by Khang Vu **GSC Professional Development Support Fund Recipient**
This summer, the National Committee on North Korea hosted the Knowing North Korea Workshop, where young professionals gathered and exchanged ideas with their peers and experienced researchers and policymakers for two days. This year’s conference was held in Washington, D.C. and featured topics on North Korea’s nuclear weapons, economics, politics, and society. Participants also got the opportunity to visit the Department of State, the Library of Congress, and Congress and learned how think tanks and government analysts write reports and formulate policies on North Korea from a variety of angles.
Fortunately, I received financial support from both the National Committee on North Korea and the Dartmouth Graduate Student Council to attend the event. I have been doing research on North Korea’s nuclear weapons for several years, and this event helped me test my ideas in a professional environment as well as meet people coming from all disciplines and professions who also shared the same interests in North Korea. Moreover, as an international student, getting an opportunity to visit the State Department and Congress and talk to U.S. policymakers is a life-changing experience. I got to see up close how politics played out in Washington. After the two-day workshop, I have a better understanding of how U.S. analysts approach North Korea and the variety of tools that researchers can use to cover issues surrounding the Korean peninsula.
Overall, I really enjoyed the workshop and all the new friends that I have made. I now have better ideas of what I want to do in the future. Once again, I want to thank the National Committee on North Korea and the Dartmouth Graduate Student Council for the financial support and Assistant Professor of Government Nicholas Miller for his mentorship during my research on North Korea.