Korea’s economic relations and security concerns will be the subject of a symposium at Virginia Tech on Wednesday, April 19, from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m., at Owens Banquet Hall.

The symposium is sponsored by the Korea Economic Institute of Washington, D.C., and Virginia Tech Outreach and International Affairs, with additional support from the departments of management and political science.

Deborah Milly, associate professor in the Department of Political Science, said that planners hope the event will attract a broad audience of students, faculty, administrators, and the local community. Provost Mark McNamee will welcome participants to the symposium, which will feature two panel discussions.

The speakers on the first panel, “Globalization and Korea’s Economic Future” (1:35–3:05 p.m.), are Suk-ho (Andy) Mun, president of the Washington, D.C., branch of the Korea International Trade Association; Tom Kincaid, Korean project manager of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership; and James Alvis, director of public affairs of the Korea Economic Institute. The speakers will address themes related to Korea’s economic role in Northeast Asia, the initiative toward establishing a U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement, and promoting business between Korea and Virginia.

The second panel, “Korea and Regional Security (3:15–4:45 p.m.), features Jonathan Adams, assistant director of the Atlantic Council’s Asia program; Bruce Bechtol, associate professor of international relations at the U.S. Marine Corps Command and Staff College; and Jong Ra, John P. Wheeler professor of political science at Hollins University. The speakers will explore topics of military reform in South Korea, changes in the North Korean military, and broader issues in Northeast Asian security.

A reception will follow from 4:45 to 5:30 p.m.

Virginia Tech’s ties to Korea include agreements on student and faculty exchanges, joint research programs, and technical assistance and training with four organizations in South Korea: Chungnam National University, Konkuk University, Soonchunhyang University, and the Seoul Metropolitan Government. Virginia Tech’s Center for Public Administration and Policy frequently hosts Korean researchers and graduate students.

Also, this May and June, management associate professor Devi Gnyawali will lead 16 Virginia Tech students on a study-abroad program in South Korea and Japan, “Management Challenges in International Contexts.” During their week in South Korea, the group will visit companies and other organizations, including Konkuk University, Samsung, Hyundai, and the Korean Federation of Industries.

The symposium is coordinated by the East Asia Regional Leadership Group, which brings together faculty and administrators from across Virginia Tech who have ties to East Asia through their research, teaching, or outreach activities. The group, Milly said, meets regularly to exchange information and discuss how to improve the university’s educational offerings about East Asia and its research and outreach collaborations in the region.

The Korea Economic Institute is a not-for-profit, educational organization affiliated with the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy, a public policy research institute located in Seoul and funded by the South Korean government. KEI educates Americans on Korea and U.S.-Korean relations and regularly sponsors programs on university campuses.

If you are a person with a disability and require any auxiliary aids, services, or other accommodations for this program, please contact Deborah Milly at (540) 231-5574.