By Patrick Bray
DLIFLC Public Affairs
MONTEREY, Calif. – Korean language students at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, Presidio of Monterey, got a taste of potential issues they could be dealing with in their future careers during a lecture May 20.
Sook Kim, former Korean ambassador to the United Nations, spoke about the nuclearization issue in North Korea and the policy of North Korea’s current president, Kim Jong Un. The lecture was given entirely in Korean intended to provide students with target language content regarding a current foreign policy concern.
“I learned a lot about North Korea’s nuclear research and issues that South Korea has to deal with,” said Spc. Olivo Bonnelly. “It was great to get informed on how we might go about denuclearizing the country and get Kim Jong Un to cooperate.”
Kim Jong Un succeeded his father in 2011 as the leader of North Korea. He continued his father’s policy of “military first,” while pursuing the simultaneous development of nuclear weapons and economic growth. However, very little has been revealed as to how much control Kim Jong Un actually has in the North Korean regime and this contributes to the threat to stability in Northeast Asia.
It is topics such as these that help prepare students to be better linguists when they get to their career field.
“Attending the lecture was a great privilege and an opportunity to hear Korean in a practical setting outside of the classroom,” said Airman Joshua Mabry. “The speaker was not only easy to understand, but he was also engaging and discussed very interesting topics which are relevant to our career.”
Ambassador Kim is a career diplomat with more than 35 years of experience in the foreign service and intelligence fields. He is currently a Pantech Research Fellow at the Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center at Stanford University, California.
“I am always impressed and very thankful that the staff within the Korean department takes the time to seek out and invite such experienced and knowledgeable individuals to address us in Korean at a higher level,” said Maj. Michael Vincent.
Students who attended the lecture are nearing completion of the 64-week Korean Basic Course. Service members are full-time learners, with five days of class a week and seven hours per day of class time.
Posted Date: 20 May 2015