Angelo State University will host four of the nation’s leading experts on North Korea for the 2016 Center for Security Studies Symposium on Thursday, Oct. 13, in the Rassman Building, 2222 Dena Drive on the ASU campus.

Danny Meyer, Photographer

Sponsored by ASU’s Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Security Studies, the symposium will begin at 5 p.m. in Room 105 of the Rassman Building and is open free to the public. This year’s topic is “North Korea: Challenges for the 21st Century.” Featured speakers will be:

  • Troy Stangarone, senior director of congressional affairs and trade, Korea Economic Institute
  • Gen. Chun In-Bum, Republic of Korea Army (Retired), and visiting fellow, Brookings Institute
  • Dr. Dlynn Armstrong-Williams, chair of the Political Science and International Affairs Department, University of North Georgia
  • Dr. Bruce Bechtol, ASU professor of political science, author of “North Korea and Regional Security in the Kim Jong-un Era”

Bechtol, a North Korea expert in ASU’s Department of Security Studies and Criminal Justice, said the speakers will explore the varied issues the world will have to face as North Korea continues to build up and engage in brinkmanship with its very large and threatening military. Specific topics will include:

  • How the major arms build-up, along with threatening behavior, in North Korea has occurred over the past three years
  • How nation-states, particularly South Korea and the U.S., with interests in the region can deter and defend against upgraded North Korean threats
  • The role of geopolitics and diplomacy in addressing North Korea’s rogue state behavior

“We should all care about this because the North Koreans have been modernizing and testing a number of threatening weapons, including WMDs, and it is likely they will proliferate these weapons of mass destruction to rogue states like Syria and Iran,” Bechtol said. “They threaten U.S. forces in Asia with missiles and nuclear weapons, and yet the government is so unstable that it could collapse at any time. Unfortunately, this means we must maintain strong deterrence by preparing with our allies in South Korea for both war and the inevitable collapse of the regime.”