PhD Title: Alliance Theory and Republic of Korea's Dynamic Alliance Strategy under a Turbulent Environment in Northeast Asia.
Tell us a bit about your PhD?
Today the East Asian region has emerged as one of the most dynamic areas of the world in terms of security. The changes in the environment surrounding the Korean peninsula have been especially rapid and dramatic. In such a situation, the formation of sound alliance strategies, even if the two Koreas unify or the threat from North Korea is neutralised, remains one of the most significant factors for the maintenance of South Korea’s security. Therefore, the purpose of my research is to find the optimal alliance strategies of South Korea in the rapidly changing international society.
How did you get into this area of research?
Actually, I am a military officer of the Republic of Korea. So, I am interested in security fields. I think that 'Alliance' is one of the critical subjects for all states in current security environment, especially for the Republic of Korea which is surrounded by major powers.
What have you found most different in Leeds as opposed to living in South Korea?
The UK's social system is totally different compared to South Korea's, for example, medical system, transportation system, and the bank system. Especially, at the first, NHS system made me a little bit uncomfortable when my wife was in the emergency room. At that time, my wife was pregnant, but we had to wait for 4 hours to treat my wife's cut finger. But now, we are accustomed to this system.
How did you find out about POLIS?
There are a few Professors who are experts on security fields in some universities, but my first Supervisor, Professor Christoph Bluth, is an expert on Korean Security in the UK. Thus, I made up my mind to study at Leeds.
Would you recommend studying in the UK to your South Korea compatriots?
Definitely yes! In South Korea, many students do not study in European Countries including the UK. So, they do not know about Europe, especially the UK. I think, to get a balance in foreign affairs, many students who will be a leaders of society have to study in various countries.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Usually, I play football and golf with my friends, and I have spent my time going to a park and museum with my family.
What do you hope to do once you gain your PhD?
After finishing my PhD successfully, I will be a professor in the Korean National Defence University. Actually, I am already designated as an assistant professor in the University and I will give a lecture on the national security strategy for MA students.