The Korea Herald


Talk to explore impact of Seoul Olympics

By Paul Kerry

Published : April 17, 2018 - 18:37

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As a diplomatic turning point augurs in the wake of the PyeongChang Olympics, the Royal Asiatic Society Korea Branch will host a talk on changes in South Korean diplomacy around the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul.

Kathryn Weathersby, a visiting professor of history at Korea University, will talk about how the Seoul Olympics were South Korea’s international debut as a modern, prosperous country but also a turning point in foreign relations, including with Hungary and the Soviet Union.

Weathersby will explain Seoul’s pursuit of a “north policy” concurrent with its Olympic bid, before examining Seoul’s successful negotiations to establish diplomatic relations with Moscow and the lasting impact of that historic shift.

Weathersby is a historian with a research focus on Soviet involvement in the Korean Peninsula and history of North Korea. She founded and directed the North Korea International Documentation Project at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington DC and before her time at Korea University, taught courses on North Korea at Johns Hopkins University.

The lecture starts at 7:30 p.m. on April 24 at Somerset Palace in Seoul. Admission is free for RASKB members and 10,000 won for nonmembers and 5,000 won at the door. See for more information.