The year 2014 marked a turning point in the Asan Institute for Policy Studies’ development. The Institute’s first five years consisted of rapid expansion in staff, research programs, and global influence. This year has been one of consolidation and deepening of the Asan Institute’s core research focuses, as reflected in the pooling and coordination of the Institute’s research programs under five overarching research centers.
The Asan Institute in 2014 directed an unprecedented degree of attention in its research on North Korea, on issues ranging from political economy, North Korean contingencies from the perspective of the business community, traditional security concerns, and nuclear technology and policy. Several possible avenues for improving inter-Korean relations were explored by the Asan Institute throughout the year. The UN Commission of Inquiry Report on Human Rights in the DPRK released in February was supplemented by Asan experts with a further report examining the conditions of North Koreans in nuclear facilities and overseas.
The Institute has continued to focus on the key issues pertaining to foreign policy and national security, regional studies, global governance, Korean studies, and to conduct rigorous quantitative research and public opinion polling to keep government officials, academics, and the general public informed. Several policy experts and academics were hosted by the Institute throughout the year, particularly from China and Japan, to seek policy solutions aimed towards securing a more trusting, peaceful, and prosperous Northeast Asia.
In 2014, the Asan Institute welcomed Amb. Chun Yungwoo, former National Security Advisor and Ambassador to the United Kingdom, as a Senior Advisor; Dr. Choi Hyeonjung to lead the Global Governance Center’s Climate Change and Sustainable Development Program; and Mr. Ahn Sung Kyoo, a thirty-year veteran of the JoongAng Ilbo, to be Chief Editor of the newly established Editorial Department.
The success of the Asan Institute is set to continue in 2015 with the release of several new initiatives, including the launch of a print journal in Korean produced by Asan Institute experts, and a report at the beginning of the year on the outlook for the Korean Peninsula in 2015.