Foreign Affairs

Living History with Ambassador Shin Kak-soo

A Look at Korea-Japan Relations

This Living History interview features Shin Kak-soo, former South Korean ambassador to Japan (2011-2013).  

Ambassador Shin reflects on the complexities of Korea’s relations with its neighbor Japan. He provides an overview of how entrenched partisan politics can prevent the successful resolution of crises between these two key U.S. allies.

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Ambassador Shin Kak-soo started his career at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in which he held various positions including director of the Japan division, advisor to the foreign minister, director-general of the treaties bureau, deputy permanent representative at the Korean Mission to the United Nations, ambassador to Israel, first vice minister and second vice minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and ambassador to Japan. He is currently a senior advisor at the law firm Shin & Kim and a visiting professor at Ulsan University. Receiving a B.A.(1977), an L.L.M.(1979), and a J.S.D.(1991) all from Seoul National University, he contributes articles on a wide array of international issues in Korean journals and newspapers and remains engaged in many NGO activities, such as acting as the president of the SETO forum, an NGO designed to promote Seoul-Tokyo ties.