Griffith Asia Institute was pleased to host Dr Jong Kun Choi, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science and International Studies and Associate Dean of the Graduate School of Public Administration, Yonsei University on the 7 February 2013.

Dr Choi spoke to researchers and students about engagement policy and how this policy is still the best option to resolve North Korea’s problems. He argued that unless South Korea and its allies can invade and win, continue to sanction, accept North Korea as a nuclear state, or endure at least another 20 years of North Korea’s nuclear misadventures, then the only option is to constructively engage North Korea. He presented his reasons why engagement policy will empower the reformers in Pyongyang. Dr Choi stated that if the international community continues on the current course of gridlock, we will end up with no future for reform and opening in North Korea, a more aggressive and paranoid Pyongyang, and above all, profound security instability in Northeast Asia. However, he noted that if we support the reformers in Pyongyang and give constructive engagement another chance, then we will gradually shape North Korea into becoming economically interdependent with the outside, politically stable, behaviorally more predictable, and more communicative and amicable.

Dr Choi specialises in International Relations theories, Northeast Asian security, political psychology and public opinions on national identity and foreign policy attitudes. His academic articles have so far appeared in numerous IR journals including International Security, Global Asia, Asian Perspective and International Relations of the Asia Pacific and Korean Journal of International Studies. He is also a regular commentator of Northeast Asian security affairs on CNN, Bloomberg, YTN of Korea, Al Jazeera, CCTV, and Wall Street Journal.

The podcast can be found at:

Dr Jong Kun Choi, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science and International Studies, Yonsei University and Professor Andrew O’Neil, Director, Griffith Asia Institute.