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Message form the President


Greetings from the President of the University of North Korean Studies


I would like to sincerely welcome you to the University of North Korean Studies—the premier institution for research and education on North Korea.


Its premier status comes from many unique aspects of the university. The University of North Korean Studies (UNKS) is the first and still the only university set up in Korea to narrowly focus on North Korea related research and education. Our faculty includes many widely acclaimed scholars studying political, economic, social, legal, military, and educational subjects that pertain to North Korean and unification research. A large number of our students are mid- career professionals with diverse backgrounds, representing various occupations including journalists, teachers, NGO activists, entrepreneurs, government officials, and military personnel. Together, the community of faculty and students share their knowledge and experiences to further advance their work on North Korea related issues. The community includes many of our graduates, who continue to work in the field as well.


The UNKS offers Master and PhD programs in six areas—politics and unification; law and administration; military and security; economics and information technology (IT); sociology, culture, and media; and unification education—and also short-term non-degree programs— Future Leaders Program for Unification. We also have a separate Simyeon Institute for North Korean Studies, which strives to develop new methodologies for North Korean and unification studies.


Many members of the UNKS community share a vision for the future of the Korean Peninsula. We envisage ways to induce positive changes in North Korea, to promote inter-Korean relations and to begin a new era of peace and prosperity on the Korean peninsula. We are also conscious of the fact that inter-Korean issues must be approached in the global and regional context. In the first place, Korea’s division was an outcome of global politics. This explains why, in our research and education, the UNKS strives to examine and understand diverse perspectives on international politics in the region, inter-Korean relations, and Korea’s domestic debates on related issues.


The division of the Korean Peninsula was imposed upon Korea by the outside powers of the time. In overcoming the division, Korea must play a larger role. We hope you will join us in our vison and efforts.


Hoyoung Ahn

President, University of North Korean Studies