TAI Seminar: “Endless war, climate change and the refugee crisis”

TAI Seminar

“Endless war, climate change and the refugee crisis”

November 22, 2015


The Asia Institute held a seminar today (November 22, 2015) on the topic of “Endless war, climate change and the refugee crisis” at WCO. The seminar was attended by about fifteen people and was one of the most thoughtful discussions of contemporary issues I have attended recently. The larger implications of the massive immigration to Europe we considered in depth and the seriousness of this situation for Korea was also explored.


Dr. Lakhvinder Singh, a long term friend of the Asia Institute spoke of just how serious the problem of refugees and the endless wars going on has become and the relative ignorance that we find in Korea of the danger of losing the current economic situation that the country enjoys. He called on Korea to move beyond its indifference and promote a culture of peace aimed at the world saying that “Korea’s time has come.” Dr. Singh proposed that we start a peace movement here, and I asked him to organize regular seminars for us.


Yoojin Jung of the Asia Institute strived to maintain objectivity, asking that we be careful in our use of terms and avoid conflating the refugee crisis with the problem of climate change without more substantial research. Professor Choi Mulim of Seoul National University spoke at length about problems with Korean detachment from international issues and spoke forcefully about the need to move forward.


Dr. Seo Sangdae spoke about the serious risks for Europe of having such large numbers of people form an entirely different culture suddenly in their midst.


We were joined also by Pang Eunmi of the Asia Institute, Leslie Song, a political strategist from the United States, Sonja Glaeser, Professor Kim Hyungrul, chairman of the Asia Institute, and about six students from Sookmyung University who have been working on the issue of refugees with Professor Kim.


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