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Gregg: A Soft Power Overture in Pyongyang

Interviewee: Donald P. Gregg
Interviewer: Jayshree Bajoria
February 25, 2008

When U.S. Secretary of state Condoleezza Rice attends the February 25 inauguration of South Korea's President-elect Lee Myung-bak, she is expected to press hard diplomacy to urge North Korean denuclearization. In a parallel effort, the United States hopes to win over North Korean hearts through music. The New York Philharmonic, as a part of a tour of Asia, will perform in Pyongyang on February 26. Donald P. Gregg, the chairman of the Korea Society, a non-profit focused on promoting U.S.-Korean exchange, says the concert comes as part of a soft-power initiative and represents small steps toward improving relations. “This would not have happened if we weren’t making progress on the denuclearization issue,” says Gregg. He adds that the concert will give North Koreans a glimpse of a different kind of relationship and could come to represent a “tremendous incentive for them to change the way they do business.”

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