DePauw-North Korea exchange effort seen as sign of ‘completely changed’ relations

Saturday, February 9, 2019
DePauw University Winter Term visitors to Japan meet with new Korea University friends.
Courtesy photo

A January Winter Term visit to Japan by DePauw University students is having international impact.

Choson Sinbo, the pro-Pyongyang media outlet headquartered in Tokyo, highlighted ”completely changed” North Korea-U.S. relations Thursday, referring to the negotiations for the second summit between the two countries “as a move to normalization of bilateral relations,” the Korea Times reported.

The English language South Korean newspaper notes that Thursday’s story “was written on the occasion of U.S. university students’ visit to the pro-Pyongyang Korea University in Tokyo and highlighted improving relations between the two countries on governmental and non-governmental levels.”

Jung Da-min writes that the report “focused on the U.S. university students’ visit to Tokyo, led by Professor Derek Ford of DePauw University. It was the first student exchange between DePauw University and Korea University through their joint project titled ‘International Student Exchange Program: ISEP.’”

The U.S. delegation was composed of 14 students and two professors who toured the university’s campus, museum and historic sites from Japanese colonial rule, such as a site of Korean forced labor.

The text adds, “Professor Ford also held an English lecture for students of the two universities on the subject of the history of North Koreans in Japan over the past 70 years after liberation from Japanese colonialism.”

Over Winter Term, the group from DePauw became he first-ever group of U.S. students to visit the schools and institutions of Chongryon, the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan.

About 700,000 ethnic Koreans live in Japan, descendants of Koreans who settled there during Japan’s rule of Korea before World War II as conscripted laborers during the war or as post-war refugees.

Derek R. Ford, assistant professor of education studies at DePauw, was among the presenters at the 2018 Global Peace Forum on Korea (GPFK), which took place at Columbia University in New York in September. Ford visited North Korea in 2017.

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  • Seems like a Nobel Peace Prize would be in order for stopping that dictator from threatening its neighbors.

    -- Posted by direstraits on Sat, Feb 9, 2019, at 3:24 PM
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