Saturday, December 27, 2014

North Korea’s Pivot to Russia

North Korea’s Pivot to Russia
By John Grisafi
Throughout the past year, there has been a continuous trend in North Korea’s foreign policy: an increasingly amicable relationship between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) and the Russian Federation. Numerous developments show that Moscow is fast becoming Pyongyang’s new preferred foreign benefactor with improvements in their diplomatic, political and economic relationships. This constitutes a significant shift from the past two decades, in which China has been Pyongyang’s only strong supporter.

Close relations between Pyongyang and Moscow are certainly nothing new, with the Soviet Union being the original benefactor of North Korea at the time of its founding in the late 1940s and continuing through the Cold War. With the end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, however, Russian support for North Korea dwindled. This was a result of lack of both means – especially economic – and strategic necessity on the part of Russia in the 1990s, which was more concerned with rebuilding its own economy. Consequently, the People’s Republic of China became the only large power supporting North Korea, giving Beijing greater influence both in Pyongyang and with North Korea’s enemies when they sought to talk with Pyongyang.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Japan Self-Defense Force uses anime, technology to draw more recruits

Japan Self-Defense Force uses anime, technology to draw more recruits
by John Grisafi
The Japan Self-Defense Force (JSDF) has been making efforts to bring up recruitment numbers through use of popular culture, especially anime and modern technology.

During the past 20-plus years, Japan has experienced a sharp decline in the birth rate and, consequently, an aging population. Japan’s declining birthrate has recently led to a shortage of young men and women willing and able to serve in the JSDF.

In response, the JSDF has stepped up and become more creative in its efforts at recruiting. Several of these campaigns have made use of moe-style female anime characters while others have been based on modern mobile devices.

One strategy has been for the JSDF offices in several prefectures to design sets of female anime characters for use in ads, posters, calendars, handouts, cardboard cutouts, etc. They are typically a set of three, with one to represent each branch of the JSDF – ground, maritime, and air.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Philip Jaisohn Memorial Foundation Lecture And Scholarship Award [Campus Event]

Philip Jaisohn Memorial Foundation Lecture And Scholarship Award
by John Grisafi

Drexel University’s Korean International Student Association (KISA) on Saturday hosted the inaugural Jaisohn Lecture and Seminar celebrating the life and 150th birthday year of Philip Jaisohn, held by the Philip Jaisohn Memorial Foundation.

The foundation’s mission is “to promote and fulfill Dr. Philip Jaisohn’s ideals of humanity through medical, social, educational, and cultural services for the enhancement of the quality of life in our communities and particularly those of Korean Americans.”

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


Welcome back everyone! If you didn't get a chance to sign up at the SAC Activities Fair on Tuesday, you can fill out this form here to join our email list.

We will be sending out information for our first GBM soon, so stay tuned!

- Your PAR Editorial Board

Monday, April 29, 2013

Volume 3

Volume 3 Spring 2013 is published. Congratulations to our authors. Good luck to everyone finishing up the school year!

- PAR Board

Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Literary Value of Sin Ch'ae-ho's Dream Sky: A Marginal Alteration of Dante's Comedy

This talk was a bit different - it was about the translating of an Italian classic, Dante Alighieri's Divina Commedia, into Korean. Professor Sangjin Park gave an enlightening overview of the history of Alighieri's work in East Asia. He showed how the Divina Commedia was first translated into Japanese, and subsequently came to Korea in Japanese since Korea was a colony. Yet it was not really received in Korea until later when another author, Sin Ch'ae-ho (also Romanized as Shin Chae-ho) wrote Dream Sky. Sin is known not only by most South Koreans, but also North Koreans as well as being one of the most important contemporary historians for Korea. Born in 1880, his books are still read in schools today.

Events on Campus