Category Archives: Video

“Has the Conservative Party in South Korea Lost its Grip on Power?” Emanuel @ The Real News

The Real News

March 16, 2017

“Has the Conservative Party in South Korea Lost its Grip on Power?”


Jaisal Noor Interviews

Emanuel Pastreich


South Korea Conservatives


South Korea is continuing to feel the aftershocks of the impeachment and ouster of its conservative president, which followed months of protest after she was implicated in corruption. On Wednesday, South Korea’s prosecutor summoned former conservative President Park for questioning in the country’s far-reaching bribery scandal.

All this comes at a time when tensions are escalating between North and South Korea and the United States. South Korea, under pressure from the U.S., agreed to deploy the controversial THAAD missile defense system and is carrying out joint operations, which includes hundreds of thousands of troops with the United States. This prompted Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Ye to question, quote, “If the two sides — referring to the U.S. and North Korea — are really ready for a head-on collision.”

A snap election must be held in two months and the Liberal Party is highly favored. That said, it’s still unknown what other factors may play into the process.


INTER: Describe what the scene is right now, because on the one hand, you have domestic instability in South Korea, there’s going to be a new president elected within two months. At the same time, things are… some have described it as the worst situation between North Korea and the United States and South Korea in some time now. What does it feel like to be there? Describe the mood and the scene there.

EMANUEL PASTREICH: Well, I think, of course, the protests have died down and people are back to work. So, it is normal in that respect. However, these two aspects, both the increasing tensions with North Korea, and also combined with U.S. relations with China, which have of course become much worse under the Trump administration. And China has responded by limiting economic business interactions with South Korea, which has had a tremendous impact on the economy. You can see the economy, I think, is being seriously affected now. So, I think there’s a lot of anxiety and concern about what will happen.

There is a little bit of hope that a new president, and may be the end of the 10-year Conservative presidencies in a row, that this might bring some new opportunities. But I think over all, its overshadowed by a certain degree of angst and foreboding concerning the future particularly of the Korean Peninsula, but also that as the Trump administration is increasingly had to take some more bellicose view of China. And has downplayed, I think, the previous efforts to engage and encourage cooperation, that there are deep, deep worries.

INTER: And so, what party does this favor, this instability, favor? Because we’ve seen in many elections around the world instability leads to the rise of the right. And, of course, the right seems to be quite discredited now, although, you know, supporters of Park remain steadfast.

So, I want to ask you: what could the larger geopolitical implications be if there is a liberal or progressive candidate that wins the election coming up?

EMANUEL PASTREICH: Right. Well, Korea, I think, is somewhat different from the United… well, I wouldn’t say it’s different fundamentally, but that there hasn’t been the rise of a charismatic right wing crypto-populist candidate in Korea yet. We don’t see anyone like that. I think Korea as a whole has undergone a very serious issue of superannuated society. One of the most rapidly aging societies in the world, and that support for President Park now – or former President Park is really limited, and primarily with people in their say, over 60, who remember how her father, President Pak Chong-hee, who was a very authoritarian and also charismatic political leader built Korea up, that there’s a certain nostalgia for that.

But I think the odds of a Conservative win — the parties, by the way, in Korea, change rapidly. It’s not like the United States, where we’ve had Republican and Democrats for the last 130 years. But rather… or more – but rather, depending on the election, people will make out new names. But the politicians don’t change. The conservative side seems unlikely to win, but there is a scenario, because there are two large parties. There’s the People’s Party of Ahn Cheol-soo, and then there’s the Minjoo, or Democratic Party, and if both parties run, both field candidates, and they both do well, you have a three-way split, there is an opportunity or a possibility that the conservatives might be able to win a third term.

INTER: And so, you know, to be clear, what would the impact be? What would the result be if there is a hot conflict between North and South Korea? Because we’ve seen these rising tensions — the North Korean missile tests, which are happening. Now there are these joint operations that are happening between South Korea and the U.S. Hundreds of thousands of troops are taking part in that. So, if there is a hot conflict, even with this missile defense system they’re testing now, from what I’ve read it’s only about 50% effective.

So, just for our viewers to understand, what would that impact be?

EMANUEL PASTREICH: Well, I think people are more concerned about it now than they have been previously, in part because the Trump administration is both inexperienced and, unfortunately, unpredictable. Being unpredictable is a positive if you’re in pro-wrestling. But in international relations, and other fields, it’s much better to be predictable.

So, there is an increased risk. I think we don’t know, there have been incidents on the DMZ previously, right? With shootings or the use of artillery. And so, some small contingent incident is possible. But something larger, a bigger conflict, certainly cannot be ruled out. But actually, since we haven’t had one on an enormous scale since the Korean War, doesn’t mean it can’t happen, and there are forces that… I think what’s most worrisome is the United States used to have a much more stable policy.

But we’ve been invading a lot of countries, as you know, recently, so it’s sort of stable architecture of a divided North and South Korea, and a mutually economically engaged United States and China, and a relatively peaceful and not militarily ambitious Japan, that these sort of set factors for the last 50 years are all in play now. None of them are guaranteed as stable.

If there actually was a conflict — I’m not a fortune-teller, so I can’t tell you what would happen — but I think the danger that it would lead to some confrontation including China or that the United States’ response, like THAAD, for example, THAAD of course is not an active attack on North Korea or on China, but it’s very present. It’s perceived as a threatening decision by Beijing.

INTER: And, finally… I’m sorry to interrupt, but we just have a minute left. We wanted to ask you, it’s on a lot of people’s minds. Why impeachment removal of a conservative president in South Korea, but not the United States yet. Talk about the parallels and the differences.

EMANUEL PASTREICH: Well, it’s a fascinating question. And Korea has been relatively transparent, and the Constitutional Court that rendered the ruling, was all made up of appointees by the conservative government. So, I think there was a real responsiveness to the overwhelming anger and outrage among the population. And there were continuous, very well organized demonstrations, peaceful demonstrations. The United States, we hear a lot about impeachment, but the actual process, or the potential, you just don’t really see anything happening, at least that’s my impression.

So, however, the larger geopolitical implications of this shift, because Korea is both divided in North and South, but also conservative, progressive within the country, we still don’t know, and there are some worrisome aspects of this.


“한국, 한국인의재발견” EBS 국민공감콘서트 2016년 12월 15일 (이만열을 중심으로 )

 “한국, 한국인의재발견”

EBS 국민공감콘서트

2016년 12월 15일




‘국민공감콘서트’에 이대훈, 신수지가 출연한다.

15일 오전 0시10분(14일 밤 12시10분) 방송되는 EBS 1TV ‘국민공감콘서트’ 3회는 ‘나는 누구인가?’라는 주제로 진행된다.

이날 방송에는 성균관대학교 유교대학 동양철학과 신정근 교수가 출연해 ‘정체성 찾기’에 대해 강연한다.

신정근 교수는 ‘나는 누구일까?’의 답이 어려운 이유는 정체성의 혼란 때문이라고 짚는다. 한국은 전쟁의 폐허와 독재정권의 암흑시기 속에서도 민주화와 경제성장을 이뤘지만, OECD 국가 중 10년째 자살률 1위 및 전 세대가 고용불안에 떠는 등 불안감에 시달리고 있다.

신정근 교수는 먹고살기 바빴고 살아남기 위해 ‘나’ 자신을 찾지 못했던 사람들이 어떻게 정체성을 찾고 이 어려움을 극복할 수 있을지 동양철학을 바탕으로 해결책을 찾아간다.

패널로는 개그우먼 이희경, 태권도 메달리스트 이대훈, 전 리듬체조선수 신수지, 이병헌 영화감독이 참석한다.

또한 오는 21일 0시10분(20일 밤 12시10분)에는 ‘한국, 한국인의 재발견’이란 주제로 ‘국민공감콘서트’ 5회가 진행된다.


이날 강연자는 예일대에서 중국 고전문학을 전공하고 도쿄대, 하버드대에서 각각 석, 박사 학위를 받은 임마누엘 페스트라이쉬 경희대 부교수다.

임마누엘 페스트라이쉬 교수는 한국에 산지 9년째로, 역사와 전통문화를 바탕으로 한국인만 모르는 대한민국의 가능성에 대한 질문을 던진다. 일제강점기에 겪은 한국의 문화적 단절에 대해 고민하고, 한국을 세계에 알릴 수 있는 비법으로 선비정신을 제시한다.

이날 5회에서도 3회와 마찬가지로 이희경, 이대훈, 신수지, 이병헌이 패널로 참석한다.

‘EBS 국민공감콘서트’는 총 6회 구성으로, 방송인 김현욱의 진행으로 매회 다채로운 주제와 함께할 예정이다.





Asia Institute Seminar:





Hope Elizabeth May & Emanuel Pastreich


This seminar held on November 23, 2016, traces the ties between Korea and the struggle for world peace and suggests that Korea has in its past the potential to be a leader in the current effort to “wage peace” in the face of increased tensions around the world.




(From Asia Today)

The Asia Institute held a seminar on “History, Memory and Peace in Northeast Asia”on November 23 with Professor Hope Elizabeth May, Professor of Philosophy at Central Michigan University. Professor May discussed the 19th century international Peace through Law Movement (which predated the UN and the League of Nations) and to which the Korean Independence Movement repeatedly appealed. The event drew reporters, diplomats, academics and young students interested in new approaches to peace in East Asia.

The relationship of the United Nations to Korea is normally assumed to begin with the Korean war, but this seminar showed the link between Korean independence and the campaign for world peace and international arbitration which took off in the late nineteenth century, culminated in the Hague Conferences, and produced the United Nations.

Professor May described how the drive for Korean independence was linked to the advocacy for world peace by the Korean delegation sent by Emperor Kojong to the Second International Peace Conference in 1907. This mission, led by the American Homer Hulbert and the Korean loyalist Yi Jun, made a rational argument for the Korean independence as part of a larger embrace of peace.

Professor May discussed how members of international civil society sympathized with the Koreans and gave them a voice at the meeting.

A peaceful approach to the resolution of conflict was at the heart of 1919 Korean independence movement whose  Korean Declaration of Independence advocated the avoidance of anger and resentment:

“We have no wish to find special fault with Japan’s lack of fairness or her contempt of our civilization and the principles on which her state rests.”
Professor May placed current efforts for peace in the context of “Peace History,” a “red thread” that ties together today’s movements to previous efforts over the last hundred years. She suggested that we must embrace this “positive history” if we want to move beyond the remarkably disturbing descriptions of Korea’s history that focus on massacres and “atrocity history.”
May argued that this history contains reservoirs of inspiration and “moral energy” that can link us to the community of individuals, past, present and future, who strive for a more harmonious world.

She closed with a quote by Soviet dissident Natan Sharanksy, which helps us to understand how ‘positive history’is a treasure trove of moral resources:

Souls interact across time and space. The decisions people make in a difficult hour, the principles they either abide by or abandon in moments of truth, have consequences not just for their own lives, but well beyond.

Pastreich noted that the history of peace in East Asia could bring new potentials to future discussions about Asia’s future precisely because our vision has become so very limited by a debate in think tanks that offers the choice between military containment and economic integration that is posited on exploiting North Korea’s natural resources and cheap labor.

He suggested that this positive history of peace in Korea suggests that it is possible to present a different model for Korea that draws on the spiritual depth and moral energy of the Korean Independence Movement, and not on a consumer-based economic development model.

“Chinese Tradition as a solution to the Climate Crisis” Interview on Resistance Radio

Resistance Radio

Progressive Radio Network

Interview with Emanuel Pastreich

October 30 2016

“Chinese Tradition as a solution to the Climate Crisis”

Interview with Resistance Radio

Emanuel Pastreich is the director of the Asia Institute in Seoul, Korea, a think tank that has made the environment and technological change in Asia its central concern. Originally a scholar of classical Chinese literature, and more broadly Asian literature, he has advocated for closer cooperation across Asia to address the profound challenges of our age. He is fluent in Chinese, Japanese and Korean and has recently published a book in Chinese in which he advocates for a new vision of the Chinese economy based in part on traditional Chinese ideas about ecology from Confucianism and Daoism.



Interview: Dennis Choi of the Brain Science Institute (Arirang)

Arirang TV

G Lounge

Interview with Dennis Choi

Director of the Brain Science Institute

KIST (Korea Institute of Science and Technology


February 22, 2016


Emanuel Pastreich interviews Dennis Choi, a leading neurologist and the director of the Brain Science Institute at KIST (Korea Institute of Science and Technology). The interview covers new treatments of neurological diseases and the implications of breakthroughs in brain sciences for the development of computers.




Kang Sung-mo on robotics and the 4th industrial revolution on G Lounge


February 7, 2016

Emanuel Pastreich


The Asia Institute

 steve kang on g lounge

Interview with Kang Sung-mo (Steve Kang) President of KAIST)

Arirang TV

G Lounge

“The 4th Industrial Revolution and its implications for Korea”


A discussion of robotics and their potential for Korea and for the world following Steve Kang’s visit to the World Economic Forum in Davos where the them was the 4th Industrial Revolution and what we need to do to prepare.


Emanuel Pastreich interview with British Amb. Charles Hay @ Arirang TV


Arirang TV   G Lounge


Interview with

Charles Hay

British Ambassador to the Republic of South Korea Charles Hay


Hosted by

Emanuel Pastreich


The Asia Institute


January 17, 2016

임마누엘 페스트라이쉬 연합뉴스 인터뷰 (2013년 4월 8일)

Video of Professor Marc Shell at Asia Institute Seminar “The Past, Present and Future of Money”

April 27, 2012

Asia Institute Seminar  “The Past, Present and Future of Money” 

Professor Marc Shell, Irving Babbitt Professor of Comparative Literature at Harvard University, delivered a compelling talk at the Asia Institute Seminar “The Past, Present and Future of Money”  on April 27, 2012 in which he described the cultural, political, ideological and aesthetic aspects of money in historical perspective. 

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Video of Pastreich lecture at Korean Federation of Industry


Korean Federation of Industry

International Management Institute

Morning Lecture

Emanuel Pastreich


The Asia Institute

(in Korean)