Stanford Korea program hosts former UN Secretary Common and Ok-pop star SUHO

Group members and students flocked to the Stanford campus for a two-day convention that featured addresses from world leaders and an internationally acclaimed Ok-pop star. All through the weekend, the audio system shared their ideas on North and South Korean relations and mirrored on the rising affect of Ok-pop.

The twentieth Anniversary Convention was hosted by the Korea Program of the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Analysis Middle (APARC) from Could 19 to twenty on the Bechtel Convention Middle. The primary day opened with remarks from Gi-Wook Shin, Director of the Korea Program and the APARC, Michael McFaul, Director of the Freeman Spogli Institute for Worldwide Research and Gabriella Safran, Senior Affiliate Dean of Humanities and Arts at Stanford. Trying again on the progress of the final 20 years, “We don’t have a program on [just] Asian safety points. We don’t have a program on [just] Ok-pop, or what’s occurring in North Korea. We now have a  program that does all of that,” remarked McFaul. 

Following the opening panel on negotiations between North and South Korea, the Korea Program panel targeted on this system’s historical past. In 20 years, it has transitioned from having only one language teacher except for Shin, to its present-day standing as a number one program.

Former secretary-general of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon delivered a keynote tackle emphasizing the significance of worldwide citizenship for youth. The subject is private for Ban, who, as an 18-year-old in 1962 on the peak of Chilly Warfare tensions, set his sights on turning into a diplomat after listening to U.S. President John F. Kennedy encourage youth to attain their potential to make a distinction on the planet.

Ban additionally drew on his experiences as a statesman, highlighting the usually missed significance of sentimental energy.

“Gentle energy pertains to numerous strategies of communications and connection amongst totally different peoples that are much less political,” Ban mentioned. “I’m of the view that delicate energy is now extra essential than ever. … Gentle energy doesn’t search hegemony. It’s management and works facet by facet with others.”

Ban moreover shared his hopes for a “collective future [that] is peaceable, sustainable, inclusive and affluent,” one the place developed nations help creating nations.

“I’m assured that perception shared on the Stanford College Korea Program twentieth Anniversary Convention will help fulfill this imaginative and prescient and additional fortify the [U.S.–South Korea] alliance,” Ban mentioned.

The occasion additionally included a panel on the influential unfold of South Korean tradition that started within the mid-Nineteen Nineties, the Korean wave or Hallyu, that was moderated by Assistant Professor of East Asian Research on the College of Toronto Michelle Cho — a number one scholar on the examine of Ok-pop. The panel additionally featured artwork historical past professor Marci Kwon, Angela Killoren, CEO of CJ ENM America, Inc. and SUHO, chief of widespread Ok-pop boyband, EXO. SUHO — whose latest solo mini-album, Gray Swimsuit, claimed a swift rise to worldwide fame — was additionally current on the panel.

Killoren defined that the distinct high quality of Ok-pop in interesting to ladies is the important thing to its international success, which builds on interactions between the artist and the fan. She went on to name Ok-pop distinctive for offering female-gaze leisure, which is traditionally unusual within the leisure business.

 “Promoting in Korea is pushed and oriented to gaining feminine {dollars}/gained,” Killoren mentioned. “Within the U.S. or many different nations, essentially the most useful viewers you should buy by way of promoting is a youthful male viewers.”

She cited cultural causes for the distinction in enterprise selections, saying that though the nation has robust conservative values that may make Ok-pop’s reputation appear sudden, “In Korea, custom says ladies management the ability of the purse.”

Stanford professors started the second day by reflecting on the position that Ok-pop figures have in wielding a political voice, and acknowledged the restrictions of those artists in encouraging activism.

“It’s not clear that the construction of the business truly presents them that chance,” Cho mentioned. “Their roles are actually circumscribed, they usually typically can not converse on these issues. … Even when they needed to, they might be violating a contract.”

David Kang, a world relations and enterprise professor on the College of Southern California, contended that many media and movie or Ok-pop celebrities merely level out the problem of human rights in North Korea with out going additional to encourage coverage change. He remarked that America’s therapy of the scenario was additionally merely performative: “We care about it, however we don’t actually care. We don’t as a rustic. We care in order that we are able to insult North Korea. We’re not likely doing something about it.”

A part of the problem comes all the way down to American media representations of North Korea, which focus totally on inflammatory rhetoric and may result in heightened tensions, in accordance with Kang.

“Each time the mainstream media quotes a North Korea quote, we all the time miss the primary half of what North Korea says,” Kang mentioned. “They all the time say we is not going to assault first, however you higher not assault us. And we all the time ignore that.”

The issue with a lot of the present evaluation of North Korean politics, Kang mentioned, is a lack of awareness of the nation’s tradition, historical past and language.

“The easiest way to know North Korea is [that] they’re Koreans at the start,” he mentioned. “It’s not a communist nation. It’s a Korean nation.”

Within the remaining panel, Soo-Man Lee, founder and chief producer for SM Leisure, one among Asia’s high music and leisure labels, introduced a keynote speech concerning the firm’s future instructions. Shifting away from the earlier custom of placing the financial system first, SM Leisure’s founder needs Korean leaders to prioritize tradition, strengthening delicate energy and affect.

Lee can also be wanting forward, making ready for the unfold of Ok-pop into the metaverse. He envisions that the corporate may create its personal metaverse by way of what he calls a Play-To-Create (PTC) cultural ecosystem. The platform would have meta passports that would retain worth and be handed all the way down to future generations, evolving into non-fungible tokens.

“Going past simply music, we wish to set up a broad alliance for the PTC ecosystem that may signify all the tradition and inventive industries,” he mentioned. “No matter age and expertise, even a 12-year-old boy or lady, for instance, can discover their creativity and stroll their very own path.”

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