The threat North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un poses to the United States is the topic of a guest expert’s free lecture open to the public this week at Columbus State University.
Mark Tokola, vice president of the Korea Economic Institute of America in Washington will begin CSU’s 10th year of the Hallock Speaker Series with a discussion titled “Dealing with Kim Jong-un’s North Korea,” starting at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Cunningham Conference Center, 3100 Gentian Blvd.
According to CSU’s news release, Tokola served for 38 years in the U.S. Foreign Service, including embassies in South Korea, Mongolia and Iceland. He received the U.S. State Department’s Superior Honor Award for his work on the Dayton Peace Accords while serving as a diplomat in Sarajevo. The 1995 agreement ended the war in Bosnia.
“North Korea is often in the news, most recently because of its fifth nuclear test and continuing missile launches in violation of United Nations sanctions,” CSU political science professor Tom Dolan said in the release. “Last month, the National Intelligence Director, James Clapper, described North Korea as one of the greatest challenges the next president will face.”
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The Hallock Speaker Series, supported by the Richard R. Hallock Foundation and coordinated by CSU’s Department of Political Science and Public Administration, was established in 2007 to “address issues of national security for the university community and others interested in this topic,” according to CSU’s website.
Hallock was a decorated paratrooper in World War II, an intelligence aide for Gen. Lucius D. Clay, who oversaw the Berlin Airlift and the post-war reconstruction of Germany. At 32, Hallock became the youngest major to be a battalion commander in Korea. He retired from the U.S. Army as a colonel in 1967 after 25 years of active service. He became an adviser to Defense Secretary James Schlesinger and a consultant for political and military affairs, especially in the Middle East. He and his wife, Myriam Johnston Hallack, established the foundation before he died at 79 in 1999 in Oberlin, Ohio. He is buried at Fort Benning, where he was stationed for several years.
Previous speakers in the series have included:
▪ Sterling Johnson, Jr. of the District Court of the Eastern District of New York.
▪ M. Zuhdi Jasser, President of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy.
▪ Jeffrey Addicott, Director of the Terrorism Law Center at St. Mary’s University School of Law.
▪ Charles L. “Jack” Pritchard, former Special Envoy to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
▪ Allan R. Millett, Director of the Eisenhower Center for American Studies and Stephen E. Ambrose, Professor of History at the University of New Orleans.
▪ Conrad C. Crane, Director of the U.S. Army Military History Institute.
▪ Ronald Neumann, former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, who is now the President of the American Academy of Diplomacy.
▪ Duyeon Kim, Deputy Director of Nuclear Non-Proliferation at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation.
▪ David Crist, Senior Historian for the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
▪ Jonathan Schanzer of the Foundation for Defense Democracies.
▪ Amy Smithson, Senior Fellow, the Center for Nonproliferation Studies.
▪ Lino Gutiérrez, former U.S Ambassador to Argentina and Nicaragu.
▪ Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracie.
▪ Thomas Pickering, retired Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs and U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation, India, Israel, El Salvador; Nigeria, Jordan and the United Nations.