Expert on North Korea Speaks at Columbus State University

COLUMBUS, Ga. --- Columbus State University’s Hallock Lecture Series welcomed Mark Tokola, vice president of the Korea Economic Institute of America and an expert on North Korean affairs, to campus Wednesday, oct. 19 to discuss the international community’s response to the country’s recent unsanctioned nuclear tests and missile launches.


"If there's one thing we can always rely on from North Korea, it's that whatever the leadership orders, it will get the world's attention,” said Tom Dolan, CSU professor of political science and director of the Hallock Lecture Series. “Whether it's nuclear tests or missile launches, or creative ways to execute people, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea makes the news.”

Presented by CSU’s Department of Political Science, Philosophy and Public Administration, the Hallock Lecture Series was conceived to address key current events and the changing nature of national security concerns for students of political science and foreign affairs. James Clapper, director of U.S. National Intelligence, noted in February during his annual worldwide threat assessment to the Senate Armed Services Committee that North Korea, not Iran, represents the world’s most worrisome nuclear threat.

“Mr. Tokola spoke about ‘Dealing with Kim Jong-un's North Korea,’ addressing many of the conflicts the world faces with this problematic country,” Dolan said. “Although the U.S. and North Korea have made some progress in the past, especially during the 1990s, this progress has been reversed and North Korea faces pressure not just from the U.S., but from the United Nations and China as well."

Tokola served 38 years as a Foreign Service Officer in Great Britain, South Korea, Iceland and Mongolia, as well as Baghdad, Brussels, The Hague and Sarajevo, where he received the State Department’s Superior Honor Award for his work on implementing the Dayton Peace Accords. He holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Pomona College in Claremont, California and a Master of Laws in European community law from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.

“CSU was fortunate to have been able to bring in an expert on North Korea for the tenth year of the Hallock Lecture Series on issues of national security,” Dolan said.

The Hallock Lecture Series is funded by the Richard R. Hallock Foundation. Col. Hallock was a much decorated political aide to Gen. Lucius D. Clay in Berlin after World War II, and he was the youngest major to be a battalion commander in Korea.