Can We Live with a Nuclear North Korea?
October 17-18, 2019
Buchanan Alumni House, University of Maine

The School of Policy and International Affairs and the Cohen Institute for Leadership & Public Service at the University of Maine welcome you to a conference on a nuclear North Korea on October 17-18, 2019. This event will bring together American and regional experts, academicians and policy-makers to examine the implications of North Korea’s acquisition of nuclear weapons and an intercontinental ballistic missile capability for the evolving security environment in Northeast Asia. Speakers with expertise on the foreign and security policy of the Republic of Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Japan, China and the United States will examine and debate the challenges and opportunities each state faces from the altered security environment.

This event is free and open to the public.  No registration is required. For more information, contact Dr. Kristin Vekasi at


The conference will consist of a keynote address and three panel discussions. Each panel will feature a presentation by an invited speaker, followed by discussion.

Thursday, October 17

Location: McIntire Room, Buchanan Alumni House

5:00-6:30 PM     Keynote: Problems and Prospects of a Nuclear Deal with North Korea

  • Ambassador Christopher R. Hill, Chief Global Advisor and professor of the practice in diplomacy at the University of Denver
  • Moderator: Dr. Kristin Vekasi, Assistant Professor of Political Science and School of Policy & International Affairs at the University of Maine

Friday, October 18

Location: McIntire Room, Buchanan Alumni House

8:30 AM     Great Power Politics and the Korean Peninsula

9:30 AM     Coffee Break

9:45 AM     North Korea’s Nuclear Program and Neighborhood Politics

  • Dr. Shelia A. Smith, Senior Fellow for Japan Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)
  • Moderator: Dr. Jiyoung Ko, Assistant Professor of Politics at Bates College

10:45 AM   Coffee Break

11:00 AM   North Korea’s Nuclear Program and Implications for the International Non-Proliferation Regime

  • Dr. Jung H. Pak, Senior Fellow and the SK-Korea Foundation Chair in Korea Studies at Brookings Institution’s Center for East Asia Policy Studies
  • Moderator: Dr. Asif Nawaz,  Assistant Professor of History and International Affairs at the University of Maine

12:00 PM – Conference Adjourns


The conference will take place at:

Buchanan Alumni House, University of Maine

For directions, click here. Parking can be found in the College Ave. South lot located across the street from the Buchanan Alumni House. A parking pass is not required on the evening of 17 October. Those attending the conference on Friday, 18 October can download a printable parking permit for the day of your visit by clicking here (pdf). Permit is valid in Black-signed lots and Visitor spaces.


This event is supported in part by a grant from the Cultural Affairs / Distinguished Lecture Series Fund.

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