Wednesday, April 24, 2019

No Collision?

Last year, KIM Jong-un was about to perform historic walks across the demarcation line with MOON Jae-in (see "Chirps vs Tweets"). This time, he was hours away from boarding a train to Vladivostok, and Putin. But where will he be heading for, right after the 2020 Asan Plenum: Japan? Switzerland? NYC? The ICC? And if KJU ends up six feet under, will it be because of a collision with the US? an obstruction of his windpipe? a Saturday Night Massacre caused by the big bang of Mount Paekdu's supervolcano? Who knows?

": "Vladimir Vladimirovich, can you help me lift against ?" : ..." (20190424 - https://twitter.com/theseoulvillage/status/1120932441219145730)

We do know one thing: in these tricky and uncertain times, the Asan Plenum is always a very special moment to better feel the pulse of our very special peninsula, our very special region, and our very only planet. This year felt even more complete with much more female voices among the experts invited on stage*, and a most powerful, liberated North Korean voice: THAE Yong-ho's.

Here was someone who illustrated admirably this year's theme, 'Korea's Choice'. THAE risked his life, and chose Korea. Not North Korea, not South Korea, but as a true patriot, the Korea that he believes all Koreans should aim for.




Seoul Village 2019
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* see Asan Institute's Asan Plenum 2019 program. If you don't see Trump and China on the menu, they are of course all over the map.

Day 1 (April 23, 2019):
Welcoming Remarks: HAHM Chaibong
Keynote Address: James B. Steinberg
Plenary Session I (G1 or G2?): Choi Kang, Evelyn Goh, Douglas H. Paal, James B. Steinberg, Zhang Tuosheng, Zhao Xiaozhuo
Session 1:
- ROK-U.S. Alliance: Sue Mi Terry, Kim Sung-han, Marc Knapper, Sydney A. Seiler, Soeya Yoshihide, Zhu Feng.
- U.S.-Japan Alliance: Park Cheol hee, Kent E. Calder, Richard McGregor, Tokuchi Hideshi, Wang Dong.
- NATO: Choi Jinwoo, Ian Anthony, Pascal Boniface, Kestutis Paulauskas, Brooke A. Smith-Windsor, Alexander Vershbow.
Plenary Session II (Collective Memory or Collective Future?): Philip Stephens, Hahm Chaibong, David Harris, Aleksandra Gliszczynska-Grabias, Volker Stanzel.
Book Launch (Asan CHUNG Ju-yung's Autobiography 'Born of This Land: My Life Story'): Hahm Chaibong, Chung Mong-joon, Edwin J. Feulner, Karen E. House, Lee Hong Koo, Paul D. Wolfowitz.
Night Sessions:
- North Korea’s Choice: Nuclear Issue: Jung H. Pak, Chun Yungwoo, Bruce Klingner, Nishino Junya, Jonathan Pollack, Scott A. Snyder.
- North Korea’s Choice: Economic Reform: Go Myong-hyun, Thomas Byrne, Furukawa Katsuhisa, John Park (and Hazel A. Smith).

Day 2 (April 24, 2019):
Plenary Session III (Nationalism or Internationalism?): Lee Chung Min, Pascal Boniface, Edwin J. Feulner, G. John Ikenberry, Yuli Tamir, Paul D. Wolfowitz.
Session 2:
- Is Democracy in Crisis?: Gilbert Rozman, Ladan Bouroumand, Chu Yun-han, Martin Fackler, Karen E. House, Philip Stephens.
- Immigrants or Refugees?: Marie McAuliffe, Mely Caballero-Anthony, Gordon Flake, Lee Jasmine, Neil G. Ruiz, Jay Song.
- Values or Interests?: J. James Kim, Kent E. Calder, Fujisaki Ichiro, Gao Fei, Linda Jakobson, T. J. Pempel.
Session 3:
- Free Trade or Fair Trade?: Asif Hasan Qureshi, Ahn Dukgeun, Fukagawa Yukiko, Patrick Messerlin, Tami E. Overby.
- Arms Control: Kato Yoichi, Abe Nobuyasu, Alexander Gabuev, Park Jiyoung, Nicolas Regaud.
- Technology Competition or Cooperation?: Lee Dongmin, Tai Ming Cheung, Min Eun Joo, Michael Sulmeyer, Yaacob Bin Ibrahim.
Plenary Session IV (CVID or “Peaceful” co-existence?): Choi Kang, Evans J. R. Revere, Yamaguchi Noboru, Yao Yunzhu, Thae Yong-ho.

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