[KS] The 2nd World Congress of Korean Studies

AEKYUNG84 at aol.com AEKYUNG84 at aol.com
Fri Aug 20 22:31:13 EDT 2004

Adding to Dr. Leonid A. Petrov's remarks as regards to the 2nd World
Conference in Pyongyang, I would like to add some of the experiences 
I've had as only Korean American and as one of two participants from the U.S.

It was my first trip to Pyongyang.  And given the relative abundance of 
public information in the U.S., although I had some knowledge [!!!] of the city, it 
was indeed good to be in "real" Pyongyang. My 101 Pyongyang experience was 
limited of being in one place for only three days. "The schedule was pretty 
tight and our freedom limited because the entire undertaking had more of the 
characteristics of a tourist tour than of an academic conference." Regardless, The 
trip ended up being my 101 Pyongyang Experience course on a socio-economical, 
political, cultural and educational level. 

The trip was unexpected, due to the reason of uncertainty as to why The 
Academy of Korean Studies in South Korea dropped out of being a co-host of the 
conference. There was a last minute email saying, the conference cannot be held 
due to recent political tension between ROK and DPRK.  Well, as we all know, 
South and North Korea have been in a political tension for more than a half 
decade.  Was it not the purpose of the conference under the title of 
'Reconciliation and Cooperation' to work further to the 'Reconciliation and Cooperation'? 
What happened? Why this one sided abrupt and mysterious cancellation by The 
Academy of Korean Studies? And why did some scholars receive a late last minute 
note from NK saying the conference is still on?

As soon as scholars arrived in Pyongyang, it showed how DPRK scrambled to 
continue the conference. Supposedly, whatever (!!!) ROK side was going to bring 
but didn't, had to be remade in a rush.  Why did they not cancel the conference 
just like the ROK did?

I would like to hear some response on my questions if anybody has an answer.




Min Paek, Executive Director
Korean American Women Artists and 
Writers Association (KAWAWA)
745 Buchanan Street.
San Francisco, CA 94102
Phone:(415) 252-5828
Fax: (415)252-5829
Email: KAWAWA at KAWAWA.org

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