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Hazel Smith

Professorial Research Associate in Korean Studies
School of Oriental and African Studies
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About Hazel Smith

Professor Smith is a Professorial Research Associate in Korean Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, Professor Emerita in International Security at Cranfield University, UK, and member of the Global Futures Council on Korea of the World Economic Forum.

Professor Smith received her Ph.D. in International Relations from the London School of Economics in 1993 and has held fellowships at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (2019/20 and 2012/2013), the East-West Center, Honolulu (2008 and 2015), Kyushu University (2010), the United States Institute of Peace (2001/2002), and Stanford University (a Fulbright award, 1994/1995). Professor Smith has researched East Asian security and North Korea for over 30 years. during that time Professor Smith lived and worked in North Korea for two years while working for United Nations humanitarian organizations; and earning a (still valid) North Korean driving license.

Professor Smith has been a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts since 1996; and is a member of the Council of the British Association of Korean Studies. Professor Smith was appointed as a UN ‘global expert’ on Korea in 2010; and was a member of the UK Economic and Research Council Research Committee from 2010-2015. Professor Smith was honored to be invited by the US NGO AmeriCares, patron President George H. W. Bush, to be one of a five-member Honorary Committee – with former President of the United States George W. Bush, the then US Ambassador to the United Nations John Negroponte, and the then Governor of New York George Pataki and the Governor of Connecticut – to commemorate the 20 years anniversary of AmeriCares operations, at an event held in Wall Street, New York, May 2002.

Professor Smith’s publications include The ethics of United Nations sanctions on North Korea: effectiveness, necessity, and proportionality, Critical Asian Studies, 52 (2), 2020; North Korea: Markets and Military Rule (Cambridge University Press, 2015); North Korea: Markets and Military Rule – translated into Korean, (Seoul: Changbi, 2017); Nutrition and Health in North Korea: What’s New, What’s Changed and Why It Matters’, North Korean Review, 12 (1), Spring 2016; Crimes against Humanity? Unpacking the North Korean Human Rights Debate, Critical Asian Studies, 46 (1), 2014; [joint edited] Reframing North Korean Human Rights; Critical Asian Studies, December 2013/ March 2014, Reconstituting Korean Security (United Nations University Press, 2007); Hungry for Peace: International Security, Humanitarian Assistance and Social Change in the DPRK (United States Institute of Peace, 2005) and [joint-edited] North Korea in the New World Order (Macmillan, 1996). Professor Smith is regularly called on to advise government agencies worldwide, is invited internationally to academic and policy venues to speak about her research, and is a frequent broadcaster for global media.

Consequent on the UN sanctions that severely restricted essential exports for agriculture to North Korea, starvation conditions have re-emerged for the first time since the famine years of the 1990s. Absent capital and technology, the government relies almost completely on the intensified exploitation of the labor force, much of this carried out via the mechanisms…

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Region: Asia

April 28, 2021

‘It is prohibited to attack, destroy, remove, or render useless objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population, such as foodstuffs, agricultural areas for the production of foodstuffs, crops, livestock, drinking water installations and supplies and irrigation works, for the specific purpose of denying them for their sustenance value to the civilian population or…

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Region: Asia

March 23, 2021

The recent war in Ukraine, Russia’s overtures towards North Korea, and North Korea’s emergence from the COVID-19 pandemic all signal a sea-change for the DPRK’s place in the international system.…

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December 7, 2023

We often talk about whether the sanctions against North Korea are working. And we have spoken occasionally on this very podcast about the ways North Korea also cheats and gets…

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Region: Asia

July 31, 2020