On July 1 st , Consul General Gheewhan Kim and Mr. Evan Revere spoke on the contemporary challenges in Northeast Asia, particularly stemming from North Korea, to middle and high school teachers from the United States, Canada, and Mexico at the United Nations Headquarters.
Consul General Kim emphasized how North Korea is threatening peace and stability in Northeast Asia. North Korea’s economy is failing; human rights are being violated; and nuclear and missile programs continue to escalate tension in the region. He stated that current strong sanctions, both bilateral and multilateral, are taking effect, in which Korea and the international community must keep pressure on to induce denuclearization. China and Russia have also been cooperative. Looking ahead, Consul General Kim noted that the North Korea issue will be one of the top priorities for the next US administration. He also observed the growing discussions on the possibility of North Korea’s collapse among the US policy communities.
Mr. Revere, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs and former President of Korea Society, focused on the nuclear development of North Korea. He stated that North Korea’s nuclear technology has been developing rapidly and that its missiles are expected to reach all of mainland United States by 2020. More broadly, he commented that North Korea’s nuclear development weakens the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and undermines the credibility of the United States to its allies. Mr. Revere agreed with Consul General Kim that the sanctions should be pushed harder so that North Korea feels pressured to come back to the negotiation table.
The lecture was a part of “Great Decisions in Classrooms” – a conference organized by the Foreign Policy Association (FPA) to inform educators on current pressing foreign policy issues. The topic of the lecture, Korean choices, has been chosen as one of eight key issues for the United States this year by FPA. Other topics are Alliances in the Middle East, The Rise of ISIS, The Future of Kurdistan, International Migration, The United Nations Post-2015, Climate Geopolitics, and Cuba and the U.S.
This event is featured as a part of “A Korea in New York,” as it aligns with the purpose of the initiative by the Korean Consulate.
“A Korea in New York” is our collective slogan for 2016 that encompasses our aims to promote Korean contents to the communities in New York and the surrounding areas. We want to proactively share these elements in a way that best contributes and gives back to our neighboring communities as well as the entire US.
“A Korea in New York” means:
1. Promoting ONE IMAGE of Korea through partnerships.
2. BRINGING KOREA CLOSER to New Yorkers and beyond by vitalizing Korean culture in the United States, facilitating community cooperation, and creating shared values.
3. Sharing an AUTHENTIC, YET CREATIVE Korea, maintaining tradition while embracing new creative fields; creation of a set of best practices to be used and spread globally.