[Smart Q&A: Young-Sun Ha & Richard Haass] "Understanding North Korea"

The Council of Councils (CoC) is an initiative by Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), connecting leading foreign policy institutes from around the world in a common conversation on issues of global governance and multilateral cooperation. The Council of Councils draws on the best thinking from around the world to find common ground on shared threats, build support for innovative ideas, and introduce remedies into the public debate and policymaking processes of member countries. The membership of the Council of Councils includes twenty-nine institutions from twenty-five countries, roughly tracking the composition of the Group of Twenty (G20). The network facilitates candid, not-for-attribution dialogue and consensus building among influential opinion leaders from established and emerging nations. In addition to an annual conference, the Council of Councils provides an ongoing exchange for research and policy collaboration among its members, including during regional conferences hosted by members. The group also considers long-term structural reforms that would enhance the global governance capacity of leading international institutions.

East Asia Institute (EAI) is currently the only founding member institution representing South Korea. It has been actively participating in the consensus-building process and candid exchange of ideas with the world’s renowned think tanks in the CoC in order to effectively respond to complex challenges faced by the international community in the 21st century. As a sole representative from South Korea, EAI, in particular, has been a forerunner in raising security, economic, diplomatic issues concerning the Korean Peninsula up for discussion at every CoC conferences and focusing the interest of international epistemic community onto the issues surrounding the Peninsula.

In order to provide a discussion forum in which important issues facing the Asian region, including uneven economic growth and competition alongside deepening levels of interdependence, the emergence of new power centers, rising nationalism, and domestic political change, EAI and CFR organized the Council of Councils Eleventh Regional Conference on October 7-9, 2018 in Seoul, South Korea. Under the theme of “Adapting to a Changing Order in Asia”, this conference focused on global, as well as regional, issues, such as North Korean nuclear problems, the contested regional order of Asia, global health, techno-nationalism and fourth industrial revolution, and energy and environmental management.




Sunday, October 7, 2018

6:30 p.m.–9:00 p.m. Opening Reception, Dinner, and Discussion
A Conversation With Cho Hyun
Hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations

Welcoming and Opening Remarks:
Yul Sohn, President, East Asia Institute (South Korea)
Richard N. Haass, President, Council on Foreign Relations (United States)

Keynote Speaker:
Cho Hyun, First Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs (South Korea)

Richard N. Haass, President, Council on Foreign Relations (United States)


Monday, October 8, 2018

8:30 a.m.–9:00 a.m. Registration and Coffee
9:00 a.m.–10:30 a.m. Session One
Denuclearizing North Korea

Guiding Questions: How should we define the denuclearization of North Korea? What is the likelihood of achieving this goal, and what are the most formidable challenges to doing so? How can those challenges be overcome? How should we assess Kim Jong-un’s underlying strategic calculations and his pursuit of diplomacy? What are the achievements and shortfalls of President Donald J. Trump and President Moon Jae-in’s diplomacy with regard to the future of the Korean Peninsula, and what should be their next steps? What are China’s interests, and what role is China likely to play as negotiations continue? How will Northeast Asian regional architecture change, assuming the denuclearization and normalization of North Korea is successful?

Chaesung Chun, Chair of the Center for International Relations Studies,
East Asia Institute; and Professor, Seoul National University (South Korea)

Ettore Greco, Executive Vice President, Institute of International Affairs (Italy)
Guan Guihai, Executive Vice President, Institute of International and Strategic Studies (China)
Osamu Onoda, Visiting Senior Fellow, Genron NPO (Japan)


Young-Sun Ha, Chairman, East Asia Institute (South Korea)
10:30 a.m.–10:45 a.m Coffee Break
10:45 a.m.–12:15 p.m Session Two
Addressing Global Health Challenges in an Aging World

Guiding Questions: Which of the multitude of challenges that accompany an aging world are dependent on international cooperation to solve, and what is the role of global and regional governance in confronting them? What principles should govern private sector engagement in confronting the challenges of aging, and are there areas where the private sector should not be brought in? How can nations work together to mitigate exposure to rising health threats from multinational companies and global supply chains, such as tobacco, pollution, and unhealthy foods? How can countries cooperate to shift more research, development, and delivery of medicines from infectious disease challenges to chronic diseases? How can international institutions ensure trade agreements promote rather than restrict access to affordable medicines and assistive technologies? How can global and regional governance architectures better engage the private sector in driving the heath-care response and reduce the financial risks of aging?


Thomas Bollyky, Senior Fellow for Global Health, Economics, and Development, and Director of the Global Health Program, Council on Foreign Relations (United States)
Eduardo Mello, Assistant Professor, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil)
Carlos Javier Regazzoni, Consultant Member, Argentine Council for International Relations (Argentina)


Barbara Lippert, Director of Research and Member of the Executive Board, German Institute for International and Security Affairs (Germany)
12:15 p.m.–1:45 p.m. Working Lunch on Common Challenges Think Tanks Face


Stewart Patrick, James H. Binger Senior Fellow in Global Governance and Director of the International Institutions and Global Governance Program, Council on Foreign Relations (United States)
1:45 p.m.–2:45 p.m. Session Three
Global Governance Working Papers Discussion:
Arctic Governance and Climate Finance

Samir Saran, President, Observer Research Foundation (India)
Zhao Long, Assistant Director of the Institute for Global Governance Studies and Associate Professor, Shanghai Institutes for International Studies (China)


Steven Blockmans, Senior Research Fellow and Head of EU Foreign Policy, Centre for European Policy Studies (Belgium)
2:45 p.m.–3:00 p.m. Coffee Break
3:00 p.m.–4:45 p.m Public Session
The Future of Asia’s Contested Order

Guiding Questions: What is the current state of Asia’s regional architecture, and what are the chances of a regional security architecture emerging? How can existing regional and multilateral institutions and forums decrease regional tensions? How does China fit in the regional architecture? Are countries in the region beginning to reevaluate their assessment of China’s intentions and what China’s rise means for them? How should we assess Xi Jinping’s foreign policy initiatives, principally the community of common destiny and Belt and Road Initiative? What does the Trump administration’s desired regional architecture for the Indo-Pacific look like, and how divergent is it from the interests of other powers in the region? How can regional middle powers hedge against increasing tensions in the region? What policies can other major Asian powers pursue against this backdrop?


Richard N. Haass, President, Council on Foreign Relations (United States)
Michael Fullilove, Executive Director, Lowy Institute (Australia)
Ma Sang-yoon, Director-General for Strategy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (South Korea)
Wu Chunsi, Director of the Institute for International Strategic Studies, Shanghai Institutes for International Studies (China)


Thierry de Montbrial, Executive Chairman, French Institute of International Relations (France)

Keynote Remarks:

Lee Hong-koo, Former Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea and Founding Chairman of the East Asia Institute (South Korea)
4:45 p.m.–7:00 p.m Free Time
7:00 p.m.–9:30 p.m Reception, Dinner, and Discussion
Changes in the Global Trade Order and Challenges to South Korea

Keynote Speaker:
Seokyoung Choi, Senior Advisor at Lee&Ko; Former Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN and WTO to Geneva; Former Deputy Minister for Trade (South Korea)


Yul Sohn, President, East Asia Institute (South Korea)


Tuesday, October 9, 2018

8:30 a.m.–9:00 a.m Registration and Coffee
9:00 a.m.–10:30 a.m

Session Four
The Geopolitics of Energy and Environmental Management in Asia

Guiding Questions: How can the management of smart energy infrastructure and technology be better coordinated regionally and globally? Does the world need a new institution to promote the sharing of clean technologies? How can the growing energy needs of developing nations be met as standards of living rise and energy access is expanded? What are the implications of Chinese infrastructure investment for the environment and energy capacity of developing economies in the region? How can emerging economies balance rapidly rising energy demand with climate and environmental concerns?

Tae Yong Jung, Professor, Graduate School of International Studies, and Director of the Research Center for Global Sustainability, Yonsei University (South Korea)

Gilead Sher, Senior Researcher and Director of the Center for Applied Negotiations, Institute for National Security Studies (Israel)
Bartosz Wisniewski, Head of the Research Office, Polish Institute of International Affairs (Poland)


Ralf Emmers, Associate Dean and Professor, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (Singapore)

10:30 a.m.–10:45 a.m Coffee Break
10:45 a.m.–12:15 p.m

Session Five 
Techno-nationalism in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Guiding Questions: What effects will the fourth industrial revolution have on the future of world trade and the composition of national work forces? How can countries and international institutions avoid the resurgence of techno-nationalist competition? Is the current protectionist trend likely to continue, and, if so, what role can national governments or international institutions play to ensure that it does not hinder innovation? Is China’s state-led techno-nationalist pursuit sustainable? How will it affect the competitiveness of advanced industrial economies and what actions, if any, should they take? What are the implications for the developing world if techno-nationalist methods prevail, and how should countries respond?


Paul Blustein, Senior Fellow, Center for International Governance Innovation (Canada)
Carola Ramon-Berjano, Counsellor Member, Argentine Council for International Relations (Argentina)
Cobus van Staden, Senior Researcher, South African Institute of International Affairs (South Africa)


Memduh Karakullukçu, Vice Chairman and President, Global Relations Forum (Turkey)

12:15 p.m.–12:45 p.m. Closing Remarks and Wrap-Up


Yul Sohn, President, East Asia Institute (South Korea)
Richard N. Haass, President, Council on Foreign Relations (United States)
12:45 p.m.–2:15 p.m Lunch and Departure of Participants








The Council of Councils Eleventh Regional Conference: Seoul
The Council of Councils Eleventh Regional Conference: Seoul
The Council of Councils Eleventh Regional Conference: Seoul
The Council of Councils Eleventh Regional Conference: Seoul
The Council of Councils Eleventh Regional Conference: Seoul
The Council of Councils Eleventh Regional Conference: Seoul