Great Decisions Speaker Series

North and South Korea Peace Diplomacy through Science and Technology Cooperation

Professor emeritus Dr. Chan-Mo Park, Chancellor, Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST, North Korea) and former President of Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH, South Korea).

Thursday, May 20, 2021

12 p.m. central

Peace and security on the Korean peninsula are very important, not only to North and South Korea, but also to the United States and the global community. Since the division of Korea in 1948 into North and South, there has been no official declaration of the end of the Korean war, only an armistice achieved in 1953. For decades, interactions between the two Koreas had been extremely limited, until the year 2000 and under then South Korean President Kim, Dae-Jung’s leadership, two historic inter-Korean summits took place. Rapid progress was made and mutual exchange and collaboration was determined to take science and technology collaborations in focus.

The establishment of Pyongyang University for Science and Technology (PUST) as the first private and bilaterally supported university has been a result of these summits and has sparked hope for peace ever since. Officially opened in 2010 and having overcome many hurdles in its young life, PUST remains a beacon of hope for security on the Korean peninsula.

This presentation will cover PUST’s history and current status, and will provide an exclusive opportunity for joint discussions on Korea’s current position within the global community, in particular its relationship to the United States.



Chan-Mo Park, Ph.D.

Professor (emeritus) Chan-Mo Park is a distinguished scholar and an internationally renowned science diplomat. A computer scientist with deep academic roots in both the United States and South Korea, Dr. Park is well known in international science and diplomacy circles for his remarkable engagement and success in the foundation of the first privately funded university in North Korea, Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST), where he has also served as Chancellor since its establishment in 2010. This achievement crowns Dr. Park’s lifelong dedication to the idea of science and technology as a path to society’s success, and an important contribution to positive international dialogue, after serving as the 4th President of POSTECH in South Korea (often called the "MIT of Korea"), and as a special advisor for science and technology to the South Korean government.

We are delighted to welcome Professor Chan-Mo Park to speak to our audiences in Missouri and beyond.

Great Decisions is an annual speaker series sponsored by the World Affairs Council of St. Louis and UMSL Global. The Great Decisions initiative is a national discussion program focusing on eight major foreign policy issues each year. It has been produced by the Foreign Policy Association (FPA) since 1954. The FPA is the United States' oldest organization devoted to citizen education in world affairs. The issues are selected at the beginning of the year based on the most critical global challenges to United States foreign policy. The program aims to present all sides of each issue in order to inform and educate the public.

While not required, the Foreign Policy Association has published companion books and DVDs for this speaker series. These materials may be available at your local library, or may be purchased directly from the Foreign Policy Association by clicking here.