Preston student wins top prize in global contest

Priscilla Jung Kim

Priscilla Jung Kim

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A Preston student has won a global competition for her research into North Korea.

University of Central Lancashire scholar Priscilla Jung Kim has been awarded the first place and a prize of 3,000,000 South Korean Won, which equates to £1,200, in the 2015 Academy of Korean Studies (AKS) Research Paper Contest for Korean Studies which attracted entries from around the world.

The first year Phd student, who originates from Los Angeles, submitted her paper which looked at what informal, non-governmental relationships exist between the USA and North Korea, often referred to as Track Two Diplomacy.

She said: “I’m really pleased to win first prize as not only will the money come in handy for the travelling I need to do for my Phd, it is also encouraging as it shows the work I am doing is important which keeps me motivated and on track.

“Research in this area is still very young compared to Chinese studies and it’s something I’ve always been interested in.”

Priscilla, 24, was attracted to UCLan by the reputation of Professor Hazel Smith, the Director of the Institute of Korean Studies at UCLan.

Prof Smith said: “Priscilla has done amazingly well to win this international competition.

“UCLan only established the Institute of Korean Studies two years ago, and this award shows that we’re already attracting an exceptionally high calibre of research student as judged by one of the premier world-wide academic bodies on Korean studies.

“Our research students form part of UCLan’s exciting and innovative Korean studies research and teaching community, including the exponentially increasing undergraduate students studying the Korean language, and our dynamic and highly-qualified academic staff from all over the world.”

Priscilla has applied to present her research paper at an international conference on Korean Studies to be held in Singapore later this year.

Before studying at UCLan she completed her undergraduate degree in East Asian Studies at the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA).

Although she loves Preston, her long-term ambition is to work in the US State Department and for the US Foreign Service as a diplomat.