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Asan international forum to discuss leadership in global challenges

Leading international experts will discuss North Korea and other regional and global challenges during a three-day conference that kicks off in Seoul on Wednesday.

Hosted by the local think tank Asan Institute for Policy Studies, the 2012 Asan Plenum will focus particularly on the role of leadership in dealing with political and economic crises, with a number of countries undergoing changes in heads of state this year.

The second annual forum will bring together about 350 people, including renowned scholars, policymakers and journalists, to discuss issues ranging from the humanitarian crisis in North Korea, energy politics and terrorism to the eurozone debt crisis.

It consists of four plenary sessions concerning growing tensions on the Korean Peninsula; the role of think tanks in coping with global crises; how to handle mass politics and populism; and leadership roles in tackling pending global issues.

Aside from the plenary meetings, there are 27 separate discussions that deal specifically with regional issues such as regionalism in central Asia, the Arab Spring and the emergence of China.

Key participants include Jeffrey Bader of the Brookings Institution, former senior director for Asian affairs on the National Security Council; Christopher Hill, a former U.S. assistant secretary of state for East Asia; and James Steinberg, former deputy secretary of the U.S. State Department.

The Asan Institute was established in 2010 to provide policy solutions in areas of foreign affairs, national security, public governance, energy and the environment through extensive research. It is led by political science scholar Hahm Chai-bong.

By Song Sang-ho (
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Korea Herald daum