Three experts on Korea policy will offer perspectives and analysis of the critically important Korean Peninsula on May 20.

The program is presented by the World Affairs Councils of America and the Korean Economic Institute.

Their visit to St. Louis will include a stop at Boeing, including a lunch panel discussion.

Afterward, they will speak at an open forum at St. Louis University, beginning at 5:30 pm. To register for the free event, visit:

Future of Korea, St. Louis Speakers

Ms. Jihyun Lee,  First Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of South Korea

Recently at North Korea’s Nuclear Negotiation’s Division, she was in charge of bilateral consultations with the U.S. and ASEAN countries on dealing with North Korean nuclear issue and mapping up with strategy for the upcoming denuclearization negotiations. At this job, she has built capability for risk management and negotiation skills while dealing with North Korea’s 5th and 6th nuclear tests and historic inter-Korean talks, which led to US-DPRK summit talks held in Singapore, June 2018.  She has been posted to Korean embassy to the US since Feb, 2019. She is in charge of public diplomacy, mainly focused on ROK government’s foreign policy including on North Korea, ROK-US alliance, and other key security issues.  From 2012-2014, she completed Master’s program in International Relations at Columbia University and Public Policy at Hertie School of Governance (dual degree), where she learned quantitative data analysis, presentation skills, and basic programming capabilities, and applied her knowledge and skills in the fields of geopolitical risk assessment, crisis management and peace-building process in post-conflict areas.

Timothy Johnson, Foreign Service Officer, U.S. Department of State
Tim Johnson is a Foreign Service Officer in the Department of State Office of Korean Affairs.  His prior assignments included Embassy Tokyo, Japan and Embassy Lilongwe, Malawi.  Prior to joining the State Department, Tim was a corporate attorney in private practice working in New York and Tokyo.  He has also served as a Law Clerk to Senior U.S. District Judge I. Leo Glasser of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.  Prior to attending the University of Virginia School of Law in Charlottesville, VA, Tim developed and managed programs in support of democratic institutions in Asia for an international non-governmental organization.  Tim holds a B.A. from Carleton College in Northfield, MN.

Mark Tokola, Vice President, Korea Economic Institute of America
Mark Tokola is Vice President of the Korea Economic Institute of America in Washington, D.C. He retired as a U.S. Senior Foreign Service Officer with the rank of Minister-Counselor in September 2014 after a 38-year career. His last posting was as Minister Counselor for Political Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in London. Previously he had served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the American Embassies in Seoul, Republic of Korea; Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia; and Reykjavik, Iceland. Among his other postings were two tours at the U.S. Mission to the European Union in Brussels, Minister-Counselor for Economic Affairs at Embassy London, and Economic Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in the Hague. He also served as Director of the Iraq Transition Assistance Office (ITAO) in Baghdad from 2007-2008.  Mr. Tokola received the State Department’s Superior Honor Award for his work on implementing the Dayton Peace Accords while serving as Political Counselor in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina from 1997-1999. He holds a BA in International Relations from Pomona College in Claremont, California, and an LL.M. in European Community Law from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.