Buddhism has a long history in Korea, yet its most popular period lies centuries in the past. During the Koryo period, from the 10th to the 14th century, it was the official state religion on the Korea peninsula – until it fell from grace. We spoke to Professor Juhn Ahn about the reasons for and origins of this change of Buddhism’s fate.
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In early 1968, North Korea attacked and captured the American ship USS Pueblo in international waters. One of the crew members died, the other 82 were imprisoned and tortured for eleven months. We spoke to Professor Mitchell B. Lerner about the story of the ship, the historical context of the events as well as their tragic avoidability.
Science Fiction, and most prominently movie franchises like Star Wars and Star Trek, is not particularly popular in South Korea. In contrast to that, North Korea has a rich tradition of Science Fiction. We spoke to Professor Dong-Won Kim about the history, reception and characteristics of Science Fiction in the two Korean states.
When did Korea modernize? For many, the answer lies in the colonial era. Professor Kyung Moon Hwang is critical of this view and offers an alternative. He argues that Korea’s modernization is not just a result of Japanese influence, but that it already started in the 19th century and the Joseon dynasty. To learn more, we spoke to him about this process.
China’s foreign policy has become more assertive in recent years, stoked worries in its neighbors and is increasingly seen as a challenge towards America’s presence in the region. We spoke to Professor Robert S. Ross about the driving forces behind China’s behavior, how America should and does respond, and what this means for the two Korean states.