What Brings Peace/War to the Korean Peninsula? The Logic of Power versus the Logic of Reassurance
As North Korea conducted its sixth nuclear test in September 2017 and several intercontinental missile tests that same year, the North Korean regime showed its capability of striking US mainland with a nuclear-tipped missile. As military events continued, the tension between North Korea and the United States had escalated to the extent that many Koreans and Americans suspected that war was imminent on the Korean peninsula. Contrary to the concerns about war in the region, the next year, the pessimistic expectations about war have been changed into hopes for peace with a series of reassuring events such as North Korea’s dismantlement of its nuclear test site, inter-Korean summits, and the North Korea-United States Summit. My lecture aims to explain the historical and geopolitical background of the tension on the peninsula, and the current and prospective security situations in the area based on international relations theories.
Dr. Kim is a research professor of the Graduate School of International Studies (GSIS) at Korea University in Seoul, South Korea. He teaches international security-related courses at both graduate and undergraduate levels.
His research interests range from international security theory, civil war, and East Asian security to development studies, political psychology and public opinion. He is currently working on a project aiming to publish a series of articles focusing on people’s perception of state signaling, which strives to develop a unified theory of signaling and perception drawing on insights both from a rationalist theory of international politics and cognitive psychology.
Before he joined Korea University, he worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Notre Dame International Security Center in the United States. He holds a PhD in Political Science from the George Washington University, an MA in Development Studies from the University of Cambridge, and a BA in Psychology from Seoul National University, South Korea.