Kang Jun-young

Kang Jun-young

Professor of Chinese Studies, Graduate School of International Studies, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies

Kang Jun-young is Professor of Chinese Studies at the Graduate School of International Studies and Head of the Center for International Area Studies at the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies. He is also a regular commentator on China and international issues with various media outlets. He earned his master's and PhD degrees from the Graduate Institute of Asian Studies of National Cheng Chi University in Taipei, Taiwan. His main areas of research are in contemporary Chinese political economy and International relations in Northeast Asia. He has served as a policy adviser to the South Korean foreign ministry, and is currently an adviser to the Korea Northeast Asian History Foundation and the Korea Navy Development Committee.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin and North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un visit the Vostochny Сosmodrome in the far eastern Amur region, Russia, on 13 September 2023. (Vladimir Smirnov/Sputnik/Pool via Reuters)

South Korean academic: China must not join the North Korea-Russia alliance

South Korean academic Kang Jun-young notes that North Korea’s recent inclusion of its nuclear weapons policy into its constitution — coupled with its friendliness with Russia — is making the region nervous, and can only raise doubts among its neighbours, including China. However, he cautions against overreacting, as that would in turn escalate the situation further.
Yoon Suk-yeol, President of South Korea, attends a meeting of the North Atlantic Council during a NATO leaders summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, on 12 July 2023. (Ints Kalnins/Reuters)

China needs to change its understanding of South Korea’s stand

With South Korea working on bilateral and multilateral international relations, especially with the US and Japan, it is perhaps unsurprising that China is not quite at ease with South Korea’s stand. Recent comments by Chinese ambassador to South Korea Xing Haiming implying that South Korea’s pro-US stance will not lead to a good outcome has raised hackles in South Korea. Academic Kang Jun-young tells us more.
This picture taken on 25 April 2023 and released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on 26 April hows soldiers and civilians offering attending a wreath-laying ceremony at the bronze statues of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il on Mansudae Hill in Pyongyang to mark the 91st founding anniversary of the Korean People's Revolutionary Army (KPRA). (KCNA via KNS/AFP)

China can do more on the North Korean nuclear issue

With North Korea declaring itself a nuclear state and indicating that it would only enter negotiations in its position as one, the situation in the Korean peninsula is getting more unstable. Among the global stakeholders in the issue, China is in a position to do more. Trilateral cooperation between the US, South Korea and China is even possible if China changes its perceptions and long-held approaches.
South Korea's president-elect Yoon Seok-youl speaks during a news conference at his transition team office, in Seoul, South Korea, 20 March 2022. (Jung Yeon-je/Pool via Reuters)

South Korea’s new president needs to avoid predecessor’s mistakes and reframe foreign policy priorities

South Korean academic Kang Jun-young notes that the incoming Yoon Seok-youl administration in South Korea will have to rectify several diplomatic missteps of the previous administration, including by restoring ties with Japan and adjusting its policies towards China and the US, while dealing with the nuclear issue with North Korea. Will Yoon’s administration be able to juggle all this while maintaining its national dignity and not giving in to external pressure?