Mission Statement

The Asan Institute for Policy Studies is an independent, non-partisan think tank with the mandate to undertake policy-relevant research to foster domestic, regional, and international environments conducive to peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, as well as Korean reunification.


The Asan Institute for Policy Studies was founded by Dr. Chung Mong Joon, honorary chairman and a seven-term member of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea, on February 11, 2008. We currently have 17 full-time research fellows, 20 program officers and 32 regular staff members. The institute conducts research in national security and foreign policy, area studies, public opinion and domestic politics, social science methodology, and global governance. The Asan Institute has also launched a monthly E-journal in 2013, The Asan Forum, for in-depth interpretation of rapid changes across the Asia-Pacific region. The Asan Academy, a special fellowship program to train the future generation of leaders in Korea, was also established by the institute in 2012.


The Asan Plenum is the annual gathering of leading national security and foreign policy experts from around the globe. In addressing the most pressing challenges facing the world, the Asan Plenum aims to impact the policy making process and enable the global community to better deal with the challenges it faces. The “conversational” format of the Plenum will allow for maximum interaction among the panelists and participants.

The Asan Washington Forum is a gathering of leading figures in Korean, American, and East Asian public affairs for a two-day, multi-session conference in Washington, D.C. Organized by the Asan Institute for Policy Studies, the Forum seeks to inform the policymaking discourse in the United States and Northeast Asia by bringing fresh insights to some of the most pressing challenges confronting the ROK-US alliance in the twenty-first century. As the ROK-US alliance faces the future, this year’s forum reflected on how Korean and American policymakers had overcome the hurdles of the past and what they should do to prepare for the challenges of the future. It seeks the answers for how we can ensure peace and prosperity for this generation and those to come.

The Asan China Forum is a gathering of leading China experts and policy analysts to discuss the most pertinent issues of the day pertaining to China. Topics addressed through the Asan China Forum include China’s domestic political, economic, and social developments; China’s relations with its neighbors in East Asia, as well as with other countries and regions of the world; and China’s rising role as a global actor. The inaugural Asan China Forum, held from December 11-12, 2012, focused on “China in Transition” and met with success through the active participation of over 250 scholars, diplomats, policy analysts, and journalists from around the world. The Forum features four plenary sessions and eighteen panels over two days, conducted in both English and Chinese. The conversational format of the Forum is intended to maximize interaction among panelists and participants. Parallel break-out sessions and intimate small-group networking lunches provide further opportunities for in-depth discussion.

The Asan Nuclear Forum is a gathering of leading nuclear scientists, engineers, policy analysts and public intellectuals from around the world as well as the institution they represent. The Asan Nuclear Forum is designed to maximize its impact on the unfolding conversation on global nuclear problems and challenges. The agenda of this forum holds particular significance for Northeast Asia. In the aftermath of the Fukushima Daiichi accident, the region faces decreasing public confidence in the safety of nuclear facilities yet there is increasing support for nuclear disarmament and for the strengthening of the nonproliferation regime because of the nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula.

The Asan Beijing Forum is a gathering of leading figures in Korean, Chinese, and East Asian public affairs for a two-day conference in Beijing, China. Organized by the Asan Institute for Policy Studies, the Charhar Institute and the China Institute of International Studies, the Forum seeks to inform the policymaking discourse in Northeast Asia by bringing fresh insights to some of the most pressing challenges confronting Korea and China in the twenty-first century.

The Asan North Korea Conference is a gathering of scholars and experts keen on North Korean issues, such as its economy, nuclear capability, and external relations, for a two-day conference in Seoul, Korea. Organized and hosted by the Asan Institutes for Policy Studies, the Conference focuses on viability of the North Korean regime and security situations on the Korean Peninsula. Last year’s Conference covered various topics, from nuclear strategy and deterrence to contingency scenarios. It received widespread attention from the foreign policy and national security community and was covered in both the domestic and international media.

Bi-monthly E-Journal

The Asan Forum

The Asan Forum is an online publication, to best preserve the continuity and interactivity of live debates, while taking advantage of the extraordinary reach that the technology affords us.

The Asan Forum aims to bring together scholars and policy experts from across the region and disciplines. The aim is not simply to seek diversity of views; it is to harness the intellectual synergy created when perspectives compete, and more importantly, complement each other. We named it a Forum, like our signature conferences, because it is about exchanging insights and finding the best practices for the challenges that our region faces.

The Asan Forum consists of the following in addition to opinion pieces and reviews:

    • “Country Reports” are filed by our local editors from Korea, China, Japan, and Russia, who provide monthly synopses of country specific issues that are often overlooked by the global media.
    • “Open Forum” is reserved for fresh ideas that bring non-traditional, disruptive perspectives to the table. It is only fitting that we start off the section with a piece by Stephen Krasner of Stanford University, about the effects of unforeseen disruptions to the global system.
    • “Special Forum” focuses on pertinent and timely topics chosen by the Editorial Board. “Cold War II?” is the inaugural topic for the section, with the contributions from Michishita Narushige of the National Graduate Institute of Policy Studies, Scott Harold of the RAND Corporation, Rex Li of Liverpool John Moores University, Stephen Blank of American Foreign Policy Council, and Zhu Feng of Peking University.

SNS & Multimedia