KatW Competition (Update)

Update: Winners Announcement

Today we can finally announce the winners of our competition in cooperation with Kialo. Of the twenty topics which we accepted for the competition, the following three turned into the most interesting, insightful and well-developed debates. You can view them by creating an account at Kialo via this invite link: http://bit.ly/2sSfwCg.

  1. North Korea should not give up its nuclear weapons for its national security (www.kialo.com/2177)
  2. South Korea should abandon its goal of unification with North Korea (www.kialo.com/2168)
  3. The international community should support humanitarian aid in North Korea (www.kialo.com/2176)

The winners of the competition who share a prize money of USD 1400 have been notified via email. Thank you to everyone who applied, participated and – of course – to the authors of the winning debates!

Original Post

Reporting on North Korea tends to be one-sided, simplistic and even sensationalist, as several of the experts we interviewed in the past have pointed out. In an effort to emphasize the complexity of and the different perspectives on many of the issues surrounding North Korea, we would therefore like to go beyond our interviews with experts – and ask for the expertise of our listeners.

In cooperation with Kialo.com, an online debate platform, we are organizing an essay competition in a novel format. For this, we are looking for individual participants to illustrate the complexity and multifaceted nature of the relations between North Korea and its neighbors as well as the United States. The winner will receive USD 800, the runner-up USD 400, and the third-placed participant USD 200.

What do we mean with novel format? Instead of an essay, arguing for a specific side, we are asking each participant to write arguments for as well as against a thesis of their choosing in the form of a debate on Kialo. For a brief introduction to Kialo, you can watch explanatory videos here and here. To see what great Kialo debates look like, please create an account using this link and check out the two listed examples.

Participation is open to anyone. In a first step, we ask for a thesis which participants would like to elaborate through a debate. From the submitted theses, we will select the first twenty that are most likely to result in enlightening debates and will invite the authors to flesh out these over the following two weeks.

To apply for this competition, fill out this form. There you will be able to submit up to three debate theses in the format “X should…” on the relations of North Korea with its neighbors and the United States. You can choose any topic you deem interesting, that is of current relevance and has the potential to lead to interesting pro- and con-arguments. Examples from other contexts would be “The European Union should end its accession negotiations with Turkey” or “South Korea should cancel the comfort women agreement with Japan.” Entries are limited to one per person; the application deadline is June 2 (Friday) at noon.

Timeline (each 12:00 GMT):

  • June 2 Application deadline
  • June 4 Participants will be contacted and starting of debate writing
  • June 18 Deadline for debate hand-ins
  • June 25 Announcement of winners

On June 4 (Sunday) we will contact all participants to let them know whether their thesis has been selected. Then you will have until June 18 to write your debate, after which we will choose a winner based on how well-argued, interesting and insightful the debates are. There is no word count limit; instead, please aim at writing 100-200 arguments (individual claims / premises) in a debate. The Kialo team’s experience is that writing a debate of this size will take 7-15 hours.

If you have questions, please forward them to gk@kialo.com.

A brief disclaimer: Korea and the World and Kialo are not affiliated with each other, and Korea and the World receives no payment for this cooperation. One of our co-creators works for Kialo as a freelancer. Kialo approached us about a joint project and worked together with us on the details of this competition. The prizes are sponsored by Kialo and the selection of the competition participants as well as the winners will be done by members of Korea and the World and Kialo together. Current or former staff of Korea and the World and Kialo cannot participate.