Russian Public Diplomacy on the Korean Peninsula: Focusing on the Early Soviet Diplomacy Activities in Colonial Korea

Janna Ballod, Ph.D.
Thursday, October 25, 2018 -
6:00pm to 8:00pm
Korea University, Asiatic Research Institute, Rm #310

Royal Asiatic Society, Korea Branch in cooperation with École française d'Extrême-Orient

Seoul Colloquium in Korean Studies


Venue:            Grand Conference Room (Room #310), Asiatic Research
                        Institute, Korea University (see detailed directions, below)

Everyone interested in Korean Studies is welcome, please share this information. No registration is needed.

The present study proposes to explore the Russian public diplomacy on the Korean peninsula as an international actor’s attempt to influence the international environment through engagement with a foreign public. The trajectory of the Russian public diplomacy on the Korean Peninsula has been analyzed in relation to its historical development featuring three historical stages: 1) public diplomacy in colonial Korea 2) public diplomacy in the DPRK during the Cold War 3) Post-Cold War public diplomacy in the DPRK and in the Republic of Korea.

In the present talk I will focus on "mapping" Soviet public diplomacy in colonial Korea by looking at the extent to which the public diplomacy activities of the first socialist state were defined by the international context and also by the specific conditions of the targeted country – colonial Korea. The Soviet public diplomacy in colonial Korea reflected the multifaceted foreign policy of the USSR, which aimed at support of the communist movement on the one hand, and at the promotion of peaceful coexistence with countries of different political systems, on the other. The Soviet government conducted various public diplomacy activities such as distribution of Soviet literature, organization of exhibitions, maintaining contact with pro-Soviet organizations, and assistance to victims of 1925 flooding with the purpose to form a positive image of the first socialist state.

However from 1905 to 1945 Korean foreign affairs had been administrated by Japan and direct evidence of both official and unofficial contacts between Koreans and foreigners during that period are not easily obtained. The documents retained in the State Archive of the Russian Federation (GARF) provide new evidence of direct contacts between the first socialist state and Korean people, entrepreneurs and organizations in the 1920s - 1930s. The research suggests that the first Soviet Non-Government organizations such as VOKS (the All-Union Society for Cultural Relations Abroad), Russian Red Cross Society and Krestintern Peasant International were engaged in public diplomatic activities on the territory of colonial Korea.

 Janna Ballod, Ph.D.
1991-1996 Moscow State Linguistic University (B.A.)
1998-2000 Yonsei University (M.A., political science)
2001-2004 Embassy of RF in the ROK 
2008-2013 Hanyang University, GSIS (Korean studies), Ph.D.
2008-present Seokyeong University, assistant professor

Take Exit 1 from Korea University subway station, turn right onto the footpath leading up onto the campus.
   Walk straight up the road past LG Posco Hall, the Business School and Main Library (all on the right hand side).
   The Asiatic Research Institute is the building next after the Library (Building 39 on the Campus Map)

After 6 pm, the front door of the Institute will be locked, so please try to arrive a little earlier. If the door is locked, please wait for somone to come out so that they can let you into the building. Or call Brother Anthony, 010-8979-8301.

We will go somewhere for supper at the end of the colloquium.

We hope that many of you can come.

Elisabeth Chabanol
Key-young Son
Brother Anthony

Seoul Colloquium in Korean Studies

The Seoul Colloquium in Korean Studies is jointly organized by the Seoul Center of the ÉFEO and the Royal Asiatic Society, Korea Branch (RASKB). Everyone interested in Korean Studies is welcome, please share this information. No registration is needed. 


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