Three of the nation’s leading scholars on North Korea will speak on the topic “Preparing for Collapse in North Korea: Challenges and Issues” on Thursday, Nov. 14, during a lecture series sponsored by Angelo State University’s Center for Security Studies.
The speakers will be Dr. Richard C. Bush III, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and director of its Center for East Asia Policy Studies; Greg Scarlatoiu, executive director of the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea; and David S. Maxwell, associate director of the Center for Security Studies and the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University.

The program, which is the second in the annual ASU Center for Security Studies Lecture Series, will begin at 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14, in Room 105 of the Rassman Building, 2222 Dena Drive on the ASU campus, and is open free to the public.

Dr. Bruce Bechtol, a political scientist and Korean Peninsula expert on ASU’s security studies faculty, said what happens on the Korean Peninsula has implications for all Americans.

“We should all care about this because the North Koreans proliferate weapons of mass destruction to rogue states like Syria,” 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.  Because of this, we may see in the near future more U.S. troops deploying to the Korean Peninsula to conduct stabilization operations.”

Bechtol said the speakers will explore the varied issues the world will have to face with a collapsing North Korea.

Bush holds the Chen-Fu and Cecilia Yen Koo Chair in Taiwan Studies at the Brookings Institution.   As director of the institution’s Center for East Asia Policy Studies, he oversees a center for research, analysis and debate to enhance policy development on the pressing political, economic and security issues facing East Asia and U.S. interests in the region.  He is the author or co-author of multiple books, including Untying the Knot: Making Peace in the Taiwan Strait, A War Like No Other: The Truth About China’s Challenge to America, Perils of Proximity: China-Japan Security Relations and Uncharted Strait: The Future of China-Taiwan Relations, published earlier this year.

As executive director of the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, Scarlatoiu plans, coordinates and conducts research and outreach programs to focus world attention on human rights abuses in North Korea, and to seek creative solutions for improving the human rights situation.  He has authored a weekly radio column broadcast by Radio Free Asia to North Korea for eight years, and has written articles for various publications, including Global Asia, Korea Insight and Korea Exchange.  Prior to his current position, Scarlatoiu was the director of public affairs and business issues for the Korea Economic Institute, where he planned, designed and implemented outreach programs to educate Americans on developments on the Korean Peninsula.

Prior to his association with the Center for Security Studies and the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University, Maxwell served 30 years in the U.S. Army, retiring as a Special Forces colonel with his final assignment serving on the military faculty teaching national security strategy at the National War College.  He has served in various command and staff assignments in the infantry in Germany and Korea, as well as in Special Forces at Fort Lewis, Wash.; Seoul, Korea; Okinawa, Japan; and the Philippines with total service in Asia of more than 20 years.  In addition, he is a fellow at the Institute for Korean-American Studies and is on the board of advisors for Small Wars Journal.

For more information, contact Bechtol at 325-486-6792.