Brothers at War: Professor Sheila Miyoshi Jager on the Continuous Conflict between the Two Koreas

Date: 24 November 2016

The standoff between North Korea and South Korea has continued for more than six decades, dividing the peninsula into two nations with opposing ideologies. According to Sheila Miyoshi Jager, Professor of East Asian Studies at Oberlin College in Ohio, this continuing confrontation, long studied as part of the Cold War, should be investigated and interpreted as a historical phenomenon in its own right, one that continues to influence the international relations in East Asia long after the Cold War ended.

Professor Jager based her talk on her recent book, Brothers at War: The Unending Conflict in Korea (W.W. Norton/Profile Books). She outlined the main historical approaches to the Korean War (1950-1953). She then pointed out to the main deficiency of these perspectives: they all focus on the three years of “proxy war” but fail to make sense of the six decades of ceaseless confrontation since the guns stopped firing.

The stimulating presentation by Professor Jager was followed by a spirited discussion between the speaker and the audience that included the Project team, as well as guests from the faculty and the members of the public.