Bio

Seung Mo (Azariah) Kang was born in Seoul, South Korea.  He spent most of his childhood and teenage years in the UK and the US, and received his BA in Anthropology and Asian Studies at Macalester College.  Afterwards, he moved back to Korea and served in the armed forces as a translating officer in the Korean Air Force for 3 years.  Upon completing his duty, he briefly worked for a construction and engineering company as a translator, and Korea Development Institute as a research assistant.  He then decided to go back to school, and received his MA at Seoul National University.  His main interest is Korea-Japan relations from the late 19th Century to the present, but his research has mostly focused on the 1950’s and 1960’s.  He is also a fan of jazz, and enjoys playing bass guitar on his free time.

Project Summary

This project seeks understand Britain's position on South Korean during the San Francisco Peace Treaty.  More specifically, it seeks to ascertain why Britain objected to the idea of listing South Korea as one of the signatory states.  For the coming 6 months, the applicant will conduct rigorous archival analysis of official documents from South Korea, the US, UK and Japan, to test the hypothesis that Britain decided not to recognize South Korea as a signatory state because of its identity as a colonial state.  In other words, Japan was a former colonial power, and if South Korea – Japan’s former colony – was recognized as a signatory state, that would empower South Korea, a former colony, to levy reparation to Japan, a former colonizer.  This would have created a precedent in the field of international law that could adversely affect Britain, which was also once an Imperial state.

Major Publications

Military English (only distributed with Korean Air Force)