Past Events and Activities

Past Events

IKSU is home to events and activities related to the politics, society, culture, and international relations of both Koreas. IKSU staff also give lectures, seminars and talks at universities, think-tanks and cultural institutions worldwide. Pictured at the IKSU launch are Lord David Alton, Chair of the UK Parliamentary Group on Korea and Donald P. Gregg, former US Ambassador to the Republic of Korea.

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2019 Events and Activities

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November 2019

The 2019 Social Sciences Korean Studies European Network (SoKEN) Workshop was held at the University of Central Lancashire on the 1st and 2nd November 2019. Twenty Scholars attended over the two days the conference was held to discuss the economic development, political dynamics, and Social Changes in the Contemporary Korean Peninsula. This conference was funded by UCLan IKSU and the Academy of Korean Studies (AKS) of the Government of South Korea.

The conference was organised based on the following themes:

  • North Korean Economy, Development and Inter-Korea Relations
  • Actors and Social Changes in South Korea
  • Law, Political, Diplomatic and Industrial Dynamics in South Korea

Speakers and discussants of the conference were (Alphabetical order):

  • Dr Niki Alsford (University of Central Lancashire)
  • Dr Jong-Chol An (University of Tuebingen)
  • Ms Kyounghee Cho (Warwick University)   
  • Ms Francesca Frassineti (University of Bologna)  
  • Professor Kevin Gray (University of Sussex)
  • Dr Virginie Grezelezyk (Aston University)  
  • Dr Eunju Hwang (Coventry University)
  • Dr Jeong-Im Hyun (University of Central Lancashire)
  • Professor Eun Mee Kim (Ewha Women’s University)
  • Dr Young Mi Kim (University of Edinburgh)
  • Dr Sojin Lim (University of Central Lancashire)
  • Dr Don S. Lee (University of Nottingham)
  • Ms Jungmin Lee (EHESS, HAC, PhD Candidate)
  • Professor Hannes Mosler (Freie University Berlin)   
  • Dr Jan-Hinrik Meyer-Sahling (University of Nottingham)
  • Dr Marco Milani (University of Sheffield)
  • Dr Sungju Park-Kang (University of Turku)
  • Dr Jin Suk Park (Coventry University)
  • Dr Daniel Waller (University of Central Lancashire)
  • Dr Robert Winstanley-Chesters (University of Leeds)

Attendees to the SoKEN conference listening to a presentation

Group photo of conference attendees

October 2019

The International Institute of Korean Studies and the Northern England Policy Centre for the Asia Pacific collaborated for the “UK Secondary Education and Korea: A Roundtable Discussion” which explored the role and feasibility of Korean topics being taught in UK Secondary Education. The Discussion can be watched on UCLan Media Library.


Dr Sojin Lim - UCLan
Mr Aaron Wilkes - St James Academy
Dr Ed Griffith - UCLan
Dr Michael Maddison - Maddison Education Consultancy
Dr Niki Alsford - UCLan
Dr Owen Miller - SOAS
Mr Richard McFahn - University of Sussex
Mr Sangwoo-Jason Rhee – UCLan

NEPCAP Roundtable Discussion

September 2019

Lancashire Korea Festival

Lancashire Korea Festival


2019 Lancashire Korea Festival

The 2019 Lancashire Korea Festival, taking place on the 28th September, was a Huge success with over 500 attendees over the course of the day. It was featured three times in the BBC Lancashire and Lancashire Post prior to the event.

May 2019

Dr. Jeong-Im Hyun participated in Joint-conference, “Peacebuilding and Local Communities in Post-Conflict Societies: Challenges and Opportunities”, co-organized by Korean Institute National Unification (KINU) and The Trinity College of Dublin held in the Trinity College of Dublin. Eight different countries’ cases analysed by prominent scholars and researchers and also as title shows, local community NGO workers presented their works. This conference gave a fruitful opportunity to share different points of analysis about how people reconstruct their lives after the conflicts and hear vibrant testimonies from NGO workers.

Dr. Hyun discussed about actual peace building process in Korean peninsula focusing on 3 different positions of South, North Korea and US.

April 2019

April 2019 TOPIK Exam

IKSU held its first TOPIK exam at UCLan. TOPIK is held twice a year (April and November) at two places (London and Preston). For more information, please visit the TOPIK webpage.

IKSU Korea Corner Launch

On 8 April, IKSU launched the Korea Corner (a Korean cultural space) based on the funding provided by the Korea Foundation in cooperation with the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in the UK.

Korea Corner has about 1,000 books on both South and North Koreas, in English and Korean, along with some Korean artefacts.

Korea Corner is placed at the second floor of UCLan Main Library. More information can be found on the Korea Corner webpage.

The launch event was a part of IKSU 5th Anniversary Year series.

March 2019

Roundtable Talk at Chatham House

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

February 2019

Roundtable Talk at LSE

Our Lecturer in Korean Studies, Dr Jeong-Im Hyun took a part in the “LSE Festival 2019: New Reconciliations: the two Koreas” roundtable discussion at the LSE on 27 February 2019.

Watch the talk here

January 2019

IKSU Korean Taster Session at Secondary Schools

In late January 2019, our lovely lecturer in Korean Studies, Ms Jungmin Lee visited Formby High School (FHS) for IKSU Korean Language Taster Session.

One of our students at LGS, Sarah Lawson, who is a graduate from FHS, also visited FHS and assisted Jungmin.

Their visit was published in FHS newsletter as well.

Guest Talk at SOAS

On 18 January 2019, Dr Hae-Sung Jeon gave a guest talk at SOAS, University of London about “Clever Speakers and Flexible Listeners: A Study on Sais-soli in Korean”.

2018 Events and Activities

December 2018

Guest Talk at SOAS

On 7 December 2018, Dr Sojin Lim gave a guest talk at SOAS, University of London about “Sustainable development and Korean Peninsula”.

November 2018

2018 IKSU Korean Festival

The Korean Festival came back this year, running from the 5 - 6 November, with five events. The Study Abroad Fair, the “Life in North Korea” – a talk from a north Korean Defector, the “Then Middlesbrough Fell in Love with North Korea” – a talk from Tosh Warrick, a talk from the Ambassador of South Korea to the UK, and a Korean Food experience making Kimbap.

More details can be found here 

October 2018

Yun Posun Memorial Symposium

Between 8 – 9 October 2018, Dr Sojin Lim, Dr Jeong-Im Hyun and Dr Mark Plaice from our Korean Studies team participated in the Yun Posun Memorial Symposium, held in Edinburgh.

While Dr Jeong-Im Hyun presented her research on ‘David against Goliath: How a Small Village on Jeju Island in South Korea became a Hub of the Peace’, Dr Mark Plaice gave a presentation on ‘The Queer Spaces of Seoul: Heterotopia, Tactics, and the Spaces of Neoliberal Subjects in the Spatial Imaginary of South Korean Queer Film Movement in East Asia’ during the symposium. Dr Sojin Lim participated as a Chair for Session 8, ‘Polarization and Inequality – Metro Political City, School and Civil Culture in Songdo, Jeju, and Beyond’.

July 2018

2018 Paris Workshop of the Social Sciences Korean Studies European Network (SSKSEN)

Dr Sojin Lim participated in the “2018 Paris Workshop of the Social Sciences Korean Studies European Network (SSKSEN)” as a panel discussant. This is a series of Social Sciences Korean Studies academics as a part of working group to exchange their research in Korean Studies and to discuss the future of Korean Studies in Social Sciences discipline. The very first workshop was held in Turku, Finland in 2017, where Dr Lim participated as an presenter, and the third workshop will be held in 2019 under the newly established official name of this series of workshops, “Social Sciences Korean Studies European Network (SoKEN).

July 2018

The first NEPCAP Roundtable series "Linking the Academic Research into Policy and Practice: North Korea and Beyond” was held at the University of Central Lancashire on 2 July 2018. View more details.

June 2018

The International Workshop on the Landscape of Taiwan Studies and Korean Studies was held at the University of Central Lancashire during 25-26 June 2018. Over the two days, the twenty-one scholars invited to this event discussed the most salient issues concerning the status of the research in Korean and Taiwan studies and shared their interests and experience. This conference was funded by UCLan IKSU and the Academy of Korean Studies (AKS) of the government of South Korea, and the Taiwan Representative Office in the UK sponsored the welcome dinner of the conference.

The conference was organised based on the following seven themes:

  • Field of Study and Research Resources
  • Historiography and History
  • Politics and Economics
  • Changes in Culture
  • International Relations
  • Changes in Society
  • Landscape of Taiwan Studies and Korean Studies

Speakers and discussants of the conference were (Alphabetical order):

  • Ann Heylen (National Taiwan Normal University)
  • Bi-yu Chang (SOAS, University of London)
  • Bruce Jacobs (Monash University)
  • Dafydd Fell (SOAS, University of London)
  • Isabelle Cheng (University of Portsmouth)
  • James Person (Johns Hopkins University)
  • Jeong-Im Hyun (University of Turku)
  • Jung-Sim Kim (Monash University)
  • Lara Momesso (University of Central Lancashire)
  • Melissa Brown (Harvard University)
  • Michael Hsiao (Academia Sinica)
  • Michael Seth (James Madison University)
  • Nataša Visočnik Gerzelj (University of Ljubljana)
  • Nicolas Levi (Polish Academy of Sciences)
  • Niki Alsford (University of Central Lancashire)
  • Owen Miller (SOAS, University of London)
  • Sojin Lim (University of Central Lancashire)
  • Táňa Dluhošová (Oriental Institute, Czech Academy of Sciences)
  • Thomas Gold (University of California, Berkeley)
  • Virginie Grzelczyk (Aston University)
  • Wonhyuk Lim (KDI School)

June 2018

Presentation of Two Papers in International Conferences by Dr Jihye Kim

At the 2018 AEEAO (Asociación Española de Estudios de Asia Oriental) International Conference in Malaga, Spain, Dr. Kim delivered a paper titled “1.5- and Second-Generation Korean Argentines and Ethnic Entrepreneurship in the Argentine Garment Industry”. The paper explained why the successive generations of Korean Argentines either follow the entrepreneurial route of their parents or stay within the ethnic economy rather than choose other paths.

At the 2018 Migration Conference in Lisbon, Portugal Dr. Kim presented a paper titled “Korean Immigrant Entrepreneurship and their Social Integration in Argentina”, illustrating how the high concentration of Korean businesses in the garment industry reflects the social negotiation and adjustment processes under Argentina’s particular socio-economic conditions.

Categorical Ambiguity and Sound Change in Seoul Korean

Dr. Hae-Sung Jeon presented a paper, ‘Categorical Ambiguity and Sound Change in Seoul Korean’ at the LabPhon16 - Variation, Development and Impairment: Between Phonetics and Phonology (19-22 June 2018, Faculdade de Letras, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal). The presentation was based on her collaboration with Dr. Charles Chang at the Boston University, USA, investigating the phonetic shapes of the Korean fricatives /s, s*/ spoken by young and old speakers of Seoul Korean.

May 2018

Assessing the Gesture Politics of the DPRK in the Post-Olympic Period

The success of Pyeongchang’s Winter Olympics was, and largely still is, overshadowed by the gesture politics of the DPRK. Much has happened since the opening ceremony on 9 February and the eyes of the world have paid particular attention to this period of détente. But how should we assess this? What is/are the motive(s) behind it? Would a peace treaty bring an end to the dreams of a unified Korean Peninsula? Or, does this open new opportunities for a future unification? Can De-nuclearisation ever be realised? Dr Niki Alsford, Reader and Academic Lead in Asia Pacific Studies at UCLan and Director of the IKSU gave a special talk by addressing these questions at National Chengchi University in Taiwan, on 22 May 2018.

English Program in Korea (EPIK)

On 1st May, the team for English Program in Korea (EPIK), under the Ministry of Education in South Korea, visited UCLan to introduce they programme for our students. EPIK is a programme that gives graduates a chance at full time teaching positions, in metropolitan and provincial locations, all the way from primary through to secondary schools. Full details can be found here.

April 2018

Colloquium of the British Association of Academic Phoneticians

Dr. Hae-Sung Jeon attended the 2018 Colloquium of the British Association of Academic Phoneticians, 12-14 April 2018, hosted at the University of Kent. She presented a paper ‘Usage-related factors in s-insertion in Korean’.

March 2018 – April 2018

Student Bursary trip to South Korea

From 27th March to 4th April, ten students in Korean pathway under Asia Pacific Studies course, MOLA course and TESOL course, visited South Korea with Dr Niki Alsford (Director of IKSU) and Dr Sojin Lim (Deputy Director of IKSU), based on student bursary given by the School of Language and Global Studies. During the trip, students firstly went to Jeonju, West-South of South Korea, to visit traditional village, Han-ok Maul, and to learn the process and the meaning beyond of traditional wedding in Korea. After having a Temple stay at Geum-San Sa, they will move up to Seoul to have Kimchi making activity and K-Pop dance learning. Students also made a visit to the demilitarized zone (DMZ) between North Korea and South Korea. Apart from these activities, they also had chances to look around the campuses at two of our study abroad partner institutions, Chonbuk University and Dongguk University.



Student Bursary trip to South Korea

March 2018

Delegation for Dialogue (DFD)

On 9th March, the representatives of the Delegation for Dialogue (DFD) visited UCLan to introduce their programme and activities, and to see the opportunity to build up a collaboration between SOAS DFD and IKSU as a new DFD chapter.

DFD is an NGO that organises travelling symposiums, fact-finding programs and sports & cultural diplomacy missions within important regions, often divided by conflict, with the aim of facilitating dialogue and promoting mutual understanding. DFD provides future generations of leaders with the opportunity to engage directly with international affairs, particularly with issues related to North and South Koreas. DFD also organises conferences and events locally within our growing network of university campus associations located around the world. You can find more information on DFD on their webpage.

Whose Olympics: Pyeongchang or Pyongyang? A round table discussion on North Korea’s gesture politics

On 21 March 2018, a dialogue session was held with four political commentators to take questions from students in Asia Pacific Studies and Korean pathway subjects on recent Pyeongchang Olympic and North Korea. The roundtable was moderated by the Director of the International Institute of Korean Studies (IKSU).



Maria Yoon, the Korean Bride

Performance artist, Maria Yoon is a first generation Korean-American​. Calling herself 'the voice of the unmarried Asian-American woman', under pressure to wed, she became Maria the Korean Bride, a woman to get married in all fifty states in the US. In her documentary, she took this challenge to explore the institution of marriage and how marriage is seen in other cultures. In her latest marriage, Maria takes part in ‘Ghost Marriage’ to marry a departed spouse in Taipei, Taiwan. An ancient (now outlawed) tradition in mainland China that is still practised in various communities in Asia. On 19th March, Maria Yoon visited Preston to give a talk on the findings of her travel around 50 states and Taiwan.

February 2018

Korean Speaking Contest at UCLan

On 28th February 2018, Korean Studies team at UCLan held its first Korean Speaking Contest, with support from IKSU, Korean Education Centre, and Asiana Airlines.

The winner, Ms Lauren Mumby attained a round ticket to Korea as a prize. From this, there will be a regular Korean contest in the form of speaking contest or writing contest every year.



January 2018

Hannes Mosler Visits UCLan

On the 29th January 2018, Dr Hannes Mosler gave a talk on ‘Unconventional youth? Political participation and the 2016/17 candlelight demonstrations in South Korea’ at UCLan. Dr Mosler is an Assistant Professor for Korean Politics at the Graduate School of East Asian Studies (GEAS) and the Institute of Korean Studies (IKS) of Freie Universität Berlin. In his talk, he mainly explored questions such as: who are the young people joining the mass assemblies; why did these young people participate in the demonstrations; and how can we interpret their ‘peaceful exercise of democratic participation’.  The talk was a huge success with about 100 students attending, and participating in questions.

2017 Events and Activities


Dr Sojin Lim participates in workshop

Between 28th and 29th September 2017, Dr Sojin Lim gave a presentation on how to achieve North-East Asia partnership for implementing SDGs based on multi-stakeholder and multi-layered partnerships during the North-East Asia Development Cooperation Forum 2017 in Moscow, Russia. The forum was organised by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), the Russian Association of International Development Assistance Experts (RAIDAE) and the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. Scholars from South Korea, Japan, China and Russia as well as officials from international organisations, aid agencies and governments attended.


From 7 August - 11 August 2017, PhD candidate Ms. Priscilla Kim participated in the Second RIKS (Research Institute of Korean Studies) Academy for Young Korean Studies Scholars. The academic workshop was hosted at the Korea University, Seoul, South Korea. At this conference, Priscilla presented her research on the Track II diplomatic activity of the National Committee on American Foreign Policy, a non-profit policy organization. She explained how the Track II diplomatic activities of the NCAFP assisted the U.S. official diplomatic process of the Six Party Talks, and why the Trump administration should consider incorporating Track II diplomacy into its foreign policy on North Korea. This presentation and the discussion that followed was in Korean. Priscilla therefore saw this academic workshop as not only an opportunity to network with other young scholars of Korean studies, but also a chance to present her research in a second language.


Dr Sojin Lim participates in workshop

Between 30 June and 1 July 2017, Dr Sojin Lim, Lecturer in Korean Studies at University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), participated in the workshop convened to establish the European Association for Korean Studies Scholars in the Social Sciences and provided a presentation titled Aligning Development Studies with Korean Studies in the 21st Century at the University of Turku, Finland. She explained how Korean Studies at UCLan has evolved since 2012 and how her research interests in Development Studies are reflected in her teaching in Korean Studies. In the end, participants at the workshop shared their opinions and thoughts on the BA content modules in Korean Studies as well as the MA programme in North Korean Studies at UCLan.

Dr Sojin Lim

MARCH 2017

ROK Ambassador’s Visit and talk.

Republic of Korea Ambassador, Joonkuuk Hwang to Preston to talk to Korean studies students about the current situation on the Korean peninsula and how the international community can work together to address issues around North Korea. Please read full story.

March 2017

Dr. James F. Person Special Lecture

On 17 March 2017, Dr. James Person, Director of the Hyundai Motor-Korea Foundation Centre for Korean History and Public Policy at the Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars in Washington, DC, gave a special talk on US Policy towards North Korea. He explained that Trump’s administration has a narrow window of opportunity to recalibrate US policy toward North Korea to seek a lasting arrangement that halts and then ultimately rolls back Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program and its ability to deploy a nuclear device against the U.S. homeland or regional allies. In the end, he suggested a few policy options toward North Korea for the United States, such as acquiesce, bomb and negotiate.


Dr. James F. Person

MARCH 2017

Seminar talk

Dr. Hae-Sung Jeon gave an invited talk titled ‘effects of rhythm and phrasing on word spotting in Korean’ at the Phonetics Research Group, Lancaster University on 15th March 2017. The research project discussed in the talk is her collaboration with Prof. Amalia Arvaniti (University of Kent).


A PhD Student’ Research Field Trip

From October to December 2016, a PhD candidate, Ms Priscilla Kim, carried out her research field trip to the States. The places she visited include Honolulu, Hawaii; New York, New York; Palo Alto, California; and Washington, D.C. The purpose of her trip was to gain necessary data for her thesis. Her research questions is ‘why organizers of Track II diplomacy initiated and pursued Track II diplomacy during the Bush administration’. She reports, “Since my research addresses Track II diplomacy from the perspective of those who initiated these efforts, it is important that I speak to those who have participated in Track II diplomatic efforts so that I can gain a perspective to why they are involved in Track II diplomacy between the U.S. and the DPRK”. Some of the people that she interviewed include former Assistant Secretary of State of the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs James A. Kelly; Evans J. Revere, who was president of the Korea Society during the time that the New York Philharmonics was invited to play at North Korea and participant of the Track II dialogues hosted by the NCAFP since 2006; Professor Fred Carriere, who was executive vice-president of the Korea Society during the time that the New York Philharmonics was invited to play at North Korea and is familiar with Track II diplomacy with North Korea; and Leon Sigal, who is currently Director of the Northeast Asia Cooperative Security Project at the Social Science Research Council and is also familiar with Track II diplomacy with North Korea.


A PhD Fieldwork in Korea

From October 10 to December 16, 2016, Gianluca Spezza, an UCLan PhD candidate has conducted documentary research at the joint Institute of Fare Eastern Studies at Kyungnam University (IFES) and University of North Korean Studies, in Seoul. His fieldwork travel was covered by an UCLan doctoral allowance, while IFES offered accommodation and access to all their research facilities, including the library for North Korean documents, as well as their electronic resources, as part of the SSPK scholarship program.

He reports, “the period of research was instrumental for me to gather primary sources about North Korean educational practices, the development of national identity, and the legislation related to childcare and primary education in the DPRK, which I have used to produce a chapter in my thesis. The fieldwork also gave me the chance to share my research with a few North Korean students who have resettled in Seoul and are pursuing doctoral studies at IFES and UNKS. I have also discussed my doctoral research with scholars and researchers affiliated with the two institutes, and received a great deal of help from IFES director, Professor Yoon Dae-kyu, as well as Professor Dean Ouellette and Professor Kelly Hur”.

During his stay, he had the chance to attend the International Conference on Mobile North Koreans in a Global Age, organized by IFES as well as the Korea Global Forum 2016. Prior to his departure, as part of his agreement with the institute, he produced a 3000 words report on the state of his research and the work conducted while at IFES.

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2016 Events and Activities

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A UCLan PhD student accepted to the 2016 cohort of the Pacific Forum CSIS Young Leaders Program.

A PhD student, Priscilla Jung Kim, has been accepted to the 2016 cohort of the Pacific Forum Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Young Leaders Programme. She has been given access to 25+ conferences and events that Pacific Forum CSIS organises each year. The length of the program is based on age, as the ideal age range is from 25-35, although there is flexibility based on the applicant's level of experience.

Image from CSIS (Center for strategic and International Studies)

Priscilla reports, “I hope to gain practical skills from the Young Leaders Program, which I would be using in my future career. After I receive my doctoral degree, I plan to work in the United States Department of either in civil or in foreign sector, providing policy support to those involved in the North Korean issues. While my doctoral program allows me to shape my own perspective concerning U.S. foreign policy towards North Korea, the Young Leaders program will allow me to go beyond theory and literature, as I learn how experts and leaders deal with the issues that I am studying. I therefore hope to be able to test theories of international politics with empirical situations. Moreover, I also hope to build relations with other scholars and foreign policy professionals in order to further my knowledge of U.S. diplomacy with East Asian states, as interaction with literature can only get me so far”.

Pacific Forum CSIS, based in Honolulu, Hawaii and a subsidiary of the CSIS, headquartered in Washington, D.C. It is a non-profit, private, foreign policy research institute focusing on the Asia-Pacific region. The Young Leaders Program, established in 2004 is one of the various programs of Pacific Forum CSIS.

View more information on the Pacific Forum CSIS.


A UCLan research fellow received a grant from the British Korean Society

Dr Dimitris Stamatellos, Guild Research Fellow in Astronomy & Astrophysics, School of Physical Sciences & Computing at UCLan received a £1,000 grant from the British Korean Society to visit South Korea to carry out his research. For his research, ‘UK-Korea Star and planed formation’, he visited Korea from 10th to 18th November 2016. During his visit, he gave seminar talks and discussion sessions on theoretical and observational star and planet formation with researchers at the Seoul National University and the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASI).


British Korean Society logo


From September 21 to 25, Gianluca Spezza, one of the PhD students at IKSU, participated in the 2016 edition of the Korean Studies Graduate Conference (KSGSC), returning from his research trip to Thailand. Spezza presented a paper with preliminary findings from his ongoing research on the role of UNICEF in delivering educational assistance to the DPRK. The conference, in its 13th consecutive edition, brings together young scholars, PhD students and researchers in all aspects of Korean Studies. This edition hosted, among others, a panel dedicated to North Korean studies, and one on comparative studies between North and South Korea. The event was organized by and hosted at the Department of Cross Cultural Studies of the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, under the supervision of Professor Andrew Jackson. During the conference, the participants were also invited to a dinner by the ROK Ambassador to Denmark, H.E. Ma Young-Sam at the Ambassador's residence in Copenhagen.

September 2016

From September 5 to 21, in relation to his current PhD dissertation project on the work of UNICEF in providing educational assistance to the DPRK, Gianluca Spezza one of IKSU PhD students, conducted documentary research at the UN-ESCAP library located in Bangkok, Thailand. The library is the central repository of documents and primary sources related to the work of UN agencies in Asia-Pacific. The documents held at ESCAP are accessible only on site, and researchers stay within the premises to work on them during the day. While in Bangkok, Gianluca also met with the Regional Chief Communication Officer for UNICEF Mr. Christopher De Bono, and the Deputy Country Representative for Thailand, Ms Valerie Taton, who also worked with the DPRK in previous years, to discuss institutional aspects of UNICEF and its work in Asia-Pacific for the wellbeing of children and women.


Jungmin Lee, associate lecturer Korean language attended the 14th International Conference of Korean Educators Abroad organised by the Korean Ministry of Education and the National Institute for International Education.

She presented a workshop on teaching methods and classroom activities. In addition, She led a group of colleagues from around Eurasia to develop a workshop on strategic plans to expand Korean language and culture to university curriculum abroad. At the conference’s end, She was awarded an Excellence Award for being an outstanding contributor. The conference attendees were university Korean language lecturers from around the world.

JUNE 2016

Duo-Korea Students Fellowship Award

Two UCLan students have been offered DUO-Korea fellowship award (4000 euros each) for their period abroad. The fellowship is from ASEM-DUO and they choose pairs of students (one from Korean university the other one from the partner European university in each pair) and the application process is administered at our partner universities in Korea. The fellowship is not for language course, so the recipients need to demonstrate that they are taking non-language courses and need to take up to 6 non-language modules at their host institution

  • University of Central Lancashire, Ms. Kirsty Doughty (APS) Ewha Woman's University
  • University of Central Lancashire, Ms. Lauren Mumby (TESOL and Korean) Pusan National University

Ms Laurent Mumby reports; "When I applied for the ASEM-DUO Scholarship, I never thought I would actually be chosen as one of the very few recipients. I was so shocked yet ecstatic. The money will enable me to travel and explore, take cooking classes and sustain me if I get the chance to do some volunteering in the holidays. Currently, I am studying at Pusan National University with hopes of doing some research on dialects for my dissertation. I am taking classes in Korean Language, Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition."

MAY 2016

UCLAN students win UK wide bursaries for study abroad

Three undergraduate students were awarded the highly competitive British Korean Veterans’ Association bursaries of £1,666 each to support them in their year abroad in Korea. The successful students were:

  • Michaela D’MELLO BA Asia-Pacific Studies with Korean
  • Arrooj NAWAZ BA Asia-Pacific Studies with Korean
  • Rosanna PRICE BA Asia-Pacific Studies with Korean

UCLan PhD student, Priscilla Kim, was also awarded a British Korea Society bursary of £1,000 to support a field trip to the United States. Priscilla was one of only four awardees and was up against competition from research students from all over the UK – including Oxford, Edinburgh, Warwick, LSE and SOAS.

UClan student, Melania Torrecilla-martin, on her year abroad in Korea


UCLan student, Melania Torrecilla-Martin, on her year abroad in Korea



Dr. Hae-Sung Jeon, subject leader Korean language, and her research partner Professor Amalia Arvaniti of the University of Kent, gave a paper entitled Rhythmic Grouping in English, Greek and Korean: testing the iambic-trochaic law, at the British Association of Academic Phoneticians Colloquium, University of Lancaster.

MARCH 2016

Dr Hae-Sung Jeon and her research partner, Professor Amalia Arvaniti of the University of Kent presented the paper on The Role of Prosodic Context in Word Segmentation in Korean at the East Asian Linguistics Seminar, University of Oxford on 8th March 2016.



Dr. Haekyung Um
Senior Lecturer of Music and member of the Institute of Popular Music, The University of Liverpool

Since 2009 TV music reality shows, such as I Am a Singer (Nanŭn Kasuda) and Eternal Classics: Singing Out the Legend (Pulhu ŭi Myŏnggok: Chŏnsŏrŭl Noraehada), have become hugely popular in South Korea. These programmes feature young artists’ cover performances of various Korean popular genres of the recent past, including trot, folk songs, pop ballads and dance music. 

As a type of talent show, these music reality shows share the global television format of idols influenced by media transnationalism. At the same time, the specificities of local context and national identity are crucial for the production and reception of these shows. For example, I Am a Singer, which was originally developed by the Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) of Korea in 2011, was adapted into a Chinese version by Hunan Television (HBS) in 2013. A more recent example is King of Masked Singer (Pongmyŏn Kawang) created by MBC in 2015: it took the blind audition format from the Dutch reality show Voice and it was, in turn, adapted into a Chinese version by Jiangsu Television (JSTV).

Dr. Um analyses the process of selection, appropriation and reinterpretation of 20th century Korean popular music by the 21st century music industries and their consumers. Pop nostalgia in these cover competitions is not limited to just the older audiences whose musical memories are closely linked to their own youth and identity. 

For younger audiences the original songs are historical musical texts from which new interpretations and appropriations can be made. There is a sense of reverence for the original songs, which are called ‘eternal classics’ or ‘popular musical heritage’, illustrating the process of pop canonization. In this way, a creative interpretation of the original songs becomes an elaboration and transformation of Korean pop heritage and its associated musical identity, which, in turn, has implications for the Korean creative industries and their strategies for growth and commercial success.

Korean Music Reality Show poster


Dr. Um specializes in contemporary Asian performing arts focusing on the politics of performance, cultural identity and policy, transnationalism and cosmopolitanism. Her publications include: Diasporas and Interculturalism in Asian Performing Arts (RoutledgeCurzon), Rediscovering Traditional Korean Performing Arts (KAMS) and Korean Musical Drama: P’ansori: The Making of Tradition in Modernity (Ashgate). She has also published on Korean hip-hop, South Asian music in Britain, and Chinese Korean dance drama. She has directed a collaborative research project on K-pop fandom and reception in Europe. Her new research project looks at the ways in which Korean TV music reality programmes contribute to the canonization of Korean popular music and the creation of popular music heritage through performance, mediation and mediatization.



PhD student Priscilla Jung Kim has won a global competition for her research into North Korea.

Read full story

Priscilla Jung Kim

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2015 Events and Activities

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December 2015

Award of UCLan honorary doctorate to former US Ambassador to Korea, Ambassador Donald P. Gregg in honour of his long public service in support of peace and conflict resolution on the Korean peninsula. Ambassador Gregg, along with Professor Fred Carriere of Syracuse University, also gave the annual IKSU International Lecture to students and staff on the subject of the ‘US and East Asia: Past, present and future’.

Acceptance of honorary doctorate at UCLan by United States Ambassador Donald P. Gregg

You do me far greater honor than you may suspect, for several reasons. First is this truly impressive setting, and the audience before me. My first honorary degree, given in Korea by a Jesuit University, was conferred upon me in an office, on a Saturday night during Christmas holidays, to be certain that no students were on campus. I was American ambassador to Korea at the time, but I was also known to have been an intelligence officer. I was not a popular figure among students, and the prudent Jesuits did not want a riot to take place.

Second is that fact that you, UCLan, decided to give me this honor. In my previous visit here in October 2014, I was greatly impressed by the quality of your faculty, your students and the general atmosphere of competence and curiosity which pervades this place. We in the U.S. have a tendency to demonize those people we neither like nor understand, such as the North Koreans. UCLan, in contrast, last year opened a new branch of academic inquiry to study all Koreans. In so doing, you put many of our major universities to shame.

Third, is my life-long admiration for the U.K. I was very proud of my family ties to Devon and Scotland… In February 1983, Margaret Thatcher gave a small dinner at 10 Downing Street for Vice President George H.W. Bush in which I participated. I’ve met one emperor, two kings and countless heads of state. Dinner at ‘Number 10’ tops them all.

Finally, I am particularly honored because I think of myself as an intelligence officer, concerned with cutting behind appearance toward reality, and speaking truth to power, particularly when power does not want to hear the truth. The U.K. has a corner on the market in terms of intelligence work as depicted to the public. James Bond, as far-fetched as he has become, is still applauded in American movie theaters. I’ll give him a tip of my hat, but my real hero is George Smiley, as depicted in John Le Carre’s “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy” by Alec Guinness. So, I feel that here I’ve been honored for all that I have done, including my CIA work, not in spite of it.
That means a great deal to me, and I thank you all for this singular honor.

Donald P. Gregg

Ambassador Gregg with Fiona Armstrong
Ambassador Gregg with Fiona Armstrong, member of the board of the University of Central Lancashire and Lord Lieutenant of Dumfries.

Ambassador Donald Gregg and Professor Fred Carriere at the UCLan graduation ceremony.
Ambassador Donald Gregg and Professor Fred Carriere at the UCLan graduation ceremony.


August 2015

Dr. Hae-Sung Jeon, subject leader Korean language, presented a paper entitled
Rhythm in Korean Verse, Sico, at the 18th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, at the University of Glasgow, 10 -14 August.

Pictured: Dr. Hae-Sung Jeon with her research collaborator, Professor Amalia Arvaniti of the University of Kent.

Dr. Hae-Sung Jeon with her research collaborator

June 2015


Visit to UCLan by UK and South Korea Ambassadors


Visit to UCLan Preston campus by Republic of Korea Ambassador to the UK HE Sung-nam Lim and UK Ambassador to the Republic of Korea HE Charles Hay.

Pictured above from left to right: Isabel Donnelly, Dean of The School of Languages and International Studies; David Taylor, Chair of the University Board; H.E. Sungnam Lim, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to the UK, H.E.Sir Charles Hay, UK Ambassador to the Republic of Korea; Professor Mike Thomas and Interim Vice Chancellor

Pictured above from left to right: H.E. Sir Charles Hay, UK ambassador to the Republic of Korea and H.E. Sungnam Lim, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to the UK, visiting the Science Festival, UCLan campus facilities on 26th June. 

June 2015

International Conference on North Korea

Gianluca Spezza "The Evolution of Education in the DPRK since 2000"

On June 23rd, Gianluca Spezza, PhD student at IKSU, participated in the international conference "North Korea’s ‘Jangmadang’ New Generation: Who Are They and What Is Their Impetus for Change?", organized by the Institute for Far Eastern Studies (IFES)/ University of North Korean studies and Kyungnam University, in Seoul. Spezza presented a paper titled "The Evolution of Education in the DPRK since 2000: International Cooperation, Elite Training and the Role of IT". The conference was attended by almost 200 among specialists, Korean press and the general public, alongside students of the University of North Korean studies. IFES and the University of North Korean studies are one of the main research and teaching hubs worldwide, focusing on the DPRK and inter-Korean relations. View full conference details and event report (in Korean).

IKSU Gianluca Spezza

Gianluca Spezza, second from left during the second session of the conference. Photo credit: IFES-Kyungnam University.

IKSU Gianluca Spezza

Gianluca Spezza, fifth from the right, between Professor Dean Ouellette (IFES) and Professor Miryoung Mimi Kim (VUB, Brussels, Belgium). Photo credit: IFES-Kyungnam University.

May 2015

Dean of Pusan National University (PNU), Professor Chun visits UCLan

The Dean of Pusan National University visits UCLan. 

On 14 May, the Dean of Pusan National University (PNU), Professor Hongchan Chun, visited UCLan and IKSU, meeting with Professor Robin Pollard, Vice-President, UCLan Group and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International). The two parties signed an MoU as well as an exchange agreement. PNU is now the second academic partner for IKSU - together with Inje University - from the city of Pusan, South Korea's second largest.

May 2015

School of Language, Literature and International Studies trip to South Korea

In May 2015, a UCLan delegation composed of Pradeep Passi, Associate Dean at UCLan, Paul Rowe, Director of International Academic and Business Development in the School of Language, Literature and International Studies, and a group of students visited South Korea. During the 8-day tour, the group viewed Seoul's main cultural attractions (including the National Museum of Korea and the Itaewon Shopping District, The Presidential Residence - known as The Blue House, the Jogyesa Temple in downtown Seoul, and Gyeongbok Palace) and visited a number of strategic Institutions, such as the UK embassy in the republic of Korea. The delegation also visited the campuses and offices of two IKSU partner Institutions (EWHA University and Sookimyung University) as well as The Korea Development Institute, a major think tank and research institute in South Korea. Outside of the capital, the group visited Gyeongju, one of South Korea's most important sites for cultural heritage and home to the Bulguksa temple and the Seokguram Grotto and The DMZ - the demilitarized zone at the border between North and South Korea.

Andrew Dalgleish, Deputy Head Of Mission @ the British Embassy, Seoul.

Andrew Dalgleish, Deputy Head Of Mission at the British Embassy, Seoul.

Professor Eun Mee Kim and students from EWHA University

Professor Eun Mee Kim and students from EWHA University.

Welcome and hospitality by the Korean Development Institute.

A warm welcome and hospitality by the Korean Development Institute.

Sookmyung Women's University - hosting UCLan.

Sookmyung Women's University - hosting UCLan.

February 2015

UCLan delegates visit Seoul

A UCLan delegation visited Seoul, between the 21 and 27 of February 2015

The delegation consisted of:

  • Paul Rowe – International Lead (SoLLIS)
  • Tim Steele - Director of International Partnerships
  • Dr. Sangbok Moon – (Former) Research Assistant IKSU (SoLLIS)

The visit provided the chance to strengthen existing ties with partner Institutions in South Korea's major cities Seoul and Busan. Prior to the establishment of IKSU, Dr. Hae-Sung Jong had been successfully building up the Korean language provision in SoLLIS and applications to the programme have risen quickly over the past three years. The delegation met representatives of several high profile educational Institutions, as well as sir Charles Hay, UK Ambassador to South Korea, the staff at the British Embassy in South Korea, and the British Council in Seoul.

Visit to Sookmyung University, left to right: Paul Rowe, Dr. Sang Bok Moon, Tim Steele, Dr. Swoo Suh (Associate Vice President Office of External Affairs) and Diana Choi (Office of International Affairs & Cooperation Program Co-ordinator)

January 2015

Dr Jung Woo Lee speaks at the UCLan International Research Institute for Sport Studies

Dr Jung Woo Lee of The University of Edinburgh spoke at the UCLan International Research Institute for Sport Studies on Wednesday 28 January 2015. The subject of his lecture was ‘The 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games and Sports Mega-Event Scepticism in South Korea.

Blue line

2014 Events and Activities

Blue line

October 2014

International conference on Korean security

IKSU hosted a global international conference on Korean Security in Preston in October 15-18 2014, with a direct impact in the policy arena worldwide given the participation and input from senior officials and policy advisors to the UK government, the US Government, the South Korean and Chinese governments as well as journalists that reach global opinion formers.

The plenary speakers were Lord David Alton, Chair of the House of Lords All-Party Group on Korea, Ambassador Donald Gregg, former National Security advisor to the first President George Bush and US Ambassador to South Korea, Mr. Richard Morris, Head of the Asia-Pacific Division of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and Professor Kim Yong-ho, from Yonsei University, Seoul.

Speakers included: Tania Branigan, the Guardian newspaper; Professor Ren Xiao, Fudan University; Shanghai, Professor Geogy Toloroya, Russian Academy of Sciences; Professor Alexander Zhebin, Russian Academy of Sciences; Dr. Suk Lee , Korea Development Institute, Seoul; Professor Henry Em, Yonsei University, Professor Suzy Kim, Rutgers University; Professor Ruediger Frank, University of Vienna; Dr. Alexandre Mansourov, Johns Hopkins University; Professor Frederick F Carriere, Syracuse University, New York; Dr. Kevin Gray, University of Sussex; Dr. Virginie Grzelczyk , Aston University; Richard Morris, Foreign and Commonwealth Office; John O’Dea, food security office Pyongyang; Dr. James Person, Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars Washington DC; Dr. Park Hyeong Jung, Korea Institute of National Unification, Dr. Park Jae-jeok, Korea Institute of National Unification, Seoul: Professor Shin Sang-hyup, Kyunghee University; Dr. Suh Boh Hyuk, Seoul National University; Dr. Sung Ki-young, Korea Institute of National Unification; Dr. Sungju Park-Kang, Leiden University; Dr. Danielle Chubb, Deakin University; Sarah Son, Korea University, Seoul; Dr. Robert Winstanley-Chesters, University of Cambridge; Professor Keyuan Zou, UCLan; Chad O'Carroll, NKNews; Dr. Moon Kyung-yon, Korea Export-Import Bank (Korea EximBank).


IKSU Conference

IKSU Security conference

IKSU Security conference

IKSU security conference

IKSU Security conference

IKSU Security conference

October 2014

Professor Zou presenting at the Foundation for Development of International Law in Asia

Conference - Professor Keyuan Zou 
Professor Zou presenting at the Foundation for Development of International Law in Asia held in Korea National Diplomatic Academy in 2014.

Professor Keyuan Zou recently attended two events hosted by the Foundation for the Development of International Law in Asia (DILA) held in the Korea National Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of South Korea in Seoul. 

He spoke on “International Law in the Chinese Courts” to the DILA 25th Anniversary International Conference “International Law in the Courts of Asia” and chaired a session on 2 October. He also spoke on “Legal Implications of the U-shaped Line in the South China Sea” to the 2014 DILA Academy and Workshop “Confronting Territorial and Maritime Issues in Asia” on 3 October in Seoul.

July 2014

Senior Lecturer Sunny Liu visits South Korea

Sunny Liu, Senior Lecturer in Chinese Language and Studies at UCLan, visited South Korea in summer 2014 at the invitation of the Confucius Institute in Seoul and also visited Woosong University to carry out research on China's cultural diplomacy towards South Korea.

Sunny Liu visiting Seoul in 2014 

Sunny Liu visiting Seoul in 2014 

Sunny Liu, Senior Lecturer in Chinese Language and Studies, is carrying out field work at Confucius Institute in Seoul and Woosong University for her research project of China's Cultural Diplomacy.

May 2014

Professor Zou at Seoul National University

In May 2014, Professor Keyuan Zou was an invited speaker at a conference held at Seoul National University, organized by the Korea Maritime Organization and the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, on the topic of the East China Sea: Conflict and Cooperation.

March 2014

Collaborative project about 'Risk in East Asia'

Dr. Ra Mason participated in a collaborative project about 'Risk in East Asia', with contributions from Professor Glenn Hook (University of Sheffield) and Professor Paul O’Shea (Aarhus University). Mason examined the role of Japan’s post-Cold War perceptions of and responses to North Korea as a function of risk re-calibration within regional international relations.