Moon Chung-in

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Moon Chung-in
Chung-in Moon @ CogitASIA (cropped).jpg
Picture of Moon Chung-in at the CogitAsia conference on June 29th 2015
BornMarch 25, 1951 (1951-03-25)
NationalitySouth Korean
Alma materYonsei University
University of Maryland
Known forExpertise in international relations and East Asian security issues.
President Moon Jae-in's special advisor for unification, diplomacy and national security affairs.
Sunshine Policy
Scientific career
FieldsPolitical science
International relations
Korean politics and political economy
International politics of East Asia
InstitutionsYonsei University
University of California, San Diego
Duke University

Moon Chung-in (born March 25, 1951 in Jeju Province, South Korea) is a Special Advisor to President Moon Jae-in of South Korea for Foreign Affairs and National Security. He is also a Distinguished University Professor of Yonsei University,[1] Krause Distinguished Fellow, School of Policy and Global Strategy, University of California, San Diego, and co-Convener of the Asia-Pacific Leadership Network for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (APLN). He is currently serving as the editor-in-chief of Global Asia.[2] On 21 May 2017 Dr. Moon Chung-in was nominated by President Moon Jae-in as a special advisor on unification, diplomacy and national security affairs.[3]


Dr. Moon majored in Chinese philosophy at Yonsei University and went to the United States in 1978 to study international relations at the University of Maryland. He received his master and doctoral degrees there, and got his first teaching job at Williams College in 1984. He moved to the University of Kentucky, Lexington in 1985 and taught there until 1994. He returned to Yonsei University, his alma mater, in 1994, and taught there until his retirement in 2016.[4]

Moon was dean of the Graduate School of International Studies, Yonsei University. He has published over 60 books and 300 articles in edited volumes and scholarly journals. He also served as president of the Korea Peace Studies Association and Vice President of the International Studies Association (ISA) of North America. He was a recipient of the Public Policy Award (Woodrow Wilson International Center), the Lixian Scholarship (Beijing University), and the Pacific Leadership Fellowship (University of California, San Diego).[5]


Moon has had a number of varied roles. He was an advisor to various agencies of the South Korean government, including the National Security Council, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Unification, and the National Intelligence Service. He served as Chairman of the Presidential Committee on National Intelligence Reform and a member of the Presidential Commission on Defense Reform during the Roh Moo-hyun administration. Dr. Moon was a special delegate to the first (2000) and second (2007) Korean summits, both of which were held in Pyongyang. He is currently a board member of the Pacific Century Institute, the Asia Research Fund, and the Korea Peace Forum. He was also chairman of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Future of Korea.[6]

Moon served as adviser to Kim Dae-jung, South Korea’s president from 1998 until 2003, and to Roh Moo-hyun, who held the presidency from 2003 until 2008.[7] During the Roh Moo-hyun administration, he served as Ambassador for International Security Affairs of the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MOFAT) and Chairman of the Presidential Committee on Northeast Asian Cooperation Initiative, a cabinet-level post.

Sunshine Policy[edit]

Moon was one of the architects of the Sunshine Policy, and advocates, and calls for, the revival of the engagement policy, which seeks the thawing of relations with North Korea and the Government of North Korea.[8] Moon believes that every other option including sanctions and pressures, military actions, containment, and waiting for the regime in Pyongyang to collapse has failed. Moon has blamed US administrations, particularly that of former President George W. Bush, for disrupting the effects of the Sunshine Policy, which had some initial successes before the policy was cancelled in 2008.[2][9]

In a contribution to Foreign Affairs in April 2018, Moon argues it would be difficult to justify the ongoing presence of U.S. forces in South Korea after the adoption of a North-South peace accord.[10] In a 2018 interview, Moon stated it would be in the best interest of South Korea to abolish the U.S.-South Korea alliance in the long run.[11] At an international conference held by the National Diplomatic Academy's Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security in April 2019, Moon posed a hypothetical to China “If U.S. Forces Korea withdraws its troops from South Korea without North Korea's denuclearization, what would it be like for China to provide a nuclear umbrella for South Korea and negotiate with North Korea in that state?”[12] In a column written in The Hankyoreh, Moon believes that South Korea should focus more attention on their economic relationship with North Korea than on their alliance with the United States.[13]

Selected publications[edit]

  • Chung-in Moon (1988). The Korean economy in transition: political consequences of neoconservative reforms. Asian/Pacific Studies Institute, Duke University. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  • CHUNG IN MOON (1996). Arms Control on the Korean Peninsula: Domestic Perceptions, Regional Dynamics, International Penetrations. 연세대학교출판부. ISBN 978-89-7141-412-5. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  • Chung-in Moon (8 August 1999). Air power dynamics and Korean security. Yonsei University Press. ISBN 978-89-7141-474-3. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  • Chung-in Moon (2012). The Sunshine Policy. Yonsei University Press. ISBN 978-89-7141-479-8. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  • Chung-in Moon. Exploring the Future of China (in Korean 2010 in Korean and 2012 in Chinese).

With Collaborators[edit]


  1. ^ "Chung-in Moon". Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. 2018. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Co-Convenor". APLN. Retrieved 2 May 2017.
  3. ^ "Impact Player: Moon Chung-in". Center for Strategic and International Studies. CSIS. pp. 25 May 2017. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  4. ^ "Past Directors". Center for International Studies Yonsei University. CIS. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  5. ^ "Moon Chung - in" (PDF). World Policy Conference. World Policy Conference. November 2014. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  6. ^ "Moon Chung-In". World Economic Forum. World Economic Forum. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  7. ^ Nathan, Andrew J. (December 2012). "The Sunshine Policy: In Defense of Engagement as a Path to Peace in Korea". Foreign Affairs. Council on Foreign Relations. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  8. ^ Kazariyan, Rouben L. (2014). "Review of Chung-in Moon The Sunshine Policy" (pdf). Welcome to S-Space Seoul National University. Seoul National University Library. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  9. ^ Denney, Steven (11 November 2012). "Engagement in an Age of Division: Moon Chung-in's Sunshine Policy". Sino-NK. Sino-NK. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  10. ^ Moon, Chung-in (30 April 2018). "A Real Path to Peace on the Korean Peninsula".
  11. ^ FRIEDMAN, URI (17 May 2018). "A Top Adviser to the South Korean President Questions the U.S. Alliance".
  12. ^ "President Moon advisor: "What if we entrust our national security to China?"". 4 December 2019.
  13. ^ Chung-in, Moon (13 July 2020). "[Column] If you want peace, prepare for peace".