Book Talk: Becoming Kim Jong Un: Insights Into North Korea’s Dangerous and Enigmatic Dictator

The World Affairs Council of Orange County Presents: A Free Webinar with Dr. Jung H. Pak SK-Korea Foundation Chair, Korea Studies, Brookings Institution; Sr. fellow Foreign Policy, Center for East Asia Policy Studies; Office of the CIA & DNI; South Korea Fulbright Scholar. This event will be moderated by Dr. Stephan Haggard, Professor of Korea-Pacific Studies; Director, Korea-Pacific Program School of Global Policy & Strategy, UCSD

Date: August 13, 2020

Time: 1:15 p.m. AZ Time

Location: Virtual Event

Jung H. Pak is a senior fellow and the SK-Korea Foundation Chair in Korea Studies at Brookings Institution’s Center for East Asia Policy Studies. She is the author of “Becoming Kim Jong Un: A Former CIA Officer’s Insights into North Korea’s Enigmatic Young Dictator” (Ballantine, April 2020). Positioned as an authoritative book on North Korea under Kim Jong Un, this comprehensive account examines Kim’s personality, preferences, and policy choices, and the implications for North Korea’s internal stability, denuclearization, and global security.

At Brookings, Pak focuses on the national security challenges facing the United States and East Asia, including North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction capabilities, the regime’s domestic and foreign policy calculus, internal stability, and inter-Korean ties. Pak is also focused on developing interdisciplinary forums to bolster regional dialogue on counterterrorism, nonproliferation, cybersecurity, and climate change. She also has expertise in broader U.S.-South Korea relations and regional dynamics.
Pak is an accomplished intelligence professional specializing in East Asia political and security issues with strong academic credentials. She has held senior positions at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Prior to her work in national security, Pak taught at Hunter College in New York City and studied in South Korea as a Fulbright Scholar.

As a senior analyst, Pak published hundreds of intelligence assessments, including the President’s Daily Brief. Several of these papers have been considered required reading and important benchmark studies. Countless assessments have had direct policy impact.

From 2014 to 2016, Pak served as a deputy national intelligence officer at the National Intelligence Council in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI). In that role, Pak led the U.S. intelligence community’s (IC) production of strategic analysis on Korean Peninsula issues, represented the IC in White House policy meetings, provided direct analytic support to the National Security Council, and advised the DNI and his senior staff on key developments and emerging issues.
At CIA, where she won multiple awards for superior analytic accomplishments and service, Pak produced timely and actionable analysis for the president and also helped to manage and support CIA’s projects related to the U.S. presidential transition.

Pak grew up in New York City and graduated from Colgate University where she served as a member of the Board of Trustees from 2009 to 2015. She received her doctorate from Columbia University in U.S. history.

haggardStephan Haggard is the Krause Distinguished Professor at the School of Global Policy and Strategy at the University of California San Diego and director of the Korea-Pacific Program. Previously, he taught in the government department at Harvard from 1983-92.  He has written widely on the political economy and international relations of East Asia.  His work on North Korea with Marcus Noland includes Famine in North Korea (2007), Witness to Transformation: Refugee Insights into North Korea (2011) and Hard Target: Sanctions, Engagement and the Case of North Korea (2017). Prof. Haggard currently writes for the Korea Economic Institute Peninsula Blog.

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