IU East faculty available to provide insight on North Korea

April 16th, 2013

Indiana University East has faculty available to discuss the ongoing developments in North Korea and its continuous threats of possible military action against South Korea and the U.S.

Ann Kim is an assistant professor of fine arts in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. She lived in South Korea before moving at the age of 13. Her parents continue to live in South Korea.

“Most South Koreans are quite desensitized about North Korea’s threats since such bellicose language and actions have been commonplace for the past six decades. They are, however, nervous about the fact that little is known about the new leader, Kim Jong-Un whereas they knew the routines and personalities of his father and grandfather, Kim Jong-Il and Kim Il-Sung, respectively” Kim said.

Kim spoke to her brother, Hooshin Kim, early this week. He is a third-year college student in Seoul, Korea. He told Kim that most young people are not alarmed and life “goes on as usual,” and they believe that it is probably nothing more than what South Korea has been dealing with for a while regarding North Korea.

Kim added, “The newly elected President Park has long been a supporter of harsher and more stringent treatment towards the North unlike some of her predecessors who advocated “The Sunshine Policy,” which focused on peaceful diplomacy. Given this, I believe if North Korea were to push its bellicose language and threats into action, the South will have no problem reacting aggressively in response.”

Kim received her Master of Fine Arts degree in Studio Art from Mills College in Oakland, Calif.  She previously taught at the Santa Rosa Junior College and was the Artist-in-Residence at Art Farm in Marquette, Neb.

Paul Kriese is a professor of political science in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. His research interests include politics of race, civic engagement, and scholarship of teaching and learning. He is the faculty advisor for the IU East American Democracy Project.

“The situation is escalating. South Korea and the U.S. are taking the situation seriously. But one person just returning from Seoul, the capitol of South Korea, found people going about their normal business,” Kriese said.

“North Korea is just a wild card. Could they send missiles to South Korea or elsewhere, yes. In 2010 North Korea did fire upon South Korean facilities. Add to this mix is the fact that the current president Park Geun-Hae’s father was Park Chung-Hee who was widely considered a dictator during his time in office. He became the president after a coup he started. Park Geun-Hae’s opponent for the presidential election last year fought against Park Chung-Hee’s power and was incarcerated because of that conflict. The new president, Park Geun-hye; has said that she will respond in kind if the North creates a hostile situation in the South.”

Kim may be reached at (765) 973-8350 or at annbkim@iue.edu and Kriese may be reached at 765-969-4180 or at pkriese@iue.edu.

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