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Korea and Coronavirus

A collection of our latest programs showcasing content on Korea and the impact of the novel coronavirus, including videos, podcasts, publications, and more.


All About COVID-19 Vaccines with Global Vaccine Expert Dr. Jerome Kim

Wednesday, May 19, 2021 | 7 PM (EDT)

Do you want to learn more about Covid-19 vaccines and the global vaccination effort? Please join The Korea Society for a conversation on COVID-19 vaccine development and distribution with Dr. Jerome Kim, Director General of International Vaccine Institute (IVI) and Tom Byrne, Korea Society President/CEO. Dr. Kim, who was named one of “The 50 Most Influential People in Vaccines” in 2014 by the vaccine industry organization Vaccine Nation, will share the importance of COVID-19 vaccines combating this prolonged pandemic... Read More

A Conversation on K-syringe with Former Minister of SMEs and Startups Park Young Sun
& Korea Society President Tom Byrne

Friday, March 26, 2021 | 12:00 PM

Former Minister of SMEs and Startups of ROK Park Young Sun joins The Korea Society for a conversation on Korea's new innovative syringe development, known as the ‘K-Syringe.’ This conversation will be led by Society President Tom Byrne. Minister Park will discuss the current progress on K-Syringe in combating COVID-19 as well as her active involvement in its advancement... Read More

A Conversation with Celltrion Group Chairman Mr. Jung-jin Seo
& Korea Society President Tom Byrne

Premieres: Friday, February 19, 2021 | 7 PM EST

Jung-jin Seo, Chairman of Celltrion Group, a leading Korean biopharmaceutical company, joins The Korea Society’s President, Tom Byrne for a conversation on the race to develop antibody treatments for the COVID-19 virus. Together, they will discuss the role of the Korean biopharmaceutical industry and Celltrion’s active involvement in combating COVID-19. Join us to learn about how K-bio’s work fits into global efforts to combat the pandemic... Read More

Questions from investors for South Korea's Top Coronavirus Expert, Dr. Kim Woo Joo||

Thursday, June 25, 2020 |

Dr. Kim Woo Joo, Professor of Infectious Diseases at Korea University Guro Hospital, returns for a second interview with Korea Society President, Thomas Byrne. Tune in as Dr. Kim responds to inquiries by American investors and bankers on the global fight against COVID-19. He addresses a range of concerns, including the immune response to the virus, the race to develop a vaccine and the possible scenario for a second wave as well as key strategies to mitigate coronavirus spread… Read More


Korea's Campaign against the Coronavirus Pandemic:
A View from the Ministry of Economy and Finance||

Thursday, June 11, 2020 | 8 AM|

South Korea’s impressive, timely and comprehensive strategy in controlling the spread of the coronavirus has earned praise from the director general of the WHO. In this webcast moderated by Korea Society President Thomas Byrne, Mr. Dae Joong Lee, Director of Development, Finance Division at the Ministry of Economy and Finance in South Korea, discusses how the country coordinated among ministries, agencies and the private sector in its response to the pandemic. The conversation also examine the government’s fiscal measures taken to mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19… Read More


The National Interest|

South Korea's Economic Policies Prepared It for the Coronavirus—North Korea's Did Not|

In a new article for The National Interest, Korea Society president Thomas Byrne writes, "the coronavirus pandemic casts into sharp contrast the fortunes of North and South Korea, showing how differently they have evolved in the seven decades since the Korean War. Pyongyang’s inability to deal with the virus in any way other than to shut its borders and restrict domestic travel has sparked a huge shortfall in government revenue... Meanwhile, Seoul’s timely and effective response to the virus that avoided lockdowns and blockades is held up as a worldwide example, burnishing South Korea’s status as a financial safe haven which allows it to affordably fund stimulus measures with government debt."

For full article, click here

Fox 5 | New on the Hill | Washington DC|

In an interview with Fox 5 DC On the Hill, Korea Society President Tom Byrne discusses the impact of North Korean Chairman Kim Jong Un's prolonged absence on denuclearization talks and South Korea's approach to dealing with coronavirus, saying, "Korea not only flattened the curve; they were ahead of the curve."

Running time 04:38

To watch the interview, click here

with Korea's Top Coronavirus Expert Dr. Kim Woo Joo ||

Tuesday, April 14, 2020 | 12 PM|

Learn how South Korea managed to bring COVID-19 under control in this recorded interview between the Korea Society’s President, Thomas Byrne, and Korea University’s professor of infectious diseases, Dr. Kim Woo Joo. Deemed by the media as South Korea’s “most prominent coronavirus expert”, Dr. Kim explains how he and the country learned from past epidemics to mobilize the public and private sectors to combat the novel coronavirus. Tune in to learn what lessons the U.S. and other countries can glean from South Korea’s successes... Read More

Bloomberg |

South Korea's virus response had high degree of transparency and competence
In an interview with Bloomberg Daybreak Asia (39:35) on Korea's response to the coronavirus, Korea Society President Thomas Byrne says, "Korea responds well when there is a crisis, and Koreans really have grit. They responded well to the 1997 IMF financial crisis and they are responding very well now. Everything came together really quickly in the middle of February. The government has orchestrated a good program with the government, the public health institutions, and the citizens all chipping in, all three of them together to manage this crisis."

For full video, click here

Geopolitics of Coronavirus: Japan and Korea |||

Council on Foreign Relations Senior Fellow for Japan Studies Dr. Sheila Smith and Korea Society Senior Director Dr. Stephen Noerper examine the political impact of the coronavirus outbreak in Japan and Korea, in conversation with Japan Society President and CEO Dr. Joshua W. Walker and with an introduction by Korea Society President Tom Byrne. In this live webcast program, co-hosted by the Japan Society and the Korea Society, the three…Read More

Podcast: Translating Korea's Coronavirus Response Playbook|||

South Korea’s coronavirus response has been lauded for its integration of new technologies and aggressive trace-and-test measures. To help the international community understand this approach, a crowd-sourced team has translated Korea’s coronavirus playbook, a 90 page set of instructions made by the Korea Center for Disease Control advising local public health officials to plan for an array of contingencies. In this special podcast interview with Korea Society policy director Jonathan Corrado, translation team leaders Alex Bae, Sehyo Yune, and Jungmin Hwang discuss the project and the insights gained from it. The document is available to view at the team’s website here.


Come together
In an opinion piece published by Reuters BreakingViews, Korea Society Board Member Bill Rhodes urges the importance of multilateral cooperation to deal with the effects of coronavirus, writing, "it is increasingly likely that the world faces a longer, harder, much more fitful, difficult path to normalcy. We must gird ourselves for the long haul. That requires much greater coordination internationally of our responses to maximize the impact. So far that crucial piece of the puzzle has been missing."

For full article at Reuters, click here    |   For full article at EACC (FREE), click here


South Korea’s opposition had ‘surprisingly big defeat’ in elections: The Korea Society

In an interview with CNBC on South Korea's National Assembly election on April 15, Korea Society Board Chair Ambassador Kathleen Stephens said, "Korea is benchmarking a lot of good practices for dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. This became the issue in the election and eclipsed some of the other issues that were not playing so well for Moon Jae-in and the ruling party... The citizens came out and said that they appreciate what this government has done, but I think it was a surprise to everybody that the turnout was as strong as it was. Koreans really do value their institutions and their democracy and so they were ready to vote."

To view the interview on CNBC site, click here

The Washington Post |

South Korea’s coronavirus success story underscores how the U.S. initially failed
In an article by the Washington Post, Korea Society president Thomas Byrne writes, "No nation’s response has been perfectly effective, but the high degree of transparency and competency of South Korean health officials provides helpful lessons about containment efforts for other countries, and about the nature of this pandemic for the international scientific community.”

For full article, click here

South China Morning Post |

In a new letter to the editor of the South China Morning Post, Korea Society president Thomas Byrne writes, "South Korea is providing other societies with an example of how to respond in a smart and targeted way, while shunning travel bans, with limited exceptions, and avoiding widespread lockdowns whose social costs might outweigh the health benefits."

For the full article, click here

China’s Foreign Policy and Relations on the Korean Peninsula ||
Friday, April 3, 2020 | 12 PM|

Orville Schell, Arthur Ross Director of the Center on US-China Relations at the Asia Society, examines developments in China’s foreign policy toward the Korean Peninsula in conversation with senior director Stephen Noerper. Schell discusses China’s commitment to denuclearization, orientation toward Pyongyang and Seoul, views on Korean unification, and the current news cycle, to include the geopolitics of the coronavirus response. Due the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), this program will now be… Read More


Bloomberg |

No One Knows How Many Virus Cases North Korea Has. It Says Zero
In an article for Bloomberg, Korea Society president Thomas Byrne discusses North Korea's human rights situation and public health system amid ongoing concerns about the potential for the novel coronavirus to spread in the country.

For full article, click here

Foreign Policy |

The Coronavirus Has Pushed North Korea’s Economy to the Edge

In a new article for Foreign Policy about North Korea's current economic prospects, Korea Society president Thomas Byrne writes, "North Korea is left to its own devices, facing the coronavirus pandemic without access to credit or emergency financing from the IMF, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, or other governments—let alone access to global capital markets. Nevertheless, there are no indications from Pyongyang that it is ready to throw in the towel on Juche, its policy of self-reliance, and embark on reform and opening. The same obstacles that prevented progress in 1997 prevail today, and nothing has changed institutionally in more than two decades—except the addition of international sanctions."

To read the full article, click here

COVID-19 in Korea |

COVID-19, Testing Time for RESILIENCE

Flattening the curve on COVID-19

Tackling COVID-19