Bridging the Divide Program, Korea Foundation and the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation

A post about our research trip to Seoul and the DMZ (forthcoming with photos).

From June 16th to June 21, eight Japan scholars from the US were selected to participate in a unique program sponsored by the Korea Foundation and the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation to deepen their engagement with and understanding of the politics of the peninsula. With visits to the Blue House, Ministry of National Defense, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Demilitarized Zone (the DMZ); and meetings with experts on security issues, intelligence, the denuclearization process, and South Korea’s domestic politics and economy, we are able to bring back what we learned to our students and do more comparative analysis. Frank Jannuzi led the group and his decades of experience proved valuable, especially in our security and defense focused sessions. Frank was personally involved in negotiations with North Korea and has years of experience working in Washington, DC on US relations with China and the East Asian region. This was an amazing and rewarding trip, and it inspired us all to think about the relationship the peninsula has to the countries we study (Japan, China, and the US). My favorite meeting was with the US Ambassador and his staff because we could talk more about the historical tensions between Japan and S. Korea. More to come about this as time permits over the summer. Thanks to Elly Cho for providing us with a wonderful cultural experience and for her utmost professionalism in handling the logistics. Thank you Korea Foundation for a learning and networking opportunity with Korean scholars and officials that we will never forget, and that will surely benefit our teaching and scholarship for years to come. I am excited to return to the classroom and develop more publications that include comparative analysis of Korean politics and Japan-S. Korea relations.