SOAS University of London

Centre of Korean Studies

The Situation on the Korean Peninsula and Challenges for ROK Diplomacy

Hwang Joonkook
HE Mr Hwang Joonkook (Ambassador of the Republic of Korea)

Date: 10 February 2017Time: 5:15 PM

Finishes: 10 February 2017Time: 8:00 PM

Venue: Brunei Gallery Room: B102

Type of Event: Seminar


In his lecture, Ambassador Hwang will focus on the current situation on the Korean Peninsula including analysis of North Korea’s WMD capabilities and human rights abuses carried out by the regime. He will also talk about what challenges we are facing in the process and what the Korean Government and the international community are doing to resolve these problems. Furthermore, he will reflect on the geopolitical dynamics among its neighbours as well as how major powers in East Asia can work together to address the North Korean problem.

Speaker Biography

Ambassador Joonkook Hwang was born in Seoul in December 1960 and educated at Seoul National University where he majored in Economics.  He subsequently went on to study at Princeton University graduating with a Master's Degree in Public Affairs.

He joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea in 1982.  For the majority of his diplomatic career, he has been focusing on a wide range of political and security issues both at the bilateral and multilateral level including the North Korean Nuclear issue. 

He has served in the US three times, twice at the ROK Mission to the United Nations in New York mainly dealing with Security Council affairs and once as a DCM in charge of political and security affairs in Washington DC in 2010-2013.  He was also the lead negotiator for the ROK-US Defense Burden-sharing arrangement in 2013. 

His latest posting in Seoul was as the Vice Minister for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs (Head of Delegation to the Six-Party Talks) from 2014-2016. He has also served at the ROK Embassy in Saudi Arabia and in the United Kingdom on two occasions, having first served in the late 1980s before returning as Ambassador to the Court of St. James in March 2016.

He enjoys walking both in country fields and city streets.  He is married to Shil Rhee with two daughters, aged 30 and 26, and one grandson.


A drinks reception will follow the talk.

Organiser: SOAS Centre of Korean Studies

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Contact Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4893