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The Diplomat  |  Author

Yong Kwon

Yong Kwon

Yong Kwon is fellow and director of communications at the Korea Economic Institute of America (KEI). Follow him on Twitter @ykwon88.

Yong Kwon joined KEI in September 2018 and leads the creation of the institute’s public-facing products, including its newsletter, YouTube videos, and podcast episodes. As part of this effort, he has interviewed scholars, diplomats, businesspeople, and other practitioners in the U.S.-Korea relationship. Yong also contributes regular commentary on current events and history, which have appeared in the Washington Post, the Diplomat Magazine, Cabinet Magazine, and other publications.

Yong comes to KEI from the consulting firm The Asia Group, where he supported U.S. companies operating in the South Korean market. In addition to providing briefings on the political dynamics shaping KORUS negotiations, he directly assisted clients with their market entry and expansion campaigns. These included helping a Houston-based energy company prepare for off-take discussions with three of the largest players in South Korea’s petrochemical industry. More recently, he helped a trade group research and develop a messaging campaign around the need for greater transparency and investment in Korea’s public healthcare sector.

Prior to joining The Asia Group, Yong worked as a politics and business commentator. In addition to covering South Korea’s foreign policy for Asia Times Online, Yong served as the inaugural columnist for The Diplomat Magazine’s page on the Korean Peninsula.

Yong holds a MSc in Economic History from the London School of Economics where he focused on South Korea’s financial policies during the 1970s. He holds a BA in International Affairs from The George Washington University.

You can follow him on Twitter @ykwon88

Posts by Yong Kwon
April 08, 2022

The US Should Pay Attention to the China-South Korea Culture Clash

By Yong Kwon
China's claims to great power status are strongly based on historical narratives. Navigating Asia thus requires Washington to study more history.

February 28, 2022

Ukraine Invasion Highlights South Korea’s Persistent External Vulnerability

By Yong Kwon
As the war in Ukraine demonstrates, the geoeconomic risks for an export-dependent country are increasingly omnidirectional.
February 11, 2022

Learning From South Korea’s Fight Against Inflation

By Yong Kwon
One lesson from South Korea’s battle against runaway inflation in the 1980s: The importance of public communication.

February 05, 2022

Small Firms Will Determine South Korea’s Economic Future

By Yong Kwon
The chaebol spearheaded the country’s rapid industrialization, but it’s SMEs that will keep South Korea’s economy driving forward in the digital era.

January 15, 2022

South Korea’s Local Governments Rise to the Occasion

By Yong Kwon
Local governments are pursuing unorthodox policy responses – from universal basic income to a government-backed food delivery app – to national challenges.

December 06, 2021

The Long Shadow of the Asian Financial Crisis in South Korea

By Yong Kwon
Seoul’s approach to pandemic relief is colored by the formative experience of the 1997-98 crisis.
October 01, 2021

South Korea: Picking Winners and Losers in the Information Age

By Yong Kwon
Seoul’s preference to cater to established firms over smaller start-ups – or the workers themselves – will have long-term consequences.

August 27, 2021

The Real Cause of Seoul’s Real Estate Bubble: Economic Anxiety

By Yong Kwon
Soaring real estate prices are deeply connected to structural issues with the South Korean economy.

July 29, 2021

South Korea’s Struggle With the Politics of Inclusion

By Yong Kwon
The obvious path out of South Korea’s demographic crisis is encouraging more immigrants and women to join the workforce. What’s standing in the way?

September 05, 2014

Are South Korea’s Best Days Behind Her?

By Yong Kwon
With South Korea's global competitiveness declining, its leaders struggle to turn things around.

August 31, 2014

Forget Sanctions: 3 Things Ailing North Korea

By Yong Kwon
North Korea may be impervious to sanctions, but not from climate change, Asia's economy and self-inflicted wounds
August 29, 2014

Forgetting the Lessons of the Asian Financial Crisis

By Yong Kwon
The disgraced former head of Daewoo Group is trying to rewrite the history of the Asian Financial Crisis.

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