Temple International Affairs Presents Lecture on the Korean Peninsula


The Office of International Affairs launched the first in a series of lectures aimed at advancing the mission of globalization on Temple’s Campus.

The Student Center Vice President of International Affairs, Hai-Lung Dai, opened a lecture titled “Tension on the Korean Peninsula.”

The lecture featured a staff writer and investigative reporter for The New Yorker, Evan Osnos, and Former Deputy Chief of Staff and Combined Forces Command for the Republic of Korea, In-Bum Chun.

The beginning of the lecture focused on Osnos’ describing his trip to North Korea over the summer when he interviewed government officials and studied the culture. Osnos went to the North with the goal of finding out how North Koreans perceive this crisis, how the United States should perceive Kim Jong Un’s actions and what can the United States do as it tries to maintain peace on the global stage.

The discussion explored where the U.S. currently stands with North and South Korea, the implications of Donald Trump’s remarks about the two countries, and how the U.S. can proceed as a global community including as China, Japan, and Russia.

When discussing possible solutions that the Americans may pursue, General Chun warned against a US-involved regime.

“You need to have someone to replace the leader you are removing…” Chun said. “If you leave a void, we saw [in the Middle East] that chaos would arise and it’s no good for anyone… but having a viable alternative to Kim Jong Un right now is not an easy answer, we could have one… but we’re not there yet.”

Osnos mentioned that problems are more layered than simply getting rid of Kim Jong-un.

“The idea of being able to simply take out Kim in some easy way is a fantasy,” Osnos said. “I think there are many other paths along the road we may want to consider before going down the path that ultimately led us strategically into Iraq.”

More talks will be scheduled throughout the semester.