Advanced Education in North Korean Studies in the Asia-Pacific Region : Implications for Internationals and International Studies


아태 지역의 북한학 심화 교육에 관한 연구 : 외국인(非한국인)과 국제학 연구에 대한 시사점

Richard W. Shannon

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What is the current state of North Korean studies across the Asia-Pacific region? This study surveys the broad landscape and relevant contexts across the region, including the role of North Korean studies within Korean studies. Korean and North Korean studies programs in South Korea, North Korea, and the rest of the Asia-Pacific region (including China, Japan, Southeast Asia, Australasia and India) are briefly examined. Second, based on the example of North Korean studies in the Asia Pacific, including local experiences, the project investigates what lessons can be learned about the relationship of the fields of international and area studies. Third, within international studies, the paper considers whether (applied) anthropological perspectives on North Korean studies (an interesting integration of the “global” and the “local”) may help to generate more productive approaches to teaching and learning the field, and to making a real difference in the intense problems that North Korea represents. The study also presents selected responses to North Korean studies across the Asia Pacific, including a case study of a graduate class offered to mostly foreigners in South Korea, to examine whether involving internationals in the field can make much of a difference. Another response studied is typical reactions of Koreans and non-Koreans to North Korean studies. A third type of reaction is responses to questions on educating internationals about North Korea. The study concludes that applied anthropological approaches in North Korean studies can provide more fruitful avenues for integrative reflection about global and local issues in international and area studies and for positive activism for students concerning North Korean studies and problems in the Asia-Pacific region.


I. Introduction
Ⅱ. Background to the Research, Research Methodology and Theoretical Approach
Ⅲ. A Brief Survey of Korean and North Korean Studies in the Asia Pacific
1. South Korea: Korean and North Korean Studies
2. North Korea: Korean and North Korean Studies
3. Elsewhere in Asia and the Pacific
Ⅳ. Selected Responses to North Korean Studies in the Asia Pacific
1. Responses of Koreans and Foreigners
2. A Brief Case Study of Responses: A Graduate Class on North Korea in South Korea
3. Responses to Questions about Educating Internationals about North Korea
Ⅴ. Conclusion


  • Richard W. Shannon Associate Professor, Graduate School of International Studies, Pusan National University


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