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Advising the international media on the politics, society, economy and international politics of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) and the Republic of Korea (South Korea).

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2020 News

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July 2020

Dr Sojin Lim has discussed about Social Purification project in the 1980s in South Korea with BBC World Service News on 18 July 2020. You can hear it here.

June 2020

Co-Director of the IKSU, Dr Sojin Lim discussed who Kim Yo-jong is with BBC upon recently increasing conflict between North and South Korea. You can see her interview on the BBC website.

Dr Jeong-Im Hyun has been successful for the King Sejong Institute grant, which makes Sejong Korean language courses available at UCLan, along with cultural events. Public members in the UK will be able to take courses from 2020/21 academic year, including students. Details will be provided soon.

May 2020

The MA North Korean Studies team (PI: Dr Sojin Lim) has been successful for the Academy of Korean Studies (AKS) Core University Programme grant. Based on this, we will be able to enhance our postgraduate programme for the next five years with a number of MA scholarships and PhD studentships. The total value of the award is £630,000. Read the news story for further information

On 15 May, Dr Sojin Lim’s discussion about US-North Korea future relations were published by the National Interest. You can find more in details here. Prior to this, on 13 May, she gave an online lecture about ‘the (Non) Traditional Security Situation in the Korean Peninsula’. Her lecture was delivered for diplomats who participated in the Leadership in International Security Course 2019-2020, Geneva Centre for Security Policy.

Samara BrownOur final year student, Ms Samara Brown has one the “2020 Invitation Programme for Distinguished TOPIK Achievers”. This programme is hosted by the National Institute for International Education (NIIED), Ministry of Education in South Korea (the Republic of Korea).

In this year, only one individual was selected each from 15 different countries, for a total of 15 participants for the programme. This programme has been designed to provide its participants with an invaluable, enriching experience in Korea. Accordingly, Samara will travel to South Korea for 10 days in November 2020.

April 2020

Professor Niki Alsford, who is also Co-Director of IKSU, published his new Conversation article about North Korea’s response to the COVID-19. Full details can be found here.

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2019 News

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December 2019

We are glad to announce that our Director, Dr Niki Alsford has become Professor.

His professorship is in effect from September 2019.

Dr Sojin Lim, Deputy Director had an interview with Channel News Asia in Singapore to discuss what exactly Pyongyang meant when it said it would be ‘up to Washington to decide what Christmas gift comes at the end of the year’, on 3 December 2019.

October 2019

We are glad to announce that Dr Niki Alsford (Director) and Dr Sojin Lim (Deputy Director) have become Routledge Research on Korea series editors.

You can find more details here

September 2019

Dr Sojin Lim had an interview with BBC World Service News about National Security Law in South Korea on 15 September 2019.

The Lancashire Korea Festival Team had a great interview with members of BBC Radio Lancashire about the Lancashire Korean Festival on the 28th September and Traditional Korean snacks.

You can listen to it on the BBC website.

Tickets for the event can be booked via Eventbrite.

August 2019

Dr Sojin Lim has been awarded a grant for the tenure-track Professorship in Korean Studies by the Korea Foundation, and successfully hired Dr Jeong-Im Hyun as  Korea Foundation Professor. The fund will be provided to UCLan IKSU for the following five years.

Dr Sojin Lim had an interview with Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) about escalating tensions between South Korea and Japan on 23 August 2019.

On 16 August, Dr Sojin Lim, Deputy Director of the IKSU had two interviews (BBC News Channel and France 24) about North Korea’s another missile test by rejecting further dialogues with South Korean government. Her interview with BBC News can be seen here.

2019 Lancashire Korea Festival

From 15 August, Tickets for the Lancashire Korea Festival 2019 are open! The Festival will be taking place on the 28th September, 12pm-5pm.

Entry Tickets are £5 per person. Buy them here or on the day at the door in cash. More information.

Dr Niki Alsford, Director of the Institute of Korean Studies, gave an interview with Forces Radio BFBS on North Korea and recent missile tests on 8 August. Listen to his interview here (you can download the Sitrep Podcast from iTunes).

July 2019

On 25 July, our Deputy Director, Dr Sojin Lim appeared live on Sky News to offer her expert opinion on North Korea launching two missiles. You can see her interview here (you will need to use your UCLan ID and PW).

June 2019

On 30 June, Dr Sojin Lim, Deputy Director of IKSU, made three appearances on BBC Breakfast discussing the meeting of US President Donald Trump and North Korea Leader Kim Jong-Un in the Korean demilitarised zone (DMZ). You can see her opinion during BBC Breakfast, watch here (you will need your UCLan username and password to view this).

She also discussed the implications of Trump-Kim meeting on DMZ throughout BC Radio 5 Live interview, which was broadcasted across BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 6 Music and over 31 regional BBC Radio programmes. Her interview continued to BBC News as well.

Quiz on Korea

Sarah and Grace from UCLan LGS made it to the 2nd round and ended up in the last 6 at the 2019 Quiz on Korea held in Korean Cultural Centre UK on 15 June.

Almost made it, well done! We are so proud of you.

Next year, we hope to see more contestants from UCLan LGS!

On 20 June, Dr Sojin Lim, Deputy Director of IKSU,  had an interview with ABC TV in Australia Xi Jinping’s visit to North Korea. She discussed possible conversation between Xi and Kim about China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative over Korea Peninsula as a way to support North Korea’s economic development. Dr Lim also talked about the scenario which China offers North Korea to join the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which is a part of master plan of China’s OBOR.

On 19 June, Dr Niki Alsford, Director of IKSU, discussed one country, two systems model over recent Hong Kong protest against Fugitive Bill from China at Conversation

May 2019

On 4 May and 10 May 2019, Dr Sojin Lim discussed the reasons why North Korea conducted recent missiles/projectiles tests, and what are the implications, at France 24 TV live news.

April 2019

On 25 April 2019, Dr Sojin Lim provided her comments on Kim-Putin Summit held in Vladivostok at Euronews, France 24, and Russia Today. Her thoughts on this issue was also published at La Razón, a Spanish newspaper, on 26 April 2019.

March 2019

On 22 March 2019 Dr Sojin Lim had an interview with BBC Radio World about North Korea’s withdrawal of its personnel from the inter-Korean liaison office in Kaesong as a reaction of Hanoi Summit.

Dr Sojin Lim, MA North Korean Studies course leader, participated in the roundtable on Prospects for Economic Normalisation with the DPRK at Chatham House in London on 21 March 2019.

She gave a talk about ‘Combatting inequality and corruption: how can the DPRK become a functional member of the economic community?’.

More details can be found here

On 6 March 2019, Deputy Director of the IKSU, Dr Sojin Lim had an interview with BBC World Update about North Korea’s reaction after the failure of the Hanoi Summit.

Her interview was lined up with Victor Cha, one of well-known North Korean expert in the US.

Over the North Korea-US Summit in Hanoi, 27-28 February 2019, Dr Sojin Lim appeared on BBC News three times during the week discussing the updates on the North Korean and United States of America summit.

To access the interviews, visit the Learning on Screen website (you will need your UCLan username and password to view).

She has also written for The Conversation on the subject of ‘North Korea-US summit: what its failure means for the peninsula’s future’, which was re-published at various occasions, including the World Economic Forum.

Korean Studies at Preston! Two of our APS students, Martha Howson and Matthew Parker talked about their experience at UCLan LGS in Korean pathway with BBC Lancashire Radio on 24 January 2019, with one of our awesome academics, Dr Sojin Lim.

Listen here (go to 2:23:10).

January 2019

Dr Sojin Lim appeared on the BBC World Service twice giving her expert opinion on North Korea: 3 Jan 2019 about defection of North Korean acting Ambassador in Italy; and 8 Jan 2019 about Kim Jong-un’s visit to China before Kim-Trump second summit.

She also wrote “North Korea: what latest defection tells us” about hopes for peace on peninsula on Tuesday 8 January. Since then, this article has been read almost 14,500 times within a month with more than 2,000 reads coming from the United States.

Dr Lim’s written evidence to the House of Lords EU External Affairs Sub-Committee Committee for the 'International Development Cooperation after Brexit Inquiry' has been published at Parliament website. She is now teaching economic development and effective institution modules in MA North Korean Studies based on her expertise in international development and North Korea. She also discussed the proposed Trump-Kim summit on BBC News (UCLan staff and students can log-in with your username and password) on 18 January 2019, and BBC Radio 5 Live (go to 51 mins 5 secs) on 19 January 2019.

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2018 News

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December 2018

Dr Niki Alsford, Reader in Asia Pacific Studies and Director of the IKSU, has become a Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute . Dr Alsford is a historical anthropologist/ethnohistorian by training and welcomes proposals for doctoral research on Asian Pacific history and society in particular he is interested in supervising a project on the role of the BBC on the Korean Peninsula and research on Pacific nations studies.


Dr Niki Alsford, Director of the International Institute of Korean Studies was featured in BBC Radio Lancashire about our Korean programme at UCLan (8 November 2018, Graham Liver show).


Upon Inter-Korea Summit, which was agreed between two leaders from South and North Korea when South Korean President Moon visited North Korea between 18-20 September, Dr Sojin Lim was featured in BBC Breakfast to discuss the implications from this Summit on 18 September 2018, and in ITV News at 10 Show on 19 September 2018.


Dr Sojin Lim, Deputy Director of the IKSU had a live interview with SKY on 20 August 2018 to discuss family reunion between South and North Koreas.

JULY 2018

On 31 July 2018, Dr Sojin Lim, Deputy Director of the IKSU had an live interview with Sky News about North Korea nuclear missiles.

JUNE 2018

Laura Hamunen (UCLan graduate, Asia Pacific Studies, Korean pathway 2016) has been awarded a very prestigious Global Korea Scholarship administered by the South Korean government to study in Korea. She will do a short language course at Keimyung University before pursuing a PhD in Korean History at the Sungkyunkwan University.

On 25 June 2018, the Northern England Policy Centre for the Asia Pacific (NEPCAP) was launched at the University of Central Lancashire. The NEPCAP was established to disseminate policy research results in various areas, such as security, international relations and development, and to maximise academic research impact in policy and practice. While the NEPCAP was introduced during the ‘International Workshop on the Landscape of Taiwan Studies and Korean Studies’, an extended back-to-back launch event was held during its first roundtable series, ‘Linking the Academic Research into Policy and Practice: North Korea and Beyond’ on 2 July 2018.

Dr Sojin Lim discussed a North Korea representative hand delivering a letter from Kim Jong Un to President Donald Trump on Sky News (1 June 2018).

Dr Sojin Lim, Deputy Director of the IKSU has appeared in media at several occasions over the US-North Korea Summit on 12 June in Singapore, such as BBC World (11 June), BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 5 BBC Radio World Service, and BBC Radio Lancashire (12 June), and BBC Radio London (13 June).

Dr Niki Alsford, Director of the IKSU and Reader in Asia Pacific Studies, has published his discussion on North Korean at Conversation. Further details.

MAY 2018

On 25 May 2018, Dr Sojin Lim discussed the North and South Korea meeting on BBC Breakfast and BBC World News.

On 24 May 2018, Dr Sojin Lim was quoted by the Independent on the Trump’s cancellation of US-North Korea Summit, and she also discussed it with BBC Radio 5 Live Drive. Further details.

Dr Sojin Lim discussed destroying nuclear test site in North Korea with BBC World News on 22 May 2018.

APRIL 2018

On 27 April 2018, Dr Sojin Lim discussed the Inter-Korean Summit in April 2018 with BBC Radio Lancashire and BBC News.

In April 2018, Dr Sojin Lim, Deputy Director of the IKSU received two grant schemes from the Academy of Korean Studies (AKS) for the workshop and for her research project on “North Korea and the United Nations”.

IKSU Director’s Interview with Daily UNN

On 21 April 2018, the interview of Dr Niki Alsford, Director of the IKSU, on the landscape of Korean Studies and its future was published by the Daily UNN, the university newspaper network in South Korea. Further details.

Seven new academic partners for study abroad in South Korea

Due to increasing number of students in Korean pathway at the School of Humanities, Language and Global Studies, Dr Niki Alsford and Dr Sojin Lim made a visit to South Korea in April 2018 to expand the partnership with academic institutions for wider opportunity of study abroad. Based on the existing partnership experience with 11 universities in South Korea, now UCLan has 7 more new partners. View our full list of academic partners of IKSU.

Dr Ed Griffith, Senior Lecturer in Asia Pacific Studies at UCLan, has published his piece in Conversation about Korean peace process. Find his article here.

Deputy Director of the IKSU, Dr Sojin Lim had an interview with BBC World Minute Radio, which mainly targets the youth as its audience, about Inter-Korean Summit held in April 2018 at DMZ in Korea Peninsula on 25 April 2018. Further details.

MARCH 2018

UCLan as a new TOPIK Test Centre in the UK

On 23rd March, the Korean Education Centre and the IKSU agreed to have a Test of Proficiency in Korea (TOPIK) Test Centre in the UK at UCLan main campus from 2019 onwards. From 2019, there will be TOPIK tests twice a year at UCLan main campus in Preston, Lancashire. The other TOPIK Test Centre can be found in London. More details for application process will be announced near to test dates in 2019 at UCLan IKSU website.

Dr Sojin Lim was quoted by the Telegraph on A new play about North Korea is the latest in a series of productions to examine life in the hermit kingdom, on 19 March 2018. Further details.


PhD candidate Priscilla Jung Kim had an article published on The Conversation in February 2018 about the relationship between North and South Korea in the wake of the Winter Olympics, entitled ‘How informal diplomacy might just get the Koreas to the negotiating table’.


Dr Sojin Lim as a Council Member for the British Association for Korean Studies (BAKS)

Dr Sojin Lim has become a committee member for the British Association for Korean Studies (BAKS) from 2018 onwards. BAKS was founded in the late 1980s to support, promote and further Korean Studies in the UK. BAKS stimulates teaching and research on any aspect of Korea by hosting academic events and by publishing the peer-reviewed journal European Journal of Korean Studies, formerly Papers of the British Association for Korean Studies (BAKS Papers). BAKS also administers two scholarships: the British Korean Veterans Association/Samsung Undergraduate Study Year Abroad Bursary; and the British Korean Veterans Association/Samsung Post-Graduate Scholarship to Study in Korea.

BAKS Council is composed of academics, museum curators, librarians and members of the British Foreign Office with strong, long-standing interests in Korea. More details can be found here.

Dr Niki Alsford, IKSU Director had an interview with METRO about North Korea. Further details

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2016 News  

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Preston student wins top prize in global contest

A Preston student has won a global competition for her research into North Korea.

Preston student wins top prize in global contest

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2015 NEWS

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Chokoladekiksen, der blev en politisk trussel for Nordkorea

North: Korea Markets and Military Rule

Image courtesy of Politiken



Course to combat media 'trivialisation' of N Korea (.pdf 1.3MB)

MA to fill 'academic lacuna' and focus on the nation that is the 'key security issue for East Asia'.


MA North Korea - THE 

JULY 2015


World first as UCLan launches new course

Preston is set to become the only place in the world - outside of South Korea- where students can undertake post graduate degree in North Korean studies.

Photo: The official opening of UCLan's International Institute of Korean Studies

The official opening of UCLan's International Institute of Korean Studies

JULY 2015


It's Now Possible To Do A Masters On Kim Jong Un And North Korea At University of Central Lancashire

IKSU master program on North Korea reviewed.

Kim Jong Un

May 2015

Dr Brian Rosebury, interviewed by Chosun Ilbo

In late May 2015, Dr Brian Rosebury, lecturer at UCLan's School of Humanities and Social Sciences was interviewed by Taehoon Lee from the Chosun Ilbo (one of the major daily newspapers in South Korea) in relation to the work of the of the Tolkien Society. The interview was featured on the Chosun Ilbo and is available (in Korean).

Mr. Lee also took the chance to visit IKSU, meeting Priscilla Kim - one of the PhD students, and Xi Chen, Assistant Lecturer in Korean Language.

Dr Brian Rosebury

Dr Brian Rosebury lecturer at School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Dr Brian Rosebury

Mr Taehoon Lee (Chosun Ilbo) and Professor Rosebury visiting IKSU

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2014 NEWS

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April 2014

The Financial Times

Philippines seeks US support in confrontation with China (.pdf 1.5MB)