Korea-Pacific Program

The program was founded in 1989 by Professor Emeritus Lawrence Krause in recognition of the growing importance of Korea to the United States and, more generally, to the Asia-Pacific. The program promotes greater understanding of contemporary Korea, both North and South, including international relations, politics, public policy and business environment.

Our Mission

The Korea-Pacific Program fosters its mission through a number of activities:

  • Teaching core courses on Korea as one of five regional concentrations at the School
  • Organizing and promoting research, including joint research projects with other universities and institutes
  • Presenting seminar series, including the annual Krause Lecture on Korea-Pacific Affairs
  • Providing a visiting scholars program for faculty and other researchers
  • Promoting fellowships and internships for students interested in Korean studies
  • Reaching to the local community on current events and issues
  • Supporting a library containing a collection of over 12,000 titles, as well as new Korean language materials

Korea-Pacific Program Papers

We are initiating a new feature on the KPP webpage: the posting of papers by faculty and associates on topics related to the Korean peninsula. The initial offering summarizes a project led by Henry Sokolski on U.S. cooperation with Japan and Korea. Learn More

Korea-Pacific Program Webinar Series

This webinar series is designed to showcase new research as well as a forum for discussion of major policy issues. This series has received generous support from the Korea Foundation and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF-2020S1A3A2A02104190).

Upcoming Webinars

The Future of the U.S.-ROK Alliance: A Conversation with Ko Yunju
Oct. 18, 2021 at 5 p.m. PDT | Register
The successful summit between Presidents Biden and Moon nonetheless left a host of outstanding issues for the two countries to work through over the coming months. These range from OPCON transfer, to the ambitious summit agenda, to growing tensions with North Korea. In this conversation, Prof. Stephan Haggard will host a dialogue with Ko Yunju, Director General of the North American Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Republic of Korea.

The Rise of a Network: Spillover of Political Patronage and Cronyism to the Private Sector
Nov. 1, 2021 at 5 p.m. PST (9 a.m. Seoul) | Register
This event will disucss a recent paper where the authors look at networks that gain access to political power also gain control over the resource allocation in the private sector. 

Past Webinars

Past Webinars

Missile Tests and Activity at Yongbyon: A Conversation with Jeffrey Lewis
Oct. 11, 2021
The recent cruise missile test and new evidence about the operation of facilities at Yongbyon have once again brought the North Korean nuclear and missile programs into the spotlight. In this conversation with Stephan Haggard, Jeffrey Lewis looked both at the technical features of the recent test and the wider significance of North Korea’s continued commitment to advance its weapons program.

The Plant-Level View of an Industrial Policy: The Korean Heavy Industry Drive of 1973
Oct. 4, 2021
The Korean government promoted heavy and chemical industries between 1973 and 1979, and there has been a long-standing debate on its effectiveness. Analyzing newly digitized plant-level data, we find that the drive of 1973 did increase output but did not increase productivity of targeted industries, because resource misallocation within the targeted industries worsened.

Sectoral Shift, Technological Change, and Old Labor: Evidence from the U.S. and South Korea
May 10, 2021
This presentation provided evidence of how rapid changes in the industrial structure and production technology affect the employment and retirement of aged people, specifically, in the U.S. from 1880 to 1940 and in South Korea from 1960 to 2017. Both nations experienced radical economic and social changes during these periods. The U.S. transformed from an agrarian society into the world’s strongest industrial power as the Second Industrial Revolution occurred and matured. Similarly, South Korea transformed from a poor country recovering from a devastating war into one of the fastest-growing economies in the late 20th century. Therefore, these two historical cases from opposite sides of the globe and during different time periods may offer useful insights into the effects of rapid and radical economic changes on aged labor.

Korea and the Indo-Pacific Strategy: A Conversation with Heino Klinck, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense
April 19, 2021
The U.S. relationship with the two Koreas will necessarily engage the wider geostrategic landscape, and likely continuity in an Indo-Pacific Strategy. Stephan Haggard, director of the Korea-Pacific Program, will engage with Heino Klinck, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, on the outlook for U.S.-China relations and how that will effect U.S. relations with Japan and the two Koreas.

Women, Work, and Family in South Korea
April 12, 2021
South Korea’s fertility rate is among the lowest in the world, with a total fertility rate of less than 1 birth per woman. In this talk, we study how women's work and family outcomes have changed across birth cohorts and discuss why women in South Korea seem to be increasingly forgoing "family."

Immigration in East Asia: How Grassroots Efforts Lead to Integration
Jan. 19, 2021
Until the early 2000s, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan all had restrictive immigration policies and effective social exclusion of immigrants. But since then, their paths have diverged. Whereas Taiwan has remained restrictive, Japan took incremental steps to expand immigrant services at the grassroots level, and South Korea enacted sweeping immigration reforms. What explains these divergent patterns of immigrant incorporation? A deep analysis of the role of civil society actors, including immigrants themselves, reveals how immigrant interests and actors shape public policy. Our conversation will explain the data base and discuss what these different paths mean for the three societies and economies. (Cosponsored by the Korea-Pacific Program.)

Dying for Rights: Putting North Korea's Human Rights Abuses on the Record
Dec. 7, 2020 
North Korea’s human rights violations are unparalleled in the contemporary world. In "Dying for Rights," Sandra Fahy, associate professor of anthropology at Sophia University in Tokyo, provides the definitive account of the abuses committed by the North Korean state, domestically and internationally, from its founding to the present.

Using Satellite Imagery to Study North Korea
Nov. 23, 2020 | PDF
Intelligence used to be the purview of highly-trained professionals who relied heavily on classified information. A new model is emerging in which analysts outside the government collect and analyze open-source information. An important example of this development is the growing use of satellite imagery for intelligence purposes. In this webinar, we look both at the general issue of how such intelligence is collected and analyzed and at some particular examples from the study of North Korea.

Panel on Purges in Communist Systems: A Comparative Perspective
Nov. 16, 2020 | PDF
Purges are a recurrent feature of rule in Communist and other authoritarian systems: leaders both remove potential sources of opposition, but also recruit and promote new cadre that are presumed to be loyal. In this webinar, we look at the problem of purges by taking a comparative perspective on the North Korean, Chinese and Vietnamese systems.

Panel on the North Korean Economy: What Do We Know?
Nov. 9, 2020 | PDF
North Korea, a country of 25 million people, is one of the most secretive nations in the world; even basic statistics are treated as state secrets. Despite a high level of interest, the structure and functioning of the North Korean economy are poorly understood. In this talk, Byung-Yeon Kim, Bill Brown, and Stephan Haggard discussed the present state of the North Korean economy, how we know about it and possible implications for the international relations of the peninsula.

New Research on Inequality in South Korea
Nov. 2, 2020
Speaker: Jong-sung You, Professor and Director of the Korea Inequality Research Lab, Gachon University
In recent years, data on inequality on Korea has improved dramatically. The Korean Government's survey and administrative data on income distribution is now being used more widely, and Korean scholars are participating actively in the new World Inequality Database project and its efforts to create Distributional National Accounts (DINA) data. In this presentation, Prof. Jong-sung You reports on the work of his Korea Inequality Research Lab on the extent of inequality in Korea and the resulting debates on how—and whether—to address it through innovative social policies.

National Belonging and Civic Integration: Evidence from North Korean Refugees
Oct. 26, 2020
Speaker: Aram Hur, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Missouri
Scholars and policymakers often debate the merits of the “civic turn” in migrant integration policies, but most studies draw from Western host cases. How exportable is the civic model outside of this region, where migration often occurs among co-ethnics in contexts of strong national legacies? Through the “most different” case of North Korean refugees in South Korea, Hur shows that when newcomers define successful belonging in national terms, exclusively civic integration efforts backfire. The findings challenge the one-size-fits-all assumption about civic integration.

The Space Issue in Northeast Asia
Oct. 19, 2020
Speaker: Sam Wilson, Policy Analyst, Center for Space Policy and Strategy, The Aerospace Corporation
In contrast with the past, when space was dominated by a few major powers, space is becoming much more democratized with more countries and companies engaging. For the U.S., this increasing activity presents risks and opportunities, particularly in Northeast Asia. China is pursuing weapons that could threaten critical U.S. space-based systems, and allies—such as Japan and the Republic of Korea—are developing space security assets of their own, which can enhance and add resiliency to U.S. capabilities. As these countries acquire and rely more on space systems, the space dynamic will play an increasingly important role in the region.

Panel on COVID-19 and the Korean Economy
Oct. 12, 2020 | PDF
South Korea has been successful in the containment and management of the spread of the disease. However, despite its capable handling overall, South Korea has not been able to avoid a COVID-19 induced recession. This posed a great challenge to workers amid the drying up of job opportunities. In this talk, Professor Jungmin Lee (SNU), Professor Munseob Lee (UC San Diego), and Professor Stephan Haggard (UC San Diego) will discuss South Korea's strategies, economic forecast, and consequences in the labor market and macroeconomy.

The Korean Peninsula: A Mexican Perspective
Oct. 5, 2020 | PDF
Latin America-East Asia ties are growing apace. Mexican Ambassador to Korea Bruno Figueroa will share his observations on Mexico’s interests in East Asia, and with respect to Korea in particular.

Becoming Kim Jong-un
Sept. 28, 2020
Ten years ago this month, Kim Jong Un made his official debut as the heir of North Korea. Since then, he has accelerated the development of the country’s nuclear weapons program, undertook a massive building boom, and sought to reshape the conventional narrative of North Korea from a famine-stricken, economically-hobbled state to that of a dynamic, youthful, and modern country. With the summits of 2018 and 2019, Kim flirted with diplomacy and established an unlikely personal relationship with President Trump. But since the failed Hanoi Summit in February 2019, nuclear talks have stalled, leading to questions about what we should expect from this enigmatic leader in the coming months and years. Former CIA officer Jung Pak, author of "Becoming Kim Jong Un" and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, explains Kim’s rise, what’s going on in North Korea today, and key lessons that Kim might have gleaned from his brief foray into diplomacy with the United States.

Succession in North Korea
June 8, 2020
When Kim Jong Un disappeared from public view recently, there was rampant speculation of what would occur were he to die or become incapacitated. His return to the scene does not answer the question. On this panel, we tap some top analysts of the North Korean political system to discuss what we know about the top leadership, the political system more generally and the prospects for political change.

The Business Reinvention of Japan
June 2, 2020
How has Japanese business responded to the rise of China? In response to the globalization of supply chains, Japanese companies have moved upstream to become providers not of consumer end products, but of critical input parts, components and advanced materials that anchor global supply chains. This has created a new trade symbiosis in Northeast Asia. We joined Professors Stephan Haggard and Ulrike Schaede for a conversation of Ulrike Schaede’s brand-new book on this topic, and what Japan’s emerging “aggregate niche strategy” means for economic recovery in Asia after COVID-19 and the business relations between Korea, China and Japan.

Book Launch: "Queer Korea" 
June 1, 2020
“Queer” Koreans have historically been ignored, minimized and erased in narratives of their modern nation. This interdisciplinary book project—just published in the U.S. and soon to be translated into Korean—challenges such marginalization through critical analyses of non-normative sexuality and gender variance in Korea. Chapters range over a variety of topics, from shamanic rituals during the colonial era and B-grade comedy films under Cold War dictatorship to toxic masculinity in today’s South Korean military and transgender confrontations with the resident registration system. Todd Henry (editor and author) explained how the project arose and some of its key findings. Jin-kyung Lee (discussant) elaborated on the significance of the volume and its reception, and was followed by questions and answers. Co-sponsored with the Transnational Korean Studies.

North Korea’s Nuclear Weapons Program and the Demise of the Agreed Framework

May 20, 2020
The Center for Peace and Security Studies' National Security Policy Speaker series presented a ZOOM web talk with William Tobey, senior fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School. Cosponsored by the Korea-Pacific Program.

Tracking North Korean Missile Programs
May 11, 2020
New tools have allowed open source researchers to track the development and testing of missiles in ways that only governments might have done just a decade ago. These tools allow tracking locations involved in testing and production, as well as to model the missiles themselves. Professor Jeff Lewis, of Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey and MIIS's James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, talked about the art and science of tracking missile development in North Korea and what that tells us about future trends.

Living with the North Korean Bomb
May 6, 2020
Dr. Gary Samore discussed the evolution of North Korea’s nuclear capabilities and strategy, focusing on the most significant technical developments since North Korea’s first nuclear test in October 2006. He also assessed the successes and failures of U.S. nonproliferation efforts toward North Korea (including President Trump’s high level engagement with Chairman Kim Jung Un) and prospects for managing the challenges of a nuclear-armed North Korea.  Co-sponsored with the National Security Policy Speaker series.

The Cost of Secrecy: Welfare Effects of the Disclosure of COVID-19 Cases
May 4, 2020
In the fight against the COVID-19, South Korea’s case stands out. The country, despite facing a large outbreak, was able to flatten the curve of new infections without shutting down its economy. Transparent information about the positive cases has helped South Korea not only to maximize the odds of testing the people most likely to be infected, but also has allowed people to engage in “targeted” social distancing by avoiding places visited by those that tested positive. In this talk, Professor Stephan Haggard and Professor Munseob Lee discussed South Korea’s strategies. Lee introduced his recent work on measuring welfare effect of the disclosure. Data from mobile phone company quantifies degree of “targeted” social distancing. By combining meta-population SIR model in epidemiology and quantitative spatial model in economics, Lee described trade-off between public health and economic output, and provides evidence-based policy recommendations.

Our People

stephan haggardStephan Haggard
Stephan Haggard is the Lawrence and Sallye Krause Professor of Korea-Pacific Studies, director of the Korea-Pacific Program and distinguished professor of political science at the School. He has written on transitions to and from democratic rule and the political economy of economic reform, social policy and globalization.

munseob leeMunseob Lee
Munseob Lee is an assistant professor of economics at the School. His research focuses on macroeconomics, growth and development, firm dynamics and Korea. Lee has researched what determines growth of firms, and especially how one-time purchase by the government can spur long-term growth of small businesses in Korea.

lawrence krauseLawrence Krause
Professor Emeritus and Director Emeritus of the Korea-Pacific Program
Larry Krause is one of the world's top authorities on trade and economic issues in the Pacific region. His expertise includes international finance, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, and economic forecasting in Pacific countries. Krause served as a senior member of the White House's Council of Economic Advisors in the Johnson administration, and has received numerous awards and honors throughout his academic career. He served as a consultant to the United States Department of State and as a U.S. government special representative for trade negotiations. Joining UC San Diego in 1986, Krause is director emeritus of the Korea-Pacific Program, which he founded in 1989 and for which he served as director for 10 years. He oversaw the annual Pacific Economic Outlook, an economic forecasting project on the Pacific region.

Krause Summer Fellowship

The Krause Summer Fellowship was established to assist MIA and BA/MIA students at the School in conducting high-caliber summer internships related to Korea as well as enable the professional growth of Korean and Korean-American scholars. The program helps fund two to four students each year for work broadly related to Korea and Korean international relations. Awards range from partial to full support, evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
For more information, contact Stephanie Boomhower.


RECONNECT Global: "Democratic Regress in the Contemporary World" Prof. Haggard & Prof. Kaufman
Feb 26, 2021

East Asia in the World by Professor Stephan Haggard and Professor David C. Kang
Feb 19, 2021


New Frontiers for Security Cooperation with Seoul and Tokyo (Occasional Paper 2101)
"Chapter 1: The Current and Future State of Security Ties with Seoul and Tokyo" by Stephan Haggard


Stephan Haggard

Research and Centers