North Korea: An Introduction to the Secretive Regime with Dr. James Person

North Korea: An Introduction to the Secretive Regime with Dr. James Person


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North Korea is a tough nut to crack, but it is not unknowable. Based on years of research and travels throughout the secretive country, Dr. James Person explores historical episodes that shaped the North Korean worldview and influence the regime's contemporary conduct.

To many observers, North Korea is terra incognita; an impenetrable black box. If ever a country were a genuine “riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma,” as Winston Churchill famously described the Soviet Union in 1939, it would be North Korea. Only this is not accurate. To be sure, the secretive North Korean regime poses a unique set of challenges to analysts and observers. Access to the country is limited, its archives remain off-limits, and reliable statistical information is hard to come by. Yet, North Korea is not a black box.

For nearly two decades, historian James F. Person has conducted research in the archives of North Korea’s former communist allies into the history of the secretive country’s politics, foreign relations, and ideology. Based on his research and travels throughout North Korea, Dr. Person will shed light on the sources of North Korea’s contemporary conduct. Participants will be equipped to more accurately analyze political, military, economic, and social developments in North Korea and recognize the extent to which issues and problems on the Korean peninsula today are related to the country’s historical experiences.

James F. Person is Senior Faculty Lead for Korea Studies and a Lecturer in Asia Programs at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). His research focuses primarily on state-building in North and South Korea, democratization and democratic consolidation in South Korea, the foreign relations of North and South Korea, and inter-Korean relations. Prior to joining Johns Hopkins SAIS, he was the founding Director of the Hyundai Motor-Korea Foundation Center for Korean History and Public Policy at the Wilson Center. Between 2007 and early 2017, he served as the founding Coordinator of the North Korea International Documentation Project, and was Deputy Director of the History and Public Policy Program at the Wilson Center from 2013 to 2017.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 3 reviews
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(3)
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S
S.
Excellent Program

Fascinating review of the history of North Korea by a historian who has spent time in both Koreas. Excellent analysis of events transitioning into a report on the current way of life for the regular public.

A
A.

Guest did not leave comment

M
M.A.
Enlightening presentation to help pull the curtain back on North Korean history and life.

I found this presentation to be very informative on the history of this regime and how it has evolved into what it is today. Helped to clarify some of the relationships with other governments. When other countries are behind a curtain, it is hard to know the reality. The discussion of the everyday life, the background of the class system and the pictures pulled the curtain back to allow a better understanding of North Korea. Great presentation.

Customer Reviews

Based on 3 reviews
100%
(3)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
S
S.
Excellent Program

Fascinating review of the history of North Korea by a historian who has spent time in both Koreas. Excellent analysis of events transitioning into a report on the current way of life for the regular public.

A
A.

Guest did not leave comment

M
M.A.
Enlightening presentation to help pull the curtain back on North Korean history and life.

I found this presentation to be very informative on the history of this regime and how it has evolved into what it is today. Helped to clarify some of the relationships with other governments. When other countries are behind a curtain, it is hard to know the reality. The discussion of the everyday life, the background of the class system and the pictures pulled the curtain back to allow a better understanding of North Korea. Great presentation.