Fletcher in the News

See No Evil: Prof. Lee Contributes to VICE News’ Four Part Series on Korea

Sung-Yoon Lee is the Kim Koo-Korea Foundation Professor in Korean Studies and Assistant Professor at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University

President Barack Obama, the leader of the free world, has just arrived in Seoul, where he will tend to America's important diplomatic and security relationship with South Korea. Meanwhile up North, the naughty Korea is reportedly preparing to mark his visit with its latest nuclear-weapon test. Yep, it's business as usual on the Korean peninsula.

So how exactly will the bizarre 60-year-long staring contest across the DMZ end? (Because, at some point, it will have to end.)…

… So Koreans are enthusiastic about the idea of reunification, but not about the idea of the reunification process. VICE News asked Sung-Yoon Lee, a Korean studies professor at [The Fletcher School,] Tufts University, about this. A South Korean national himself, Lee compared South Korea's attitude to the North to America's attitude toward its national debt. “At least in the US, serious people talk about debt," he said. "But in SK, there’s so little interest in the real North Korean problem. A one-dimensional view of a poor, half-crazy cult with a bizarre sense of fashion. North Korea is dismissed as a factor or political factor, and then forgotten.”

Read the full piece and Prof. Lee’s comments in Part 2 of the series