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Wednesday Seminar | Conundrum of Inter-Korea Dynamics: Historical and Structural Context | 21 February 2024 @ 3 P.M. IST | Zoom Webinar

21 Feb 2024
Sandip Kumar Mishra
Venue: Zoom Webinar
Time: 3:00 PM

A recent article suggested that ‘the situation on the Korean peninsula is more dangerous than it has been at any time since early June 1950’ and ‘Kim Jong-un has made a strategic decision to go to war’. In the last two years, North Korean activities and its missile development have come into direct confrontation with the South Korean Yoon Suk-Yeol administration and the latter’s tit-for-tat approach towards the former. The South Korean administration has been resolute that it would seek reciprocity from North Korea, otherwise, it would be militarily ready for any eventuality. Thus, inter-Korea relations appear to be moving towards a catastrophic conclusion. However, if inter-Korea relations are seen through a historical lens, it would be obvious that it has had oscillating trends. There have been phases of intense contestations, but also of reaching out between the two Koreas. The current episode, a seemingly dangerous phase in inter-Korea relations, might well give way to another episode of reaching out. Furthermore, to comprehend the inter-Korea dynamics, it is imperative to understand the regional equations in East Asia. Actually, the prolonged division of Korea has more to do with the external rather than the bilateral dynamics between the two Koreas. Even though it would not be appropriate to completely rule out the possibility of a war on the Korean peninsula because of miscalculation at any point, inter-Korean dynamics cannot be isolated from its history, and the regional dimensions along with the bilateral angle of the relationship. This seminar seeks to comprehend inter-Korean dynamics from the above delineated framework.


About the Speaker

Sandip Kumar Mishra is an Associate Professor at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India. He is also an Honorary Fellow at the Institute of Chinese Studies (ICS), New Delhi and a Distinguished Fellow at the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS), New Delhi. He obtained his PhD in Korean Studies and International Relations from the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi. He studied Korean Language at Yonsei University and Sogang University. He has been a Visiting Fellow and a Visiting Scholar at the Korea National Defense University, the Northeast Asia History Foundation, the Kim Dae-jung Presidential Library and Museum, the Institute for Far East Studies, the Kyungnam University, the Sejong Institute, and the Korean Institute for International Economic Policy. He has published several articles and book chapters in Indian and East Asian academic journals and contributed opinion articles to newspapers such as Korea Times, Times of India, Indian Express, Financial Express, Pioneer, Tribune, and Statesman. The areas of his research interests are the North Korean Nuclear Issue, International Relations of East Asia, East Asian Security, Asia-Pacific Security and more.


About the Chair

Amb. Skand Ranjan Tayal is currently the Chairman of India - Republic of Korea Friendship Society. After joining the Indian Foreign Service in 1976, Ambassador Tayal served in Indian Missions in Sofia, Warsaw, Geneva and Moscow. He was India’s Consul General in Johannesburg (1996-98) and Houston (2002-05) and Ambassador of India to Uzbekistan (2005-08). He was the Ambassador of India to the Republic of Korea during 2008-11. Amb. Tayal was Secretary of the Indian National Commission for UNESCO during 1991-95 and served briefly as the Director in charge of IITs in the Department of Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development. He was Joint Secretary (Consular, Passport and Visa) in the Ministry of External Affairs and the Chief Passport Officer of India during 1999-2002. He introduced far-reaching reforms in the passport issue system, including comprehensive computerization, machine printing of passports and the Tatkal Scheme for fast-track issues of passports. Ambassador Tayal has broad experience in bilateral and multilateral diplomacy and has been a frequent speaker on contemporary affairs. He regularly writes for academic journals and the Asian Age.


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