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The American-Korean Friendship and Information Center and North Korean Public Diplomacy, 1971-1976

Title: The American-Korean Friendship and Information Center and North Korean Public Diplomacy, 1971-1976Cover Page
Author: Brandon K. Gauthier
Affiliation: Fordham University
Issue: Law & Order – Volume 6 Issue 1
Publisher: Yonsei University Press
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While scholars of the “new diplomatic history” have extensively analyzed the role of culture and ideology in the history of American foreign relations, the historiography of diplomatic relations between the United States and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) reflects a complete lack of understanding of the cultural, intellectual, and political narratives that have long shaped how Americans imagine North Korea in a domestic and global context. Specifically, historians have yet to consider how American attitudes about North Korea were increasingly informed by a transnational flow of ideas in the 1970s. With this understanding, this paper details the history of the American-Korean Friendship and Information Center (AKFIC) in New York City, a North Korean funded “anti-imperialist peace organization,” that sought to generate public support for the DPRK and force the withdrawal of American troops from the Korean peninsula. Utilizing interviews with former members of the group and its journal: Korea Focus, this paper makes two arguments: first, the DPRK used its close relationship with the AKFIC—alongside other “friendship societies” across the world—to harness the power of globalization for its own ends in the 1970s; second, members of the AKFIC sought to manipulate public anger over the Vietnam War and promote North Korean demands that US forces should withdraw from the Republic of Korea (ROK).

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Only Words on Paper? Freedom of Speech & Expression in South Korea

Title: Only Words on Paper? Freedom of Speech & Expression in South Korea Cover Page
Author: Geoffrey Fattig
Affiliation: University of California
Issue: Law & Order – Volume 6 Issue 1
Publisher: Yonsei University Press
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Article 21 of the constitution of the Republic of Korea guarantees all citizens the rights to freedom of speech and expression. However, these rights have been under increasing threat in recent years due to a number of factors, including direct government interference in media operations, criminal defamation statutes, national security concerns, and regulation of internet content. During this time, the country has come under criticism in these areas from a range of international organizations and the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Human Rights. This paper will provide an overview of the media climate in South Korea along with the attempts made by various administrations to stifle dissenting viewpoints. It will utilize historical narrative to differentiate factors which are common to both sides of the political spectrum from those which are largely defined by political affiliation. This approach will allow for a broader understanding of the issues undermining freedom of expression in the country, placing them in proper historical and cultural context.The main findings of the paper are that both liberal and conservative governments have been guilty of heavy-handed measures to restrict public discussion, but that the recurrence of national security as a salient political issue has had particularly disturbing implications for both freedom of expression and Korean democracy. It concludes by examining some possible causes underpinning these issues, and offering a summary and analysis of the proposals made by the UN Special Rapporteur to improve the climate for free speech in the country.

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Transient Professionals: Local NGO Empowerment

Title: Transient Professionals: Local NGO Empowerment Cover Page
Author: Ted Voelkel
Affiliation: Graduate School of International Studies at Yonsei University
Issue: Law & Order – Volume 6 Issue 1
Publisher: Yonsei University Press
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South Korea’s native-English-speaking hakwon (South Korea’s version of a private language school) instructor population is college-educated, well paid, and yet suffers from a lack of empowerment via a representative organization of its own creation. Of the attempts made by instructors to form such an NGO to advocate on their behalf the Association of Teachers of English in Korea (ATEK) stands out as perhaps the most ambitious, in spite of its rather short tenure and eventual collapse. Typical explanations given for that collapse can be divided among those internal, such as in fighting, and external, such as online harassment, but this paper seeks to show that such explanations remain insufficient. Using material obtained through interviews with former members, along with information gleaned from various online sources, this paper argues that a lack of official recognition of the organization by the South Korean government can be seen as the proverbial straw that broke the back of ATEK. Further, application of theoretical material presented in Bringing Transnational Relations Back in: Introduction by Thomas Risse-Kappen, regarding the way in which domestic governmental structure can either allow transnational actors access to that structure or not, will show that domestic actors such as ATEK are subject to the same sort of institutional discrimination. It is the author’s hope that the examination of ATEK’s collapse presented in this paper will constitute a useful framework to guide upstart instructor NGOs of the future, so that similar problems can be successfully avoided.

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Why has the Diaoyu/Senkaku Dispute been Intensified and What are the Possible Resolutions?

Title: Why has the Diaoyu/Senkaku Dispute been Intensified and What are the Possible Resolutions?FALL2013 COVER OUT IMAGE
Author: Eunsil Park
Affiliation: Yonsei University
Issue: Changes & Transitions – Volume 5 Issue 2
Publisher: Yonsei University Press
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The Diaoyu/Senkaku dispute is a territorial conflict between China and Japan, and there have been ups and downs over several decades. As China’s assertiveness has been increased from the late 2000s, much attention has been paid to the relationship between China and Japan. The issue is related with each state’s strategic, economic and symbolic interests, which makes the nature of the dispute complex. In this paper, it is argued that the growing tension between China and Japan is largely influenced by the changing international structure due to the rise of China, and the issue is reinforced by domestic politics as the politicians could utilize the issue as a political tool to gain public support based upon strong nationalism in China and Japan. There are three options available to resolve the conflict: military confrontation, the US intervention, and the international legal institution. These options will be critiqued with a meaningful analysis, and the paper suggests that a long-term resolution should be adopted by emphasizing the importance of public education and cooperative measures to develop the area for both states’ benefits after recovering mutual trust.

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Emerging Donors and Knowledge Sharing for Development: The Case of Korea

Title: Emerging Donors and Knowledge Sharing for Development: The Case of KoreaFALL2013 COVER OUT IMAGE
Author: Moctar Aboubacar
Affiliation: A Project Manager at the World Food Program’s Rwanda Country Office
Issue: Changes & Transitions – Volume 5 Issue 2
Publisher: Yonsei University Press
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The field of international development cooperation has been heavily influenced by “emerging donors”, countries which have seen significant development and which have begun to form their own international development programs. Countries like South Korea are capitalizing on their own development history to engage developing countries to learn from successful past policy experiences. However South Korea’s burgeoning knowledge sharing programs present an important set of pitfalls; the state’s quasi-monopoly over how the country’s past development is interpreted, along with the narrow conception of the development experiences to be shared both limit the effectiveness of exporting such policies. Korea can capitalize on the wealth of lessons from its past development on the international stage if it presents a convincing heterodox paradigm for development while opening up interpretations of the past to wider societal debate, and if it shifts to an understanding of its own development history which transcends sole economic interpretations.

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The Donga Ilbo Advertising Coercion and Forced Layoff Case

FALL2013 COVER OUT IMAGE

Title: The Donga Ilbo Advertising Coercion and Forced Layoff Case
Author: Seongbak Jin
Affiliation: Yonsei University
Issue: Changes and Transitions – Volume 5, Issue 2
Publisher: Yonsei University Press
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This paper looks at the Donga Ilbo Advertising Coercion and Forced Layoff Case in South Korea during the years 1974-1975, focusing on the confluence of three institutions: the press, the state, and commercial forces. A look into history finds that the state, dissatisfied with the Donga Ilbo’s reporting, leveraged market forces to force it into compliance with its view of proper reporting. This represented a watershed moment in the history of press-state relations in South Korea. The highly contentious state-press relationship, observed at the time of the layoff, can still be seen today. To explore the relationship between the press, the state, and commercial forces, this paper does the following: First, theories of media are introduced to provide a basis for analysis. Second, a brief history of the Korean press leading up the Donga Ilbo case is covered followed by a detailed overview of the layoff case itself. Lastly, the paper concludes by commenting on the implications of a contentious state-press relationship and current government-media relations in South Korea.

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