I am a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Centre on Asia and Globalisation at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore. I specialize in U.S. foreign economic policymaking on export-oriented countries of Northeast Asia – China, Japan, and South Korea.
My research focuses on how domestic institutions influence foreign economic policy outcomes such as responses to trade disputes and currency appreciation pressures. I am currently working on my book project entitled, ‘Trade & Currency Conflict: Northeast Asian States Responses to U.S. Pressures’. I am also interested in intellectual property as global trade norms, technological innovation, trade secrets/cybersecurity, and focus on the innovation drives in China, Japan, and South Korea and their outreach to other countries for technological exchanges and marketization.
Towards my second book project, I am expanding my scope of research to trans-regional relations among the US, Northeast Asia and the Middle East region. Combining my work experience at the UN Security Council sanctions committees on countries of the Middle East (Somalia, Iraq, and Syria) and training in international political economy and international security, my ongoing research explores the nexus of strategic and economic interests among the US, the two Koreas, China, Japan and countries of the Middle East (Iran, Israel, and the petrostates of the Gulf Cooperation Council). In particular, I examine the following:
- China in the Middle East: China’s geoeconomic approach to Iran post-JCPOA, the One Belt and One Road Initiative in the Middle East (Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Egypt), expedited free trade negotiations with Israel and the GCC, and potential political engagement via funding of the Palestinians and call for creation of the Palestinian state;
- South Korea in the Middle East: South Korea’s economic relations with Iran post-sanctions despite Iran’s years of continued nuclear cooperation with North Korea and military cooperation with China, proactive free trade negotiations and technological exchanges with Israel and the GCC;
- Japan in the Middle East: Cautious approach toward Iran, consolidation of ties with Saudi Arabia, economic deals with Egypt and Jordan, and pursuit of diplomatic stability via maintaining balanced relations with Israel and Palestine.
I graduated with a Ph.D in Political Science (2015) from Boston University as a Fulbright Fellow. I earned my B.A. (2005) and M.A. (2007) in Political Science from Korea University in my native South Korea. I have taken more than a decade of formal training in the East Asian languages of Chinese (from 2002) and Japanese (from 2005), and seven years of training in the French language (from 1998). I have also resumed training in Arabic (from 2005; resumed in 2016) in a decade since my time at the UNSC, thanks to the external language program available at NUS.
More information about my research and teaching, and professional experience can be found in the available link below: