Ui Seon (Diana) Kang received her Master’s degree in International Studies at the Graduate School of International Studies, Seoul National University. Her master’s thesis was on the ROK’s emigration policy in the 1970s with respect to the Yushin Constitution and Emergency Decree Number Nine. Before coming to the Center, she worked at the East Asia Institute in South Korea as a research intern. She received her B.A. (with distinction) in Linguistics at Simon Fraser University in Canada. Her research interests mainly concern US-ROK relations in the 1960s and 1970s. 

Project Summary

The project aims to analyze the implications of the fall of Saigon for the two Koreas by comparing and analyzing the effects of this event on their respective domestic and diplomatic policies. During the 1970s, the two Koreas were ideologically distinct but politically similar insofar as they were each ruled by dictatorship. The primary manner in which the fall of Saigon affected North and South Korea differently was due to ideological difference.  Previous studies imply that China discontinued military aid in the wake of the global economic recession in the early 1970s. The DPRK was unable to carry out a war for reunification after the fall of Saigon without its supporter. On the other hand, when ROK promulgated Emergency Decree Number Nine, the reason was the threat of DPRK after the collapse of Saigon and the spread of communism in Southeast Asia. Did the Park administration recognize DPRK’s situation when it promulgated Emergency Decree Number Nine? What were the perceptions of ROK and DPRK toward the Fall of Saigon? This project will analyze how ideological division on the Korean peninsula was affected by the collapse of South Vietnam, the spread of communism in Southeast Asia, and their capitalist-communist divided diplomacy with the U.S. and China during Cold War.