In support of the APLN and KAIST-NEREC’s Summer Fellows Program partnership, the APLN’s research fellows, Samuel Gardner and Sue Jeong, were given the opportunity to participate in the fellowship program. The APLN’s research fellows took part in the program from July 13th to July 17th, attending training courses on nuclear power and non-proliferation, as well as connecting with the next generation of international leaders in nuclear issues.
Because of the unprecedented circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, this year the KAIST-NEREC Summer Fellows program was held in hybrid format on Jeju Island and in Daejeon with many of its international participants contributing via online platforms. Students from 16 countries with varied majors such as nuclear engineering, international relations, economics, and many others were in attendance offline and online. Led by Professor Man-Sung Yim and his staff at KAIST-NEREC, the KAIST-NEREC Summer Fellows program facilitated opportunities for both students and experts in the field to build knowledge and establish professional relationships. Many special lectures taught by Professor Yim, Professor Vipin Narang, Professor Scott S. Sagan, and Professor Steven E. Miller on nuclear energy, policy research, history of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, and nuclear treaties were conducted during the week of APLN’s attendance in Jeju.
The 2020 Online International Conference on Nuclear Non-proliferation was held both online and offline from August 4th to August 6th in Daejeon. The APLN sent research fellows and interns to participate in the offline portions, including Dawoom Jung, Elaine Natalie, Gina Park, Ilaria Fornari, and Julia Park, who participated in two sessions on “Nuclear Non-proliferation Challenges2020: What We See and What We Do” and “Denuclearization of North Korea and Peace in Northeast Asia,” respectively. Many APLN members also took part in these sessions, including Professor Bong Geun Jun, Professor Nobumasa Akiyama, Dr. Sang Hyun Lee, Dr. Tong Zhao, and Mr. Won Soo Kim. Vice-Chair and Executive Director Chung-in Moon also gave a keynote speech on August 5th. The partnership between the APLN and KAIST-NEREC has proven to be very productive for both parties, and will hopefully continue to strengthen both organizations in the future.
On August 12th, 2020, the APLN invited 14 fellows from the KAIST-NEREC Summer Fellows Program to participate in a talk with the APLN Vice-Chair and Executive Director Chung-in Moon. As an extension to Moon’s keynote speech at the 2020 Online International Conference on Nuclear Nonproliferation, “The Bolton Memoir and the North Korean Nuclear Quagmire,” he provided the fellows with greater insight on a range of issues about foreign affairs and national security.
While answering questions raised by the fellows centered around North Korean denuclearization, Moon underscored the need to shift away from a transactional mindset and move towards realism. Criticizing Washington’s DPRK strategy, he further emphasized the importance of intersubjective understanding in multi-party talks and policymaking as opposed to holding onto egotistic interpretations of North Korean motives. Other important topics that were discussed include COVID-19’s effect on international relations, the North Korean trade-off between human rights and peace, and China’s lack of Wang Dao approach to diplomatic matters.
The KAIST-NEREC Summer Fellows Program is a workshop that aims to foster international leaders in the field of nuclear nonproliferation. Undergraduate and graduate students from diverse majors and eminent universities participated in a six-week-long series of lectures, seminars, and other research activities, supported by the APLN and other organizations.