Ep. 3 – Peter Ward on North Korea, South Korean Society, and Learning Korean

Peter Ward is an aspiring scholar of North Korean studies. He is Andrei Lankov’s research assistant, a masters student at Seoul National University, a researcher at the Asan Policy Institute, a writer at NKNews, and also an Englishman. His twitter handle is @rpcward89

Show Notes

1:19     on language learning in the UK

4:37    first exposure to Korea / Koreans

4:50     how well Koreans integrate into British society

6:42     impressions of Asia and the world in the UK

8:33     Korean insecurity vis-à-vis the rest of the world

9:21     on exporting culture

10:19   the roots of anti-Japanism

10:56   cultural genocide in Korea

11:54   what is Korean?

12:05   on colonial-era Korea

14:03   Taiwanese and Japan

14:23   Rhee Syngman and anti-Japanism

14:52   Korean impressions in 1945

16:05   one memory of Korea from childhood

16:28   the impact of North Korea’s first nuclear test

17:42   how North Korea is covered in British media

20:44   what was the impetus to get serious about Korea?

22:40   on working with Dr. Andrei Lankov

23:57   on learning Korean well

24:44   the hardest part about learning Korean

25:23   materials for learning Korean

26:20   the trick to Korean language study

27: 47  why do white guys suck at Korean

28:08   three factors to language learning

28:36   similar languages to Korean

29:39   on the lack of incentives to learn Korean

30:33   the structure of Korean society (social networks)

31:42   difficulty making friends in Korea

33:42   what to do with Korean language?

35:09   North Korean society

35:58   on Korean food

39:10   on how North Korea is covered in South Korean media vs. western media

40:08   two big misconceptions about North Korea

41:15   on North Korea’s nuclear program

41:47   speaking with a North Korean grave robber

43:00   how does business work in North Korea?

44:07   what the media gets wrong about South Korea

45:29   immigration in South Korea

47:32   Korean reunification

48:51   where is the best place to invest in South Korea

50:16   favorite part of Korea outside of Seoul

51:40   greatest misperceptions that Koreans have about the outside world

53:32   on fighting ducks and horses

53:55   three books recommended to better understand Korea

People, Places, Things Mentioned on the Show

Andrei Lankov

August Incident

BBC News 24

BBC Radio 4

Budae jjigae

Cartel party theory

Chiang Kai-shek

Comfort women

Constitution of South Korea

Demographics of South Korea

Doenjang jjigae

Dokdo Island

Enes Kaya

Famine in North Korea

Forced conscription

Forced Korean name changes

Free Korea

Gangnam Style



Isaac Albéniz

Jeju Island

Jirisan National Park

Joseon Korea

Joshua Stanton

Kimchi jjigae

Kookmin University

Korea under Japanese Rule (1910-45)

Korea University

Korea University Korean language textbook

Korean Central News Agency

Korean diaspora

Korean freedom fighters

Korean textbooks

North Korea’s market economy

North Korea’s nuclear program

North of the DMZ: Essays on Daily Life in North Korea

Open port period

Paco de Lucía

Rhee Syngman

Roh Moo-hyun

Ruling the Void: The Hollowing of Western Democracy

Saint Petersburg

SKY universities

South Korean attitudes toward reunification

Stealing antiques in North Korea

Sundae guk

Taiwan under Japanese rule

The Independent

The Socialist System: The Political Economy of Communism

Tony Blair


Unification education


Yonsei University Korean language textbook

신동호의 시선집중