A New Stage of North Korean Nuclear Weapons Challenges

North Korean nuclear weapons launchThe 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.

Biography Brown Bag: The Secret Operations of the Yodogō Exiles

Destiny coverUniver­si­ty 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.

For more infor­ma­tion, tele­phone (808) 956‑3774, send e-mail to biograph@hawaii.edu, or vis­it http://www.facebook.com/CBRHawaii.

Panel Discussion: Understanding The Threat Of North Korea

Panel discussion imageThe 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.

Ques­tions about the event should be direct­ed to Mariko Chang at mchang@civilbeat.org.

China’s Korean Policy Under Xi Jinping

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?

Wang Jianwei photoThat’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.

For fur­ther infor­ma­tion, con­tact Cyn­thia Nakachi (nakachic@eastwestcenter.org) in the East-West Cen­ter Pro­gram Office.

North Korea’s Vinalon City

C. Harrison KimThe 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.