Charles Armstrong believes United States relations with North Korea are improving, despite the country’s plans to launch a satellite in April to celebrate the 100th birthday of Kim Il-sung.
The specialist, who is director of the Center for Korean Research at Columbia University, spoke Tuesday to about 50 people on North Korea-U.S. relations. and the history of the Kim family.
“The main problem is not that the Obama administration is particularly hostile but that it has not been a priority,” Armstrong said.
Armstrong said he has been to North Korea more times than North Carolina. He shared pictures and experiences from his trips.
Sophomore Chelsea Weiermiller said she was impressed by the pictures of daily life, such as an amusement park.
“Most Americans think of North Korea as a mystery,” she said.
Armstrong showed pictures of modern-dressed families in Pyongyang, the capital.
“It’s a lot different than I thought,” said junior Colleen Wang.
“I still think they dress like the 80s, but I was surprised it wasn’t that way.”