CSDS joins forces with Asia Matters

In collaboration with Asia Matters, we publish a series of podcast episodes to enhance the understanding of Asia’s security challenges in Europe.

To date, the following episodes have been released:

1. Episode 32: Dealing with Disinformation: A Global Challenge

Disinformation has become somewhat of a buzzword over the last few years, particularly in the wake of Russian interference into the 2016 US election. But what exactly do we mean when we talk about ‘disinformation’ – and who is spreading it, and how? Governments, academics and journalists have been playing ever closer attention to the phenomenon, especially when it comes to state actors – and for Europe, the US and its allies, that means Russia and China in particular. But faced with a vast array of actors and motives – from pro-Kremlin troll farms to China’s so-called wolf warrior diplomats – what efforts can governments take to lessen their impact? To discuss this, we are joined by Lutz Guellner, the Head of Strategic Communications at the European External Action Service , the EU’s diplomatic service. And Bonji Ohara, an expert in defence issues and Senior Fellow at the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, joins us from Tokyo. Listen to this podcast episode.

2. Episode 35: North Korea: Is full denuclearisation still a viable goal?

South Korea’s president Moon Jae-in has just been in Washington for talks with President Biden, in part to discuss how to deal with the long-isolated country. And in its first comments reacting to that meeting, Pyongyang has signalled it was not best pleased – warning that what it called the U.S.’s hostile policy against the North could lead to an “acute and unstable situation” on the Korean Peninsula. The last few years have of course seen plenty of drama, but little resolution around the North Korean issue – Donald Trump’s historic talks with Kim Jong Un being a prime example of both phenomena. So has there been any real progress on the Korean Peninsula? What is the best and most realistic way forward now? Is it time, for example, to give up the goal of fully denuclearising North Korea? This week we are joined by CSDS’s Korea Chair, Ramon Pacheco Pardo, who is also an associate professor at King’s College, London. Our other distinguished guest is Sue Mi Terry, a senior fellow at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, her latest post in a stellar career following Korean issues in the worlds of intelligence, policy making and academia. Listen to this podcast episode.

3. Episode 37: How the EU Fits into Asia’s Security Puzzle

This week we turn our attention to the Indo-Pacific – and the new geopolitical groupings emerging there, from multilateral trade deals to nascent security arrangements. The most well-known of the latter is probably the Quad, a grouping of the major democracies with skin in the game in the region – namely India, Japan, Australia, and the US. But what of Europe, the world’s largest trading bloc? Back in April, the EU published a strategy document aimed at boosting its presence in the region. But what does that mean in practice – what does the bloc hope to achieve, what limitations is it up against – and what do the major players situated in the region make of this renewed European focus? Eva Pejsova, Senior Japan Fellow at Centre for Security, Diplomacy and Strategy (CSDS) of the Brussels School of Governance, is one of our guests as we discuss where Europe fits into the shifting geopolitical picture in the region. Joining Andrew and Eva are Abhijit Singh, Senior Fellow and head of the Maritime Policy Initiative at the Observer Research Foundation; and Kei Koga, Assistant Professor at the School of Social Sciences at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. Listen to this podcast episode.

4. Episode 40: North Korea: The View from the South

We often talk about North Korea’s future in terms of how the issue plays out in the region’s broad geopolitical rivalry, and between the US and China. Less discussed is how the issue plays out in South Korea – which technically remains at war with its northern neighbour – and whose interest in the matter is existential. Seoul’s approach to the DPRK is set to come more sharply into focus in the coming months, with candidates gearing up for next spring’s presidential elections, where a successor to Moon Jae-in will be chosen. So what shapes South Korean attitudes towards North Korea? How united has the country been behind Moon’s approach over the last few years? And what might change as the country enters a period of new leadership? Joining us we have Dr Jina Kim, a research fellow at the Korea Institute for Defense Analyses, who specializes in North Asian security issues and has also advised the South Korean government. Our other guest is Ramon Pacheco Pardo, the Korea Chair at the Centre for Security, Diplomacy and Strategy at the Brussels School of Governance. Listen to this podcast episode.

5. Episode 41: South Korea: The Tech Powerhouse on the Cyber Frontline

In any list of influential tech powers in the world, South Korea would undoubtedly be near the top. In this episode we delve into how the country achieved this status, transforming the nature of its economy and producing global industry leaders like Samsung and LG Electronics. But we’ll also look to the future, and at how South Korea is working with the international community to build up the world’s tech infrastructure. How is Seoul cooperating with other regions and countries when it comes to issues such as regulating the internet? How are issues of data collection and privacy being received in Korean society? Like most globally connected powers, South Korea is also highly attuned to the risk of cyber attacks – particularly given its volatile neighbour North Korea. We are delighted to have Dr Michael Reiterer, former EU Ambassador to the Republic of Korea and a Distinguished Professor at CSDS, Brussels School of Governance, on the show. He has specialised in EU’s relations with Korea and Japan during his career, particularly in the security realm. Also joining us is Dr Robyn Klingler-Vidra, a Reader in International Political Economy at King’s College London, whose research has focused on how East and Southeast nations have developed their tech sectors. Listen to this podcast episode.