North Korea: An Analysis of Fact and Fiction
May 14, 2020 | 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM EST
When the pandemic broke out in China, North Korea was one of the first countries to close its border with China, even before the lock-down of the city of Wuhan. Despite that early action, it is hard to believe North Korean leaders’ reports of zero infections, particularly given that the country is sandwiched between Asia’s two most infected nations. Taking into account North Korea’s dependency on China’s economy and its healthcare system’s limitations, we cannot help but question what is really happening within the borders of the most secretive country in the world during this global pandemic. Join us on Thursday, May 14, from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM EST when Keith Luse moderates a panel discussion about determining fact and fiction in North Korea, featuring Dr. Kee B. Park and Troy Strangarone.
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Dr. Kee B. Park
Dr. Kee B. Park is the Director of the North Korea Program at the Korean American Medical Association. Since 2007, he has visited North Korea over 20 times to support the North Korean doctors. His last visit was in November 2019.
He is a member of the faculty at Harvard Medical School where his academic interests include the complex geopolitical factors influencing health in North Korea and the relationships between international security, health, and human rights, and health diplomacy.
He is a member of the National Committee on North Korea and the Council of Korean Americans. He also serves on the Expert Panel on Surgical Care at the World Health Organization in Geneva.
He received his MD from Rutgers Medical School, MPH from Harvard Chan School of Public Health, and neurosurgical training at Temple University Hospital. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Neurological Surgery.
Director, Korea Health Policy Project
Lecturer on Global Health and Social Medicine
Harvard Medical School
Troy Stangarone is Senior Director and Fellow at the Korea Economic Institute (KEI). He oversees KEI’s trade and economic related initiatives, as well as the Institute’s relations with Capitol Hill and the Washington, DC trade community. As part of his broader portfolio he serves as the editor for KEI’s flagship publication, Korea’s Economy, and oversees KEI’s blog, The Peninsula.
Mr. Stangarone has written extensively and has been widely quoted on U.S.-Korea relations, South Korean trade and foreign policy, and North Korea. His work has appeared in publications such as Foreign Policy, CNBC, CNN, China-US Focus, the JoongAng Ilbo, and the Korea Herald. His comments have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Bloomberg News, CNN, Politico, Chosun Ilbo, Donga Ilbo, JoongAng Daily, and Yonhap News Service. He has also appeared on TV and radio for outlets such as Bloomberg News, CNBC Asia, and BBC Radio.
In addition to his work at KEI, Mr. Stangarone is a member of the George Mason University | Korea President’s Advisory Board, the International Council of Korean Studies Board, and the Korea-America Student Conference’s National Advisory Committee. He is a columnist for the Korea Times and a regular contributor to The Diplomat. He was also a 2012-2013 Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow in South Korea, sponsored by the Asan Institute for Policy Studies.
Prior to joining KEI, Mr. Stangarone worked on Capitol Hill for Senator Robert Torricelli on issues relating to foreign affairs and trade. He also served as an aide to Governor James McGreevey of New Jersey. He holds a MSc. in International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a B.A. in Political Science and Economics from the University of Memphis.
Keith Luse is the Executive Director of the National Committee on North Korea. Previously, Luse was the Senior East Asia Policy Advisor for Chairman and later Ranking Member Senator Richard G. Lugar at the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations
Committee from 2003 until 2013. Luse also served as Staff Director for Mr. Lugar at the Senate Agriculture Committee from 1999 through 2002, where the Senator also served as Chairman and later Ranking Member. While at the Senate Agriculture Committee, Luse made the first of eventually five trips to North Korea.
Mr. Luse joined Senator Lugar’s Indiana Office in 1978 and was appointed State Director in 1982. In the 1990’s while in the private sector, Luse traveled throughout East Asia for eight years, conducting research for U.S. businesses.
In addition to assisting Senator Lugar at the Foreign Relations Committee on legislative initiatives, Luse directed or participated in several oversight projects and investigations. They included the integrity of the U.S. – funded humanitarian assistance distribution process inside North Korea; the murder of Americans in Papua, Indonesia; corruption and transparency challenges at The Asia Development Bank and The World Bank, and an evaluation of the effectiveness of U.S. foreign assistance to countries in East Asia with an emphasis on Cambodia and Indonesia.
Luse’s reports to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee included “China’s Impact on Korean Peninsula Unification and Questions for the Senate” (2012); “Trafficking and Extortion of Burmese Migrants in Malaysia and Southern Thailand” (2009); and “North Korea and Its Nuclear Program – A Reality Check” (2008).
In 2016, Luse was presented the Vietnam “Medal of Friendship” by President Truong Tan Sang for active contributions to the process of Normalization and Development of the U.S. – Vietnam relationship.
Upon departing the Senate in 2013, Luse received the Philippine Legion of Honor Award from President Aquino for assisting Senator Lugar’s efforts to foster relations between the United States and the Philippines and Southeast Asia. He is also a Co-Recipient of the 2010 Kato Ryozo Award for Service to the U.S. – Japan Alliance.
Luse has traveled extensively in East Asia including five visits to North Korea, and has participated in numerous Track 1.5 and Track 2 sessions about North Korea or with North Korean officials outside of their country.
Luse is an Advisory Board Member of The Center for Constitutional Democracy at Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law. He formerly served on the Boards of The American Center for International Leadership, The Indianapolis Museum of Indian Heritage and The Indianapolis Hispano-American Center. From 1989 to 1991 he was Chairman of the Indiana Republican Party.
Luse has also been a guest lecturer at The University of Indonesia (Jakarta), The Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs Diplomatic Academy, The Vietnam Ministry of Foreign Affairs Diplomatic Academy (Hanoi), The Foreign Language Institute (Pyongyang), The Indonesian Parliament (Jakarta) and several American universities.
Luse’s Bachelor of Arts degree in political science is from Indiana University. His graduate certificate in public management and additional graduate studies were obtained at Indiana University – Purdue University, Indianapolis.
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