【Report】The 9th AJI Book Launch was held! The authors of the book, New Horizons of North Korean Studies: The Search for Theoretical Area Studies, edited by Professor NAKATO Sachio (College of International Relations, Ritsumeikan University) and Dr. C

 On Friday September 30, an AJI Book Launch was held online. The topic was the newly published book, New Horizons of North Korean Studies: The Search for Theoretical Area Studies (2022, Kōyō Shobō) edited by Professor Nakato Sachio (College of International Relations, Ritsumeikan University) and Dr. Choi Jung Hoon (Assistant Professor, Ritsumeikan Asia-Japan Research Organization, Ritsumeikan University).

 This time, the event took place in a joint form of presentations by co-editors and co-authors. First, one of the editors, Professor Nakato, presented a clear overview of this book and explained how it came to be published. In particular, he emphasized that this book can contribute to the existing collective expertise in the research field on North Korea by developing a new perspective based on the newly suggested method of theoretical regional research that differs from the existing researches.

Professor Nakato overviewing this book

 Next, the co-editor, Dr. Choi and the co-authors, Emeritus Professor MUN GyongSu, Ms. CHO Yeongdeuk, and Mr. BABA Kazuki spoke about the book from their own perspectives.

 First, Ms. Cho Yeongdeuk (Ph.D. candidate, Graduate School of International Relations, Ritsumeikan University) the author of Chapter 6, gave a presentation on her chapter. She focused on the framework of the Six-Party Talks from her analytical perspective of the “deterrence game based on the coercive model”, by which she informatively examined how North Korea used its nuclear option differently to counter to pressure from the U.S. through comparisons between the two recessional processes that occurred in the course of the talks.

Ms. Cho making a presentation

 Second, Mr. Baba Kazuki (Ph.D. candidate, Graduate School of International Relations, Ritsumeikan University) spoke about Chapter 5, which he wrote. The characteristic of his approach is to analyze Japan’s foreign policy towards North Korea in the Six-Party Talks in terms of the “two-level alliance game” based on the hypothesis of the reaction to external pressure, which is involved with the historical issue of the abductions between these two countries.

Mr. Baba delivering his report

 Third, Emeritus Professor Mun GyongSu (Ritsumeikan University) delivered his report on Chapter 3 which he wrote. He focused on Jürgen Habermas’ argument on the issue of the unification of the Korean Peninsula in which Habermas had once employed the perspectives of “intervention” and “demos and ethnos”. Based on his deeper investigation of these theoretical frameworks that Habermas provided, Professor Mun analyzed how South Korean intellectuals reacted to Habermas’ argument and how South Korean society and the situation of the unification have changed since then.

Professor Mun delivering his report

 Lastly, Dr. Choi reported on Chapter 1 which he wrote. He provided an interesting analytical framework employing the “liberal paradox” that Amartya Sen proved and used this framework to analyze the nuclear crises in the Korean Peninsula that has been one of the tensions between the United States and North Korea since the demise of the Cold War.

Dr. Choi making his presentation

 This book launch was extremely valuable because attendees could hear a lot of stories about the creation and publishing of this book directly from the authors, which is exactly the reason why we created the Book Launch series. In addition, this online event made it possible for co-authors to share further discussions based on the published book that aroused the attendees’ curiosity. The Asia-Japan Research Institute would like to offer their appreciation to all the participants in this Book Launch session.

Attendees for this Book Launch