Skip to content

Korean Peninsula Affairs Center and East Asia Center present: Engaging North Korea: The Role of Trust

220 Eggers Hall

Add to: Outlook, ICal, Google Calendar

Korean Peninsula Affairs Center and East Asia Center Present: Engaging North Korea: The Role of Trust

As North Korea’s increasingly strident rhetoric has been matched by South Korea and the U.S. in recent weeks, the mistrust among all parties is glaring. What can be done? Some say “just ignore North Korea” while others call for more crippling sanctions or regime change. But mistrust is a two-way street, and to deescalate tensions on the Korean peninsula, instead of “flight or fight” what is needed is “trust-building” based on a strategic, steady commitment to engagement with North Korea by the United States and South Korea. Our speakers are in the forefront of those committed to engagement with North Korea. Their stories will illustrate the feasibility of not just deescalating the current tensions, but also of building relationships based on trust that may ultimately be the truest guarantor of peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula.


Katharina Zellweger has been the Pantech Fellow in Korean Studies at the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center at Stanford University since 2011. She is a senior aid manager with over 30 years of field experience in Hong Kong, China and North Korea. Zellweger lived and worked in Pyongyang from 2006-2011 as the North Korea country director for the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

George Vitale is a master teacher of the Korean Art of Taekwon-Do. Following a 24-year career with the New York State Police, George has devoted much of his time to using Taekwon-Do as a cultural tool for soft diplomacy with the North Koreans. George’s research interest is in the history of Taekwon-Do and the benefits of traditional training. He presented and successfully defended his doctoral dissertation in Pyongyang in 2011.


Ambassador Donald P. Gregg currently is chairman of the Pacific Century Institute in Los Angeles and chairman emeritus of The Korea Society in New York City. In 1951, he joined the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and over the next quarter century was assigned to Japan, Burma, Vietnam and Korea. He was awarded the CIA’s highest decoration, the Distinguished Intelligence Medal. In September 1989, Gregg began his service as the United States Ambassador to Korea. Prior to his departure from Korea in 1993, he received the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service.

Lunch will be served.

Open to




Contact to request accommodations

Exterior of Maxwell in black and white when there was no Eggers building

We’re Turning 100!

To mark our centennial in the fall of 2024, the Maxwell School will hold special events and engagement opportunities to celebrate the many ways—across disciplines and borders—our community ever strives to, as the Oath says, “transmit this city not only not less, but greater, better and more beautiful than it was transmitted to us.”

Throughout the year leading up to the centennial, engagement opportunities will be held for our diverse, highly accomplished community that now boasts more than 38,500 alumni across the globe.