North Korea’s behaviour is a problem for China and their bilateral relations have soured over recent years. After North Korea’s fifth nuclear test in early September, what role does China play in managing relations with its secretive and isolated neighbour? China hopes for no conflict, no instability and no nuclear weapons, but how does it aim to achieve this? China is seen as a crucial partner to achieve North Korea’s denuclearization, but also plays a role as the guarantor of the Regime survival. While Beijing’s principal interest is a peaceful and secure region, by weakening its special relationship with North Korea’s founding and ruling Workers’ Party it threatens to lose the little influence it has. Yet in 2013, the bilateral relationship was downgraded to normal relations between states. Glyn Ford will give his expert insights into these issues and recent developments, and explore what this means for the EU relations in the region.
We invite Glyn Ford, former member of the European Parliament to discuss.
In Partnership With Eno Atelier
Glyn Ford was a Member of the European Parliament for 25 years, during which his work mostly focused on Asia and International Trade. His interest in the East started even before his election to the EP, when he was a visiting Professor in ‘Science and Technology Policy’ at Tokyo University. Over the years, his interest expanded from Japan to the rest of Asia, and in particular to the Korean Peninsula. He first visited the DPRK in 1997, and has now been to the North some 40 times. Thanks to his engagement with the DPRK, he is considered one of the most pre-eminent European experts on the Korean peninsula. He is the author of the book “North Korea on the Brink” (Pluto Press, 2008 and later translated into Japanese and Korean) and of several other articles on the country. Glyn Ford is also a Board Member of the North East Asia Economic Forum (NEAEF), as well as one of the European co-organisers of a number of Korean Global Forum (KGF) events. When he left the European Parliament, he founded the consulting company Polint, which he still leads today. In parallel, he continued his political and academic engagement with the DPRK and the East Asian region. These activities, which have always been conducted on a ‘non-profit’ basis, are now carried out in the framework of the NGO Track2Asia.