08/04/2014 - North Korea under Kim Jong-En

On 8 April 2014 the Department of Asian Studies and Centre for Asia-Pacific Studies organized a guest lecture of professor To-hai Liou, from the Department of Diplomacy, National Chengchi University, on the topic: North Korea under Kim Jong-En.

In the lecture and subsequent lively discussion prof. Liou stressed in great detail the geo-strategically important position of North Korea and introduced its short term goal of gaining economic assistance from major powers and South Korea. He further elaborated on the mid-term goals of the North Korean regime to restore balance of power on the Korean peninsula, to establish diplomatic relations with U.S. and Japan as it seeks to avoid the dominant influence of the PRC. The second half of the lecture was dedicated to the development of North Korean military capabilities, especially its nuclear programme, as the North Korean regime uses it as a trump card in its international relations. Prof. Liou then characterized North Korean behavior on the international scene as brinkmanship aimed especially at the U.S., which since the ascent of Obama´s administration has displayed the posture of strategic ignorance of the region. The last part of the lecture was dedicated to the latest developments on the North Korean domestic political scene with special attention paid to Kim Jong-En´s style of leadership and its possible impact on the nation´s foreign policy. Prof. Liou characterized Kim Jong-En´s foreign policy as pragmatic and realistic.

Prof. To-hai Liou (???), Ph.D.(University of Arizona), is Professor of Diplomacy and Directors of the Center for WTO Studies and Center for Australian Studies in College of International Affairs, National Chengchi University, Taiwan. He is the author of the book entitled South Korea's Foreign Relations Since the mid 1980s (1997), and co-author of two books, International Politics(1996) and Introduction to Korean Studies (2001). He is also editor of two journals, Taiwanese Journal of WTO Studies and Taiwanese Journal of Australian Studies. He has contributed many articles to academic journals such as the Journal of East Asian Affairs, Foreign Trade Review, the Icfai University Journal of International Relations and so on. His research interests focus on WTO, FTA, international relations of Asia, Asian economic integration, comparative foreign policies, foreign policies of two Koreas, Japan and Australia and India.

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