The Korea Now Podcast #43 – Balázs Szalontai – ‘Memory, Responsibility and Reconciliation - From the Korean War to Denuclearization’

This episode of the Korea Now podcast features an interview that Jed Lea-Henry conducted with Balázs Szalontai. They speak about how memories of the Korean War have changed – or stayed the same – over time, how South Korea and North Korea have respectively examined their own failings, how both parties have approached the issue of responsibility, the willingness – or not – to look critically at history, the value of reconciliation, how all this relates to the denuclearisation issue, international comparisons for dismantling such weapons programs, the example of South Africa, and importantly how this informs the current moment and the prospects of a diplomatic solution for the North Korean crisis.

Balázs Szalontai is a Professor at Korea University, a former-Fulbright Scholar and Visiting Professor at Mongolian International University of Science and Technology, and a former-Research Associate at the Institute for International Education in Seoul. Balázs is the author of ‘Kim Il Sung in the Khrushchev Era: Soviet-DPRK Relations and the Roots of North Korean Despotism, 1953-1964’ and ‘North Korea Caught in Time: Images of War and Reconstruction’. As referenced in this podcast, he is also the author of ‘Captives of the Past: The Questions of Responsibility and Reconciliation in North Korea’s Narratives of the Korean War’ (, ‘Giving Up the Treasured Sword? The Prospects of North Korea’s Denuclearization in a Comparative Perspective’ (, and ‘North Korea's Peace Offensive’ (

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