In the aftermath of World War II, Korea was divided into two zones with the Soviets in the north and Americans in the south. On June 25, 1950 North Korea invaded the South. United Nations’ forces responded, countering the attack. Chinese intervention on November 1, 1950 led to intensive warfare. An armistice was finally agreed to on July 27, 1953.
In the years since, violent incidents perpetrated by the North along the 38th Parallel, in nearby waters, and elsewhere have contributed to much tension on the Korean peninsula. North Korea’s bid to become a nuclear power continues in the face of South Korean and American efforts to dissuade the latest Kim to abandon his nuclear quest.
Moreover, three generations of despotic rule by the Kim family, characterized by sham elections and a Stalinist totalitarian dictatorship, have resulted in a nation that often confronts famine and a population that chronically suffers from malnutrition. A 2014 UN inquiry into human rights in North Korea concluded that, "The gravity, scale and nature of these violations reveal a state that does not have any parallel in the contemporary world."
In stark contrast to the dystopian North, South Korea today is a vibrant democracy, has highly developed economy, with the world’s second best healthcare system, and is a major global trading power. Ironically, China, which has long supported North Korea, has become South Korea’s largest trading partner.
ACIR is honored to host Ambassador Chang Jae-bok, Deputy Foreign Minister, Republic of Korea, who will discuss the "Moon Jae-in government's Vision for the Korean Peninsula Peace process - Transforming the DMZ into an International Peace Zone."
Ambassador Chang Jae-bok was appointed Ambassador for Public Diplomacy at the Republic of Korea’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs in May 2019.
Previously, he served as the Deputy Minister for Protocol Affairs and as the Ambassador for the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie. He also served as Director for the Human Rights and Social Affairs Division as well as the Protocol Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Overseas, his most recent post was as the Consul-General of Korea in Milan and before that as the deputy Permanent Delegate to UNESCO in Paris. He was also posted in the Korean Embassies in France, the Swiss Confederation, the Republic of Ghana as well as the Korean Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York.
Ambassador Chang received a Bachelor’s degree from Seoul National University in French Language and Literature. He is married with two sons.
Registration fee includes a 3-course luncheon.
The Luncheon/Discussion will take place in the Alexandria Room.
The luncheon will be followed by a reception, hosted by the Consulate of the Republic of Korea, with the ambassador and his team.