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Beyond International Politics: How do NGOs in Japan and South Korea collabo...
Tue 2 May 2017, 17:00 – 19:00 BST
School of East Asian Studies, The University of Sheffield
Beyond International Politics: How do NGOs in Japan and South Korea collaborate on the Challenge of North Korea?
By Professor Kyungmook Kim, Waseda University, Tokyo Japan.
From North Korea’s nuclear missiles to the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye in South Korea, it seems as though the world’s media hardly stops reporting on the two Koreas these days. Next door, Abe’s right wing policies further increase regional tensions, while China’s militarism is a growing concern. It’s not an exaggeration to say that East Asia is one of the world’s most dynamic regions.
As a field of study, international relations are traditionally approached from the national, political, economic, and security perspectives. While these approaches are important, we should also consider how non-conventional research, taking transnational and domestic grass roots movements as the focus on interest might also yield useful findings for understanding this complex region.
For a number of years, Professor Kyungmook Kim has been involved with Japanese non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and witnessed East Asia’s dynamic changes at the grass-roots level. In the case of regional humanitarian assistance offered to North Korea, Professor Kim found there are long lasting and multiple ties between Japanese civil society and their South Korean counterparts. Until the democratisation of South Korea, liberal intellectuals and religious leaders supported covert and transnational networks of collaboration across the East Sea. Since the 1990s, these transnational civil networks have expanded to address regional issues, including the growing instability associated with North Korea.
In this context, Professor Kim will briefly review the history of transnational informal networks between Japan and South Korea, before shifting his focus to humanitarian assistance and the challenge of a nuclear North Korea.
Dr. Kyungmook KIM is Professor of Global Asian Studies, and Assistant Dean at the Faculty of Letters, Arts and Sciences, Waseda University. He completed his undergraduate course at the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, and received his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Tokyo. While doing his Ph.D. project, he worked as a program officer at Japan International Volunteer Center(JVC), and managed the humanitarian assistance and advocacy on the Korean peninsula.
Before he joined Waseda University, he taught Peace Studies at Chukyo University as a course manager from 2005-2015. He held a visiting scholarship at the Australian National University in 2012-2013 focusing on Trans-migration of North Korean exiles. He also serves as a board member of JVC and Oxfam Japan.
He has several publications and book chapters including a textbook for Peace Education, Kim, Bell and Menadue-Chun(eds.) A North Korean Refugee: Hana’s Stories, Asiapress, 2016. His current project is looking at the non-governmental politics in East Asia.
Keywords: Peace Studies and International Relations, NGOs and Civil Society, Transnational networks, Japan-Korea relations.