Knowing North Korea 2024

February 29, 2024

Knowing North Korea: 

A Workshop for Young Professionals and Scholars

May 23-24, 2024 | Washington, DC 

The application for the 2024 workshop is closed.

Given the dangerous escalation of tensions on the Korean Peninsula, coupled with a current absence of diplomatic engagement, more students and young professionals are closely watching in anticipation of what may or may not happen next. However, knowing where to find clear-eyed analysis and primary-source information on North Korea is not simple, and there are few professional development opportunities for those seeking to begin a career working on North Korea-related issues.

In order to help fill this gap, the National Committee on North Korea’s “Knowing North Korea” (KNK) Workshop will provide graduate-level scholars and young professionals with a comprehensive overview of critical topics related to North Korea, as well as an introduction to practical skill sets that can enhance and broaden a career in North Korea-focused analysis and research. The program will include a two-day conference featuring workshops and discussions with North Korea specialists, policy professionals and US government officials. The 2024 agenda takes a closer look at a number of hot-button issues including* prospects for peace on the Peninsula, new approaches to the nuclear standoff and an inside look at the North Korean economy (*agenda subject to change). 

Selected participants may be eligible to receive domestic roundtrip airfare and hotel accommodations for the duration of the two-day program. Scholars who are US citizens residing outside of the United States may also be eligible to receive a participant support stipend meant to partially offset the costs of travel. Scholars and young professionals from outside of the Washington D.C. metro area are particularly encouraged to apply.

About NCNK

The National Committee on North Korea (NCNK) is a non-governmental organization of persons with significant and diverse expertise related to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.  NCNK and its members support principled engagement with North Korea as a means to promote peace and security on the Korean Peninsula and to improve the lives of the people of  North Korea. NCNK also works to provide policymakers, the academic and think-tank community, and the general public with substantive and balanced information about developments in North Korea. NCNK was founded by Mercy Corps, a global aid and development organization, in 2004.

Participant Selection Criteria

Participation will generally be limited to graduate students or recent graduates (Class of 2023 or later). Qualified applicants will have:

  • Demonstrated interest in the Korean Peninsula, Northeast Asia, or related subject matter.
  • An academic or professional background in Korean affairs, as shown by coursework, academic research, publications, internships, language training, etc.

  • A planned career trajectory that may include an emphasis on Korean affairs or more broadly on issues such as nuclear nonproliferation, economic development and human rights within the dynamics of Northeast Asia.

  • Applications are only open to citizens of the United States.

We would also particularly welcome applicants who:  

  • Have a demonstrated record of support for principled engagement as a means of addressing security, humanitarian, and other issues on the Korean Peninsula.

  • Are based outside of the Washington DC metro area or who otherwise haven’t had the opportunity to gain extensive experience working or studying in and around DC.

How to Apply

A complete application will include the following: 

1. A completed Application Form

2. A resume or curriculum vitae

3. A Letter of Interest that addresses the following (500 words max): 

a. Why are you interested in participating in this Workshop?

b. Please describe your career goals and/or main areas of research or professional interest in North Korea and/or Northeast Asia.

4. One Letter of Recommendation, submitted directly to [email protected] by the recommender. 

Submission Instructions

Applicants should send all completed application materials in PDF format to [email protected] by Friday, March 22, 2024. In your submission email, please use the subject line  “2024 KNK Workshop Application – First and Last Name”.