Phil Bolton for GlobalAtlanta
A conference on economic and security challenges facing Korea is to be held at the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Wardlaw Center Nov. 1-2 that is free and open to the public.

Authorities on Korean security and economic issues from both the United States and Korea are to participate with half a dozen of the speakers coming from Korea.

“This is extremely timely,” John Endicott, director of the Center for International Strategy Technology and Policy at Georgia Tech, told GlobalAtlanta last week. The conference is part of Georgia Tech’s Korea initiative, which the university launched four years ago to complement its Northeast Asian course offerings and research.

Dr. Endicott said that the conference had been planned before North Korea conducted a nuclear test on Oct. 9, but that the content would deal with the economic impact of the test on the South Korean economy.

“People who are responsible for making investments overseas and accountable to their shareholders have to be worried,” he said in a telephone interview.

He also said that these investors fears, however, may be somewhat allayed by the Bush administration’s assertions that it is not considering using force against North Korea.

“The U.S. is saying that it won’t use force,” he added, “but at the same time according to [Secretary of State] Condolezza Rice, ‘everything is on the table’.”

Lee Kwang Jae, Korea’s consul general in Atlanta, and Cho Hyun, South Korea’s deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, are scheduled as keynote speakers.

Luncheon speakers include Allan R. Millett, an authority on the Korean war who teaches at the University of New Orleans, and Katy Oh, a member of the research staff at the Institute for Defense Analysis in Alexandria, Va.

There will be six panels over the course of the two days on the following topics: U.S.-Korea military cooperation, the political situation on the Korean peninsula and U.S.-Korea negotiations for a free trade agreement.

Also to be discussed are Korea’s relations with the U.S., China, Japan and the European Union, changing demographics and economics on the peninsula and the views of journalists who write about North and South Korea.

The evening of Nov. 1, Marion Creekmore, a former U.S. ambassador to Korea, and Don Kirk, a journalist with the Christian Science Monitor, will sign their books about Korea, and a film by director Koryo Saram titled “Unreliable People” will be shown.

Although the conference is free, attendees are to register by sending an email to or by calling (404) 894-3199.