicly acknowledged it had kidnapped thirteen Japanese citizens during the 1970s and 1980s, including three people whom Takazawa had connected to the Yodogō hijackers.
In this talk, Steinhoff will trace the story of the Yodogō exiles in North Korea, Takazawa’s involvement in their story and his work of investigative journalism, and how Steinhoff came to edit the English translation of his book.
The on-line news service Civil Beat, the East-West Center, the Pacific Forum, and the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association are sponsoring a panel discussion aimed at deepening understanding of the North Korean threat. The program, titled “Safeguarding Aloha: Understanding The Threat Of North Korea And What It Means For Hawaii,” will take place Thursday, October 12, 2017, from 5 to 7 p.m., in the East-West Center’s Imin Conference Center at 1777 East-West Road on the UH Mānoa campus.
Five panelists will discuss U.S. and international relations with North Korea, the events leading up to the current crisis, and ways to move forward. They will also touch upon North Korea’s impact on Hawaii’s economy and tourism industry and what the industry should do to prepare.
Panel participants are:
Chad Blair, politics and opinions editor at Honolulu Civil Beat (Moderator);
Ralph Cossa, president of Pacific Forum CSIS;
James Kelly, former assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs;
Denny Roy, senior fellow at the East-West Center; and
Keith Vieira, principal of KV& Associates Hospitality Consulting, LLC and executive-in-residence at Shidler College of Business.
This event is free and open to the public, but the sponsors request RSVPs to this address because of limited space.
Calling North Korea’s nuclear weapons program “an urgent national security threat and top foreign policy priority,” American officials are emphasizing the critical role of China in pressuring Pyongyang to denuclearize. President Donald Trump, who long criticized China for “having done little to help,” now praises Chinese leader Xi Jinping. But has China’s North Korea policy actually changed that dramatically?
That’s the fundamental question Professor Jianwei Wang of the University of Macao will take up in a brown bag seminar presentation sponsored by the East-West Center Research Program Thursday, May 18, 2017. The seminar will take place from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. in Burns Hall room 3012.
Wang, who is currently a POSCO visiting fellow at the East-West Center, will examine the extent to which Xi Jinping’s Korean policy differs from the policies of his predecessors. In particular, he will look at Xi’s approach to balance relations with North Korea and South Korea, how his Korean policy influences Sino-American relations, and the prospects of more consequential cooperation between the United States and China on North Korea?
Jianwei Wang is a professor in the Department of Government and Public Administration and director of the Institute of Global and Public Affairs at the University of Macao. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. His teaching and research focus on Sino-American relations, Chinese foreign policy, and East Asian international relations. He has published extensively in these areas.
The history of the synthetic fiber vinalon will be the subject of a lecture by Prof. C. Harrison Kim of the University of Missouri on Wednesday, February 22, 2017, in the UH Manoa Department of History seminar room, Sakamaki Hall A201. Kim’s talk–titled “North Korea’s Vinalon City: Industrialism as Socialist Everyday Life”–will begin at 12:30 p.m.
In the early 1960s, vinalon became North Korea’s national fiber, a product that symbolized the independence and ingenuity of its state socialism, from the raw materials needed to make it (coal and limestone) to the person who invented it (the Japanese colonial-era chemist Ri Sŭnggi). The Vinalon Factory near Hamhŭng City—a factory originally built by a Japanese chemical company and a city rebuilt by East Germany—also became a national emblem. Vinalon City was a transnational object par excellence, but it was immutably localized as everyday narrative for the ordinary North Korean people, replete with its labor heroes who achieved superhuman levels of productivity. The everyday dimension is precisely where the ideological workings of state power are hidden. The history of vinalon reveals a characteristic of ideology of work—the subsumption of life by labor—a characteristic that is certainly not limited to North Korea.
A graduate of Columbia University, Harrison Kim is an assistant professor in the Department of History at the University of Missouri. His research interests include everyday life, industrial work, socialism, and the modern city in the context of Korea and, in particular, North Korea. Kim’s book, Furnace is Breathing: Work as Life in Postwar North Korea, forthcoming from Columbia University Press, is about industrial work as a defining ideological activity in North Korea’s socialism after the Korean War and about the workers who lived during the demanding times of postwar reconstruction.
A reception for students and faculty will follow the talk. For more information, contact the Department of History at (808) 956‑8486.