Political science professor to organize field trip to North Korea

Thomas Klassen
Thomas Klassen

Political science Professor Thomas Klassen is coordinating a five-day field trip to North Korea for members of the York University community in the summer of 2016.

The trip will be a valuable learning and research opportunity for students, scholars and others with an interest in Asia – the Korean peninsula in particular. North Korea is one of the world’s most isolated countries, with a national philosophy that stresses self-reliance.

The field trip will be a unique chance to see up-close aspects of North Korean culture, life and natural environment. The trip will begin in Beijing, China, with either a flight or overnight train to Pyongyang, the North Korean capital.

Included in the field trip will be visits to museums, monuments, architectural and historical sites and villages, libraries and bookstores, factories and the DMZ (the demilitarized area that separates North and South Korea). The tour will also include the city of Kaesong, which is located near the the border with South Korea.

The York Centre for Asian Research (YCAR) has extended its support for this trip as part of its mandate to foster research and knowledge exchange across all of Asia.

Leading up to the trip, YCAR will sponsor and host a panel discussion at York University on contemporary issues in North Korea. Following the excursion, YCAR will host a lecture and/or photo exhibition to allow participants to share their findings and observations. Dates have not yet been determined.

The field trip is not a component of any course, and no course credit is associated with the expedition. York University community members interested in joining this cultural field trip can contact Klassen at tklassen@yorku.ca. Klassen has written extensively on South Korea and has spent several years there, as well as in East Asia, in the past decade.

The specific dates of the trip will be determined based on the preferences of the participants. All travel arrangements for the trip will be managed by Koryo Tours.

Information about Koryo Tours is available at koryogroup.com.