Leading Scholars & Experts Discuss Role of Leadership in Crisis
More than three-hundred leading scholars and experts from around the world held discussions on Wednesday on the role of leadership in handling crises. The Asan Plenum 2012 challenged the participants to consider what is required of newly elected leaders in tackling existing political and economic crises. [Reporter : Kim Yeon-ji, Reporter email@example.com] "Hot on the conference agenda was a nuclear North Korea. Representatives from the five countries participating in the six party talks had a heated discussion about what may solve the North Korean problem." Respected experts, including Christopher Hill who formerly represented the U.S. in the six-party negotiations with North Korea, expressed their frustration with Pyeongyang, for reneging on the terms of agreements time and time again. Kim Tae-woo from South Korea suggested that the only way to denuclearize North Korea is to help the reclusive state transform itself to a country that does not need nuclear weapons. Pan Zhenqiang from China, however, warned that if North Korea feels that its sovereignty is not being respected in any way, it will walk away from the negotiating table. [Interview : Gen. Pan Zhenqiang, Senior Adviser China Reform Forum] "Without such kind of better understanding and reconsideration based on mutual respect, I emphasize mutual respect, you are not going to see any resolution based on whatever kind of recipe. Six party talks, five party talks, four party talks. I don't see any positive results out of this." While acknowledging China's leadership role in organizing a bilateral meeting between the U.S. and North Korea last February, Christopher Hill stressed that China needs to do more as a key player in negotiating with North Korea. [Interview : Christopher Hill, Former U.S. Negotiator for Six-Party Talks ] "I think the Chinese are in the chair, they need to show leadership and not just repeat expressions such as there needs to be more trust. I think they need to show leadership and come up with very specific initiatives." The audience, made up of young scholars and officials, appreciated the rare opportunity to hear views on the North Korean issue from all five countries. [Interview : Steven Denney, Graduate Student Yonsei University ] "The first plenary session was very interesting and so far it was very frank and direct dialogue. However, the conclusion was what it was 20 years ago." The plenum will run until Friday and give ample opportunities for the panelists and the audience to share their insights. Kim Yeon-ji, Arirang News.