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Korean Kontext

Korea Economic Institute

20
Followers
26
Plays
Korean Kontext

Korean Kontext

Korea Economic Institute

20
Followers
26
Plays
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About Us

News and analysis of issues affecting the Korean Peninsula. Discussions on culture, politics, human rights, economics, and more.

Latest Episodes

Korean Baseball Comes to Bat in America: Mark Lippert, Eric Hacker, Daniel Kim, Dan Kurtz, Esther Lee, Troy Stangarone

While the rest of the world is still struggling to contain the outbreak of COVID-19, South Korea - progressing steadily in its containment of the pandemic - has begun its season of baseball. With the Major League Baseball season postponed in the United States, ESPN has begun airing the Korean Baseball Organization’s games in America. It is a seminal moment. Koreans are bringing baseball back to its homeland and showcasing what their league looks like. Potentially a harbinger for greater exchange of players between the two nations. In light of this development, we have today a panel of Korean baseball experts, including former player Eric Hacker and agent Esther Lee, to discuss and highlight the 101 of the league and the sport in Korea. Our guest host, former U.S. ambassador to Korea Mark Lippert, moderates this discussion. You can also find Troy Stangarone’s Diplomat column on the Korean Baseball Organization here:https://thediplomat.com/2019/06/should-amateur-baseball-players-go-pro-in-south-korea-and-japan/

27 MIN5 d ago
Comments
Korean Baseball Comes to Bat in America: Mark Lippert, Eric Hacker, Daniel Kim, Dan Kurtz, Esther Lee, Troy Stangarone

The Last Transition Economy: Vincent Koen

Even in some fantastical scenario where Kim Jong-un suddenly decides to give up nuclear weapons and end his regime’s flagrant disregard for human rights, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea will still be an impoverished state where less than half the country’s population has access to electricity. How will North Korea climb out of this state of destitution? Identifying the challenges that the country faces is a vital first step. And that is precisely what a new report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development does. This first stand-alone report on North Korea from the OECD takes stock of what is holding back the country today and provides guidelines on what might be needed to turn the country onto a path to prosperity. Randall Jones, a Non-Resident Fellow at the Korea Economic Institute, a Visiting Fellow at Columbia University, and formerly the head of the Japan/Korea Desk at the OECD sat down with Vincent Koen, the head of the division of country stud...

23 MIN1 w ago
Comments
The Last Transition Economy: Vincent Koen

Diplomacy or Readiness: Terence Roehrig

International observers were shocked when President Trump met with North Korea’s Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un in June 2018. But amid the spectacle of these two leaders putting aside their infamous barbs and insults, there was another shock awaiting the public. President Trump announced that joint military exercises with South Korea would be postponed on account of their costliness and their unnecessarily provocative nature. This had not been consulted with South Korea beforehand. That was 2018 when people thought perhaps a peace treaty with North Korea was just around the corner. Two years on, there is no treaty, North Korea has not budged on its nuclear weapons arsenal, and in fact Pyongyang is beginning to act more provocatively. And yet, the old joint military exercises between South Korea and the United States have not resumed. Would the forces be ready in case there is a conflict? This is the question that our guest, Professor Terence Roehrig seeks to answer today. He is a profe...

26 MIN2 w ago
Comments
Diplomacy or Readiness: Terence Roehrig

Succession in North Korea: Ken Gause, Chris Steinitz

After weeks of keeping the international community spellbound with his sudden disappearance and rumors of his death, Kim Jong-un has reemerged in public. But this whole event raised a very important question in people’s minds. Who would succeed North Korea’s supreme leader if he were to die? It’s clear to even people without medical degrees that Kim Jong-un is not the healthiest bloke on the international stage - a heart attack would not be out of the question. What would happen to North Korea then? Who would command the country’s one-million strong military and nuclear arsenal? Our guests today, Ken Gause and Chris Steinitz from the Adversary Analytics Program at CNA, outline potential outcomes. As a quick caveat, the discussion was recorded before news emerged of Kim Jong-un’s public appearance, but the question of what might happen if the North Korean leader were to be suddenly incapacitated is still important to consider now more than ever. You can find Ken and Chris' artic...

27 MIN3 w ago
Comments
Succession in North Korea: Ken Gause, Chris Steinitz

Two Disappearances and a Funeral: Mark Tokola

Where in the world is Kim Jong-un? The dictator of North Korea who appears so fond of being filmed and photographed has disappeared from sight - and there are rumors that he is possibly dead. Social media, in particular, has turned the event into a meme, adding cultural references such as Game of Thrones to frame imaginary scenarios on what might follow in the vacuum left by the late supreme leader. But for those who have been watching North Korea for a while, this is not a new occurrence. Leaders of this most opaque state have disappeared in the past. Our guest today, KEI Vice President Mark Tokola - a veteran of the US foreign service and former Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. embassy in Seoul - remembers those incidents. And with history as an added guide, he provides a more sober analysis of the ongoing mystery around the whereabouts of Kim Jong-un. You can find Mark Tokola's article on this topic here:http://blog.keia.org/2020/04/kim-regimes-two-disappearances-funeral/ In a...

25 MINMAY 2
Comments
Two Disappearances and a Funeral: Mark Tokola

Winning an Election during a Pandemic: Scott Snyder, Kang Insun, and Song Hochang

On April 7, the American state of Wisconsin held an election to decide who would be the Democratic Party’s nominee for the US presidential election in November 2020. The days leading up to the election were chaotic with the state’s Democratic governor calling for a postponement of the state-wide election out of public health concerns and the state’s Republican-controlled legislature challenging this order. Ultimately, the election went ahead - and health officials note that, to date, at least 19 people infected with COVID-19 in the state of Wisconsin can trace their exposure to the election. The following week, on April 15, a very differently-run election took place in South Korea. All 300 seats in South Korea’s unicameral legislature were up for grabs and South Koreans went to the polls in greater numbers than they had since 1992 to elect a new National Assembly. Meticulous plans had been made, including measures to ensure that voters would be able to maintain social distancing...

22 MINAPR 25
Comments
Winning an Election during a Pandemic: Scott Snyder, Kang Insun, and Song Hochang

Going Together to Address a Pandemic: Marc Knapper

Few alliances in the world are as storied and robust as the U.S.-Korea alliance. Building on the security relationship established at the end of the Korean War, the partnership between the two countries have since expanded to trade, science and technology, human rights, and elsewhere. And in particular, we saw the public health cooperation between the two countries in the joint effort to contain and treat Ebola during the 2014 outbreak in West Africa. So what has the partnership looked like between the two countries in the ongoing effort to contain COVID-19? To discuss this collaboration, our guest today is the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Korea and Japan Marc Knapper. A member of the Senior Foreign Service of the U.S. Department of State, his previous postings have included Tokyo, Hanoi, and Baghdad - but most notably for the discussion today, he served as the Chargé d’Affaires at the U.S. embassy in Seoul from 2017 to 2018 and Deputy Chief of Mission from 2015 to 2016.

25 MINAPR 18
Comments
Going Together to Address a Pandemic: Marc Knapper

Public Health is Human Rights, Human Rights is Public Health: Ambassador Robert King and Greg Scarlatoiu

Should the international community suspend advocacy for human rights in favor of cooperation with odious regimes to fight the COVID-19 pandemic? This appears upon first glance like a trade-off, but Ambassador Robert King and Greg Scarlatoiu make the case that they are not - in fact, robust human rights is fundamental to containing an infectious disease. They focus in particular on North Korea, whose human rights abuses are actually what makes the country more susceptible to COVID-19 than other countries. This podcast is an excerpt from a webinar event on human rights in North Korea, which you can find here:https://youtu.be/Tq_5r9a-68I

23 MINAPR 11
Comments
Public Health is Human Rights, Human Rights is Public Health: Ambassador Robert King and Greg Scarlatoiu

The Economic Fallout of a Pandemic: Troy Stangarone and Kyle Ferrier

We are amidst a pandemic - its victims will not only be the sick but also those who will lose their livelihood as the economy shuts down to contain the further spread of the disease. A body of research, including those published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, notes that after old age and pre-existing health conditions, low socioeconomic status acts as the top variable that could determine your susceptibility to epidemics. In the context of COVID-19, available data suggest that COVID-19 can be about twice as deadly for those in society’s lower rungs. At this critical moment, governments around the world are struggling to find ways to ensure both economic security and safety. Our guests today, KEI Senior Director Troy Stangarone and Director Kyle Ferrier, are tracking how South Korea is confronting this challenge. For policymakers and leaders of corporations in the United States, Seoul’s economic response - alongside those of European states - are sure to have some re...

28 MINAPR 4
Comments
The Economic Fallout of a Pandemic: Troy Stangarone and Kyle Ferrier

The Rise, Stumble, and Rise of A Conglomerate: Geoffrey Cain

How does a company that began as a vegetable and fish shop grow to become a leading global tech company - what made that astonishing growth possible, and what are some of the unseen costs of that blinding development? Perhaps just as importantly for American audiences, what are the implications of such a company on the society that it inhabits? To discuss this and much more, we are joined by Geoffrey Cain, a longtime journalist whose workhas appeared in The Economist, Time and The Wall Street Journal. Geoffrey is also a regular commentator on Bloomberg TV, BBC, CNN, and NPR. His newest book Samsung Rising - published by Currency, an imprint of Random House - tracks the rise of Korea’s leading brand name from the time of Korea’s colonial occupation in the 1930s to its aggressive rise to become the largest smartphone maker in the world.

25 MINMAR 28
Comments
The Rise, Stumble, and Rise of A Conglomerate: Geoffrey Cain

Latest Episodes

Korean Baseball Comes to Bat in America: Mark Lippert, Eric Hacker, Daniel Kim, Dan Kurtz, Esther Lee, Troy Stangarone

While the rest of the world is still struggling to contain the outbreak of COVID-19, South Korea - progressing steadily in its containment of the pandemic - has begun its season of baseball. With the Major League Baseball season postponed in the United States, ESPN has begun airing the Korean Baseball Organization’s games in America. It is a seminal moment. Koreans are bringing baseball back to its homeland and showcasing what their league looks like. Potentially a harbinger for greater exchange of players between the two nations. In light of this development, we have today a panel of Korean baseball experts, including former player Eric Hacker and agent Esther Lee, to discuss and highlight the 101 of the league and the sport in Korea. Our guest host, former U.S. ambassador to Korea Mark Lippert, moderates this discussion. You can also find Troy Stangarone’s Diplomat column on the Korean Baseball Organization here:https://thediplomat.com/2019/06/should-amateur-baseball-players-go-pro-in-south-korea-and-japan/

27 MIN5 d ago
Comments
Korean Baseball Comes to Bat in America: Mark Lippert, Eric Hacker, Daniel Kim, Dan Kurtz, Esther Lee, Troy Stangarone

The Last Transition Economy: Vincent Koen

Even in some fantastical scenario where Kim Jong-un suddenly decides to give up nuclear weapons and end his regime’s flagrant disregard for human rights, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea will still be an impoverished state where less than half the country’s population has access to electricity. How will North Korea climb out of this state of destitution? Identifying the challenges that the country faces is a vital first step. And that is precisely what a new report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development does. This first stand-alone report on North Korea from the OECD takes stock of what is holding back the country today and provides guidelines on what might be needed to turn the country onto a path to prosperity. Randall Jones, a Non-Resident Fellow at the Korea Economic Institute, a Visiting Fellow at Columbia University, and formerly the head of the Japan/Korea Desk at the OECD sat down with Vincent Koen, the head of the division of country stud...

23 MIN1 w ago
Comments
The Last Transition Economy: Vincent Koen

Diplomacy or Readiness: Terence Roehrig

International observers were shocked when President Trump met with North Korea’s Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un in June 2018. But amid the spectacle of these two leaders putting aside their infamous barbs and insults, there was another shock awaiting the public. President Trump announced that joint military exercises with South Korea would be postponed on account of their costliness and their unnecessarily provocative nature. This had not been consulted with South Korea beforehand. That was 2018 when people thought perhaps a peace treaty with North Korea was just around the corner. Two years on, there is no treaty, North Korea has not budged on its nuclear weapons arsenal, and in fact Pyongyang is beginning to act more provocatively. And yet, the old joint military exercises between South Korea and the United States have not resumed. Would the forces be ready in case there is a conflict? This is the question that our guest, Professor Terence Roehrig seeks to answer today. He is a profe...

26 MIN2 w ago
Comments
Diplomacy or Readiness: Terence Roehrig

Succession in North Korea: Ken Gause, Chris Steinitz

After weeks of keeping the international community spellbound with his sudden disappearance and rumors of his death, Kim Jong-un has reemerged in public. But this whole event raised a very important question in people’s minds. Who would succeed North Korea’s supreme leader if he were to die? It’s clear to even people without medical degrees that Kim Jong-un is not the healthiest bloke on the international stage - a heart attack would not be out of the question. What would happen to North Korea then? Who would command the country’s one-million strong military and nuclear arsenal? Our guests today, Ken Gause and Chris Steinitz from the Adversary Analytics Program at CNA, outline potential outcomes. As a quick caveat, the discussion was recorded before news emerged of Kim Jong-un’s public appearance, but the question of what might happen if the North Korean leader were to be suddenly incapacitated is still important to consider now more than ever. You can find Ken and Chris' artic...

27 MIN3 w ago
Comments
Succession in North Korea: Ken Gause, Chris Steinitz

Two Disappearances and a Funeral: Mark Tokola

Where in the world is Kim Jong-un? The dictator of North Korea who appears so fond of being filmed and photographed has disappeared from sight - and there are rumors that he is possibly dead. Social media, in particular, has turned the event into a meme, adding cultural references such as Game of Thrones to frame imaginary scenarios on what might follow in the vacuum left by the late supreme leader. But for those who have been watching North Korea for a while, this is not a new occurrence. Leaders of this most opaque state have disappeared in the past. Our guest today, KEI Vice President Mark Tokola - a veteran of the US foreign service and former Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. embassy in Seoul - remembers those incidents. And with history as an added guide, he provides a more sober analysis of the ongoing mystery around the whereabouts of Kim Jong-un. You can find Mark Tokola's article on this topic here:http://blog.keia.org/2020/04/kim-regimes-two-disappearances-funeral/ In a...

25 MINMAY 2
Comments
Two Disappearances and a Funeral: Mark Tokola

Winning an Election during a Pandemic: Scott Snyder, Kang Insun, and Song Hochang

On April 7, the American state of Wisconsin held an election to decide who would be the Democratic Party’s nominee for the US presidential election in November 2020. The days leading up to the election were chaotic with the state’s Democratic governor calling for a postponement of the state-wide election out of public health concerns and the state’s Republican-controlled legislature challenging this order. Ultimately, the election went ahead - and health officials note that, to date, at least 19 people infected with COVID-19 in the state of Wisconsin can trace their exposure to the election. The following week, on April 15, a very differently-run election took place in South Korea. All 300 seats in South Korea’s unicameral legislature were up for grabs and South Koreans went to the polls in greater numbers than they had since 1992 to elect a new National Assembly. Meticulous plans had been made, including measures to ensure that voters would be able to maintain social distancing...

22 MINAPR 25
Comments
Winning an Election during a Pandemic: Scott Snyder, Kang Insun, and Song Hochang

Going Together to Address a Pandemic: Marc Knapper

Few alliances in the world are as storied and robust as the U.S.-Korea alliance. Building on the security relationship established at the end of the Korean War, the partnership between the two countries have since expanded to trade, science and technology, human rights, and elsewhere. And in particular, we saw the public health cooperation between the two countries in the joint effort to contain and treat Ebola during the 2014 outbreak in West Africa. So what has the partnership looked like between the two countries in the ongoing effort to contain COVID-19? To discuss this collaboration, our guest today is the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Korea and Japan Marc Knapper. A member of the Senior Foreign Service of the U.S. Department of State, his previous postings have included Tokyo, Hanoi, and Baghdad - but most notably for the discussion today, he served as the Chargé d’Affaires at the U.S. embassy in Seoul from 2017 to 2018 and Deputy Chief of Mission from 2015 to 2016.

25 MINAPR 18
Comments
Going Together to Address a Pandemic: Marc Knapper

Public Health is Human Rights, Human Rights is Public Health: Ambassador Robert King and Greg Scarlatoiu

Should the international community suspend advocacy for human rights in favor of cooperation with odious regimes to fight the COVID-19 pandemic? This appears upon first glance like a trade-off, but Ambassador Robert King and Greg Scarlatoiu make the case that they are not - in fact, robust human rights is fundamental to containing an infectious disease. They focus in particular on North Korea, whose human rights abuses are actually what makes the country more susceptible to COVID-19 than other countries. This podcast is an excerpt from a webinar event on human rights in North Korea, which you can find here:https://youtu.be/Tq_5r9a-68I

23 MINAPR 11
Comments
Public Health is Human Rights, Human Rights is Public Health: Ambassador Robert King and Greg Scarlatoiu

The Economic Fallout of a Pandemic: Troy Stangarone and Kyle Ferrier

We are amidst a pandemic - its victims will not only be the sick but also those who will lose their livelihood as the economy shuts down to contain the further spread of the disease. A body of research, including those published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, notes that after old age and pre-existing health conditions, low socioeconomic status acts as the top variable that could determine your susceptibility to epidemics. In the context of COVID-19, available data suggest that COVID-19 can be about twice as deadly for those in society’s lower rungs. At this critical moment, governments around the world are struggling to find ways to ensure both economic security and safety. Our guests today, KEI Senior Director Troy Stangarone and Director Kyle Ferrier, are tracking how South Korea is confronting this challenge. For policymakers and leaders of corporations in the United States, Seoul’s economic response - alongside those of European states - are sure to have some re...

28 MINAPR 4
Comments
The Economic Fallout of a Pandemic: Troy Stangarone and Kyle Ferrier

The Rise, Stumble, and Rise of A Conglomerate: Geoffrey Cain

How does a company that began as a vegetable and fish shop grow to become a leading global tech company - what made that astonishing growth possible, and what are some of the unseen costs of that blinding development? Perhaps just as importantly for American audiences, what are the implications of such a company on the society that it inhabits? To discuss this and much more, we are joined by Geoffrey Cain, a longtime journalist whose workhas appeared in The Economist, Time and The Wall Street Journal. Geoffrey is also a regular commentator on Bloomberg TV, BBC, CNN, and NPR. His newest book Samsung Rising - published by Currency, an imprint of Random House - tracks the rise of Korea’s leading brand name from the time of Korea’s colonial occupation in the 1930s to its aggressive rise to become the largest smartphone maker in the world.

25 MINMAR 28
Comments
The Rise, Stumble, and Rise of A Conglomerate: Geoffrey Cain
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