Sung-Yoon Lee

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Sung-Yoon Lee
이성윤
Sung-Yoon Lee profile picture.jpg
Native name 이성윤
Born Seoul, South Korea
Citizenship  South Korea
Fields Korean studies, East Asian studies
Institutions The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy
Alma mater New College of Florida (B.A.)
The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (M.A.)
The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (Ph.D.)
Doctoral advisor John Curtis Perry[1]

Sung-Yoon Lee (Hangul: 이성윤; hanja: 李晟允) is a scholar of Korean and East Asian studies, and specialist on North Korea. He is the Kim Koo-Korea Foundation Professor in Korean Studies and Assistant Professor at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University.[2] He is an Associate in Research at the Korea Institute, Harvard University.[3] He is a former Research Fellow at the National Asia Research Program.[4]

Education[edit]

Lee majored in American and British literature at New College in Sarasota, Florida, graduating in 1991. He pursued his graduate studies at the Fletcher School, completing his Master of Arts in 1994, and his Ph.D. in 1998.[2] In his dissertation "The antinomy of divine right and the right to resistance: tianming, dei gratia, and vox populi in Syngman Rhee's Korea, 1945-1960", Lee analyzed the interplay between Confucianism and democracy in defining political authority and statecraft during the early years of the Republic of Korea.[1]

Career[edit]

Lee first joined the faculty of The Fletcher School as the Adjunct Assistant Professor of International Politics in 1998 and until 2005. Concurrently he was also the Visiting Assistant Professor of History at Tufts university starting in 2000 and until 2005. Between 2005 and 2006 he was the Kim Koo Research Associate at the Korea Institute, Harvard University. In 2007 he resumed his position at the Fletcher School, and in 2012 became the first holder of the newly created chair Kim Koo-Korea Foundation Assistant Professor of Korean Studies.[2][5]

He teaches International Relations of the United States and East Asia 1945 to Present, United States and East Asia, Politics of the Korean Peninsula: Foreign and Inter-Korean Relations, and North Korean State and Society.[6]

Lee has also been an adjunct Assistant Professor of Asian Studies at Bowdoin College in 2000,[7] and the visiting Professor of Korean Studies at Sogang University in 2007, and at Seoul National University in 2012 and 2013.[8]

Since 1999 Lee has been an Associate in Research at the Korea Institute, Harvard University.[2][3][9] There he launched a new seminar series, the “Kim Koo Forum on U.S.-Korea Relations”, in 2005.[2][10] He is a former Research Fellow with the National Asia Research Program, a joint initiative by the National Bureau of Asian Research and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.[4]

Lee has attended numerous conferences as a speaker, moderator and interpreter.[2] He is also a frequent commentator on Korean affairs on radio, television and print.[11][12][13][14] Lee has also testified in the United States Congress to provide expert advice on North Korea policy issues.[15][16]

Policy views on North Korea[edit]

Lee has advocated for a strategy of stern treatment of the North Korean government, while engaging the North Korean people. That includes economic pressure aimed at the elite, especially targeting its palace economy that depends on illicit activities including proliferation, smuggling, counterfeiting, and money laundering. It also means availing substantial humanitarian aid, provided it reaches the intended recipients, increasing efforts to disseminate more information from the outside world into North Korea, facilitating defections, and pressing for a global campaign of human rights.[a][b][c]

Lee has frequently urged policymakers not to fall for the "self-defeating"[d] trap of short-term concessionary diplomacy,[e] and instead take the long view of an unwavering strategy of pressure. Lee sustains that refraining from making concessions in exchange for North Korea halting its cyclical belligerence is the most effective way to deter future provocations.[f][g][d]

United States[edit]

Lee supports a continued commitment by the US, asserting that the "US has always had in its diplomatic toolbox various useful implements like financial sanctions, measures to prevent illicit activities and weapons proliferation, freeze fuel oil delivery and unconditional aid, and human rights campaigns through the international media in concert with other civilized nations of the world, not to mention UN Resolutions".[h][a]

Lee has also proposed the US "hold quiet consultations with Beijing to prepare jointly for a unified Korea under Seoul’s direction, a new polity that will be free, peaceful, capitalist, pro-U.S. and pro-China".[d]

Lee opposes the signing of a peace treaty between the US and North Korea (frequently demanded by the latter) absent substantial changes in the regime.[i] He has stated that "North Korea is not seeking peace, but rather a change in the military balance of power on the Korean peninsula",[d] and that "real peace is won by resolve and sacrifice, while ephemeral peace is all too often concocted only by vowels and consonants".[j] Lee maintins that the US military presence in Korea has brought decades of geopolitical stability in the broader region and should remain in the peninsula regardless of the eventual signing of a peace treaty.[d]

South Korea[edit]

Lee advocates for a stronger lead by South Korea, reinforcing programs for resettlement of refugees, and pressing on in the global campaign for human rights.[a][b][k] Lee also supports a South Korean policy of exercising a "resolute mix of stoicism and principled apathy"[l] when faced with North Korea's attempts at provocation and brinksmanship.

Lee was a strong critic of the Sunshine Policy (in force between 1998 and 2008), calling it a failed policy,[m] and the "under the table" financial aid "misguided, unprincipled, and criminal".[n]He stated that the North Korean regime would not be appeased by blandishments, further, such concessions prop the regime and prolong its oppression of the people. [o]

Reconciliation should be sought from a position of strength. South Korea should remain pragmatic, recognizing that "peace in the region has been kept for the last 50 years by the commitment on the part of the United States to the defense of South Korea".[o]

Lee has stated that "amnesia or apathy"[p] of the new Korean generations towards their history "can be reversed through sustained education and the public ritual of remembrance",[p] so that "the lessons of the most traumatic past must be learned and continually relearned, not only to prevent such a tragedy from repeating itself, but also to honor, as one nation, those who made our freedom possible, and to remember that freedom is certainly never free".[p]

Denuclearization and Six Party Talks[edit]

Lee has repeatedly called negotiations on denuclearization "nuclear blackmail"[k] by North Korea, and believes that the regime is very unwilling to give up its nuclear capability as it is of vital interest for its survival. Therefore, "short of change in the Pyongyang regime, further fits of nuclear negotiations are all but an exercise in futility",[k] Kim Jong-Il "treating the six-party talks as a perpetual multilateral forum for receiving economic and political aid".[h] Furthermore, "deprived of its nuclear program, North Korea would likely be relegated to a status befitting its insignificant economy and unattractive political system",[q] therefore "the challenge for other six-party negotiators is to exploit these weaknesses. Only a sustained, credible program of financial pressure and a human-rights campaign in tandem with nuclear negotiations will move the North to make difficult decisions".[q][a][r][i]

Regime and post-collapse planning[edit]

Lee characterizes the North Korean regime as "uniquely unique",[a] for being the world's sole communist hereditary dynasty; the only literate, industrialized and urbanized peacetime economy to have suffered a famine; the most cultish totalitarian system; the most secretive, isolated country; and the largest military in terms of manpower and defense spending proportional to its population and national income.[a] Lee has also called the regime a criminal enterprise, for activities including money laundering, human enslavement by having the world's largest prison and slave labor camps, and for nuclear extortion.[a]

Lee further asserts that North Korea is the most systematic violator of human rights, having committed nine out of the ten crimes against humanity as specified in article 7 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.[l][p]

Lee anticipates that in case of collapse, "a power vacuum in Pyongyang will require the immediate dispatch of South Korean and U.S. troops. Next will come other regional powers -- Chinese peacekeeping forces securing the northern areas, followed by the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force transporting people and supplies along the Korean coastlines. In the short term, a multiparty international presence north of the 38th parallel under the nominal banner of the United Nations will enforce order and provide aid."[s]

Lee also supports a US-South Korea joint "emergency response measures such as securing the North's stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, maintaining public safety, controlling borders, and providing humanitarian aid to displaced North Koreans", as well as long-term development similar to post-WWII reconstruction of Japan.[s]

Publications[edit]

Articles[edit]

Short essays[edit]

Other works[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Sung-Yoon Lee (1998). The antinomy of divine right and the right to resistance: tianming, dei gratia, and vox populi in Syngman Rhee's Korea, 1945-1960 (Ph.D.). The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. ISBN 9780591848175. OCLC 40099689. Retrieved February 17, 2013. Lay summary. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Faculty Profile". Boston: The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. Retrieved February 11, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Sung-Yoon LEE". Boston: Korea Institute Harvard University. October 17, 2009. Archived from the original on February 18, 2013. Retrieved February 13, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "Is Status Quo Destiny? China’s Interests in Post-Kim Dynasty Korea". Seattle, WA: The National Bureau of Asian Research. January 24, 2011. Retrieved February 13, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Fletcher establishes Korean Studies chair". Boston: The Tufts Daily. October 15, 2012. Archived from the original on February 18, 2013. Retrieved February 13, 2013. 
  6. ^ "The Fletcher Bulletin". Boston: The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. 2012-13. Retrieved February 5, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Faculty News, Asian Studies Newsletter". Brunswick, Maine: Asian Studies Program, Bowdoin College. Spring 2000. Archived from the original on February 18, 2013. Retrieved February 17, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Korean Studies, International Summer Institute at Seoul National University". Seoul, South Korea: Seoul National University. 2013. Archived from the original on June 13, 2013. Retrieved June 13, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Sung-Yoon Lee". Boston: Korea Institute Harvard University. October 28, 2009. Archived from the original on February 18, 2013. Retrieved February 16, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Kim Koo Foundation". Boston: Korea Institute, Harvard University. Retrieved February 16, 2013. 
  11. ^ Amanpour, Christiane (February 22, 2010). "What is Happening Inside North Korea?". CNN. Archived from the original on June 25, 2013. Retrieved June 25, 2013. 
  12. ^ McDonald, Mark (July 21, 2011). "Reading Between North Korea's Lines". The New York Times. Archived from the original on June 25, 2013. Retrieved June 25, 2013. 
  13. ^ Conan, Neil (March 14, 2013). "North Korea's Threats Grow More Ominous (NPR's Talk of the Nation)". National Public Radio. Archived from the original on June 25, 2013. Retrieved June 25, 2013. 
  14. ^ Ed Royce (March 5, 2013). US House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Hearing: North Korean Nuclear Program (Television broadcast). Washington DC: C-SPAN. 11:05 minutes in. Retrieved July 6, 2013. "This morning we are joined by a distinguished panel of experts. (...) Dr. Sung-Yoon Lee, is a Professor at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Known for his ability to turn a phrase, he has written extensively on the Korean peninsula, including a recent piece entitled "Don't engage Kim Jong-un, bankrupt him", which appeared in Foreign Policy magazine." 
  15. ^ "Hearing: North Korea’s Criminal Activities: Financing the Regime". Washington, DC: US House Committee on Foreign Affairs. March 5, 2013. Archived from the original on March 4, 2013. Retrieved March 5, 2013. 
  16. ^ Associated Press (March 5, 2013). "US lawmakers push for tougher North Korea sanctions". Fox News. Archived from the original on June 25, 2013. Retrieved June 25, 2013. 
  17. ^ Ed Royce (March 5, 2013). "North Korea's Criminal Activities: Financing the Regime". Expert witnesses: ASHER, David L.; LEE, Sung-Yoon; DTRANI, Joseph R. (CIS Number: 2013-H381-20; Sudoc Number: Y4.F76/1:113-4; Serial No. 113-4 ed.). Washington DC: Committee on Foreign Affairs. House. Archived from the original on July 7, 2013. Retrieved July 7, 2013. 

Notes[edit]

Sung-Yoon Lee's policy views on North Korea are sourced from the following works

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Daniel Blumenthal (February 12, 2013). "North Korea is a nuclear criminal enterprise". Foreign Policy. Archived from the original on February 27, 2013. Retrieved February 13, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Sung-Yoon Lee (February 13, 2013). "Hit Kim Jong Eun where it hurts: His wallet". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on March 8, 2013. Retrieved February 25, 2013. 
  3. ^ Sung-Yoon Lee (November 30, 2010). "Hitting the North". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on March 8, 2013. Retrieved February 27, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Sung-Yoon Lee (December 2010). "Keeping the Peace: America in Korea, 1950-2010". Imprimis. Archived from the original on March 8, 2013. Retrieved March 1, 2013. 
  5. ^ Lee Kwang-ho, Tony Chang, Cinjeon Gauh, Han Hye-won, Bae Jin-hwa (January 2011). "Why Does Pyongyang Repeatedly Make Aggressive Provocations?". In Kim, Sung-so; Moon, Jeong-sik; Kwak, Seung-ji. Vantage Point (Seoul, South Korea: Yonhap News Agency) 36 (1): 25. Archived from the original on June 13, 2013. Retrieved June 13, 2013. 
  6. ^ Choe Sang-Hun (December 6, 2012). "North Korea Gets Ready for Launching". The New York Times. Archived from the original on March 8, 2013. Retrieved February 27, 2013. 
  7. ^ Kate Woodsome (October 5, 2012). "North Korean Media Urge 'Great War' Ahead of South Korean, US Elections". Voice of America. Archived from the original on March 8, 2013. Retrieved February 27, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b Sung-Yoon Lee (December 19, 2008). "Obama to North Korea: Patience is a High Virtue, but Virtue Can Hurt You/Patience is North Korea’s Virtue". Boston: The Korean American Press. Archived from the original on March 8, 2013. Retrieved February 26, 2013. 
  9. ^ a b Tom Evans (February 22, 2010). "U.N. official: North Korea should get food aid". CNN. Archived from the original on March 8, 2013. Retrieved February 27, 2013. 
  10. ^ Sung-Yoon Lee (August 2, 2007). "Peace or appeasement with Pyongyang?". Asia Times online. Archived from the original on March 8, 2013. Retrieved February 25, 2013. 
  11. ^ a b c Sung-Yoon Lee (April 15, 2008). "Bush, Lee and that North Korea problem". Asia Times online. Archived from the original on March 8, 2013. Retrieved February 25, 2013. 
  12. ^ a b Sung-Yoon Lee (April 5, 2008). "Exhuming North Korea’s Crimes Against Humanity / Pyongyang shoots itself in the foot". The Korean American Press. Archived from the original on March 8, 2013. Retrieved February 26, 2013. 
  13. ^ Sung-Yoon Lee (August 24, 2009). "Ain't No Sunshine". Foreign Policy. Archived from the original on March 8, 2013. Retrieved February 28, 2013. 
  14. ^ Feuerberg, Gary (June 19, 2006). "Can North Korea Be Trusted?". The Epoch Times. Archived from the original on July 6, 2013. Retrieved July 6, 2013. 
  15. ^ a b Sung-Yoon Lee (February 21, 2003). "Turn Off the Goodwill: The North Is a Threat". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on March 8, 2013. Retrieved February 17, 2013. 
  16. ^ a b c d Sung-Yoon Lee (June 5, 2008). "Remembrance of the Korean War/A new light on the Korean War". Boston: The Korean American Press. Archived from the original on March 8, 2013. Retrieved February 26, 2013. 
  17. ^ a b Sung-Yoon Lee (February 13, 2009). "Pyongyang Home Truths: Does Hillary Clinton understand the North Korean regime and how to deal with it?". Wall Street Journal Asia. Archived from the original on March 8, 2013. Retrieved February 26, 2013. 
  18. ^ Penny Spiller (December 15, 2006). "Low hopes for North Korea talks". BBC News. Archived from the original on March 8, 2013. Retrieved February 27, 2013. 
  19. ^ a b Sung-Yoon Lee (February 16, 2010). "Life After Kim". Foreign Policy. Archived from the original on March 8, 2013. Retrieved March 1, 2013. 

External links[edit]