Crisis and Confrontation on the Korean Peninsula: 1968-1969 | Wilson Center

Crisis and Confrontation on the Korean Peninsula: 1968-1969

On 8-9 September, NKIDP held an international conference: Crisis and Confrontation on the Korean Peninsula: 1968-1969, the first in a series of
critical oral history conferences focusing on the Korean Peninsula, organized in cooperation with the University of North Korean Studies.

This first conference focused on a series of events which occurred during the tumultuous years of 1968 and 1969: The capture of the U.S. Navy's intelligence ship USS Pueblo by the DPRK, the North Korean attempt to assassinate ROK President Park Chunghee with a cross-border commando raid on the Blue House, and a number of other incidents.

Armed with a 1200 page collection of newly declassified documents from American, South Korean, and former communist bloc archives, scholars from around the world and former policy-makers from the United States, South Korea, and the former communist bloc gathered at the Woodrow Wilson Center for two days of discussions. As a result of the conference, historians will have a much more nuanced understanding of US-ROK-DPRK relations during the late 1960s.

Critical oral history is a comparatively new method of historical research which is based on the premise that neither documentary evidence, nor oral history interviews can--in isolation--produce a complete image of a historical event or era. The aim of critical oral history therefore is to give a select group of historians and former policy-makers access to a collection of relevant documents from archives around the world, and then to gather them together around a conference table so that they can collaborate to fill in crucial holes in the historical record.

NKIDP will publish the transcript of the proceedings in the coming months. The document reader compiled for the conference is available for download free of charge, and in the Wilson Center's library