Ewha Institute for Politics, held a March colloquium for the first semester of 2021
Ewha Institute for Politics (Director: Professor Eun Bong Choi) held a March colloquium on March 31, under the theme of “the change of the international situation surrounding the Korean Peninsula and the analysis of the eighth Party Congress in North Korea.” The Institute was established to mark the 70th anniversary of the Department of Political Science & International Relations and has been hosting colloquiums by inviting diverse professionals addressing various political themes.
Professor Kyung Hee Kim at the Department of Political Science & International Relations, who hosted the event, said "I'm very pleased that over 100 people have participated in and supported this event hosted by Ewha Institute for Politics in the middle of the pandemic." "We will continue to make meaningful achievements for political science community by hosting more events such monthly colloquiums, conference participation, intern program, field trip, and academic seminar. We ask for your continuous interest and participation in them," said Professor Eun Bong Choi, director of Ewha Institute for Politics. Professor Eun Sil Kim, Dean of the College of Social Science, also conveyed her message "As the Dean of the College of Social Sciences, I will strongly support the development of Ewha Institute for Politics."
Professor Dae Seok Choi at the Department of North Korean Studies made a presentation about "the eighth Party Congress of North Korea and prospects of the situation on the Korean Peninsula 2021." Professor Choi explained that Party Congress is the most important political event in North Korea because its supreme ruler announces the philosophy and direction of national administration at the party congress. According to his analysis, North Korea’s report focused on economy comparing to the seventh Party Congress. Professor Choi pointed out that North Korean regime emphasized pragmatism, quantification, regulation of anti-socialist activities and it implies North Korean officials have deeply concerned about the effect of prolonged sanctions. Furthermore, Professor Choi said that Jong Un Kim, North Korean leader, began his era in earnest by returning as general secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea, and appointing close staff members to important positions.
Professor Choi explained that the concept of “our state first” implies the difficulty of Korea unification policy. According to his investigation, this is because Jong Un Kim focused on North Korea’s economic recovery and stability in domestic politics. Moreover, the situation North Korea described the inter-Korea relations as a “serious obstruction” and required the change of South Korean government’s attitude is another problem to peaceful settlement in the Korean Peninsula. Professor Choi worried about the inter-Korea relations becomes a dependent variable within the conflicts between the US and China because it weakens South Korean government’s willingness and capacity to resolve issues on the Korean Peninsula. He said that the window of the US-North Korea relations still opens but the reinforcement of the US-South Korea-Japan alliance can cause North Korea’s provocations targeting South Korea. Therefore, Professor Choi suggested that South Korea should focus on managing the situation surrounding the Korean Peninsula by keeping expressing its willingness for the resumption of dialogue with North Korea.
Following the presentation, Professor Inhan Kim, Professor Min Hee Go, Professor Dong Ho Jo, Professor Won Gon Park and other students had a heated discussion moderated by Professor Kyung Hee Kim.
Ewha Institute for Politics is the first affiliated institute of the Department of Political Science to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the department. The institute has conducted various programs proactively suggesting important topics regarding international relations, comparative politics, political economy, and environmental politics and encouraging active participation from both students and faculties at Ewha Womans University and external scholars. The April colloquium will be held on April 21 by inviting Geun Lee, President of the Korea Foundation, under the theme of “the competition for technology hegemony between the US and China.”