University think tank to close as Seoul pulls funding

The US-Korea Institute at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies – the only think tank in Washington DC devoted to Korean Peninsula issues – will close next month after a dispute over funding and academic independence with the government in Seoul, writes Anna Fifield for The Washington Post.

The South Korean government, which has backed the institute since its inception in 2006 to promote the study of Korean issues, said it will cut off funding in May. Robert Gallucci, the chairman of the institute, said the move was a direct result of the managers’ refusal to follow instructions from the South Korean government to fire the institute’s director and assistant director. South Korea’s presidential Blue House strongly denies any attempt to censor the institute.

The decision comes as the South Korean president prepares to meet the North Korean leader later this month, a precursor to a summit between Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump. Gallucci and several of the institute’s top researchers are ardent advocates of diplomacy and have first-hand experience negotiating with North Korea.
Full report on The Washington Post site.