Honouring Korean links

A major University event will celebrate the life of alumnus Yun Posun, the second President of South Korea.

A symposium, hosted by the University in partnership with the Yun Posun Institute, will reflect on the time spent by the late President at Edinburgh, as well as on historic ties between Korea and the UK.

In addition, it will encourage new partnerships between the two countries and promote the longer-term understanding and growth of contemporary Korean studies and culture in Scotland.

As part of the symposium, an exciting programme of social, cultural and academic events - including a presentation on Korean art, Korean and Scottish music recitals, and a Korean martial arts demonstration - will be held in the University’s Playfair Library.

All are welcome to attend, but tickets must be booked. To book tickets or find out more about the events, which begin with a reception on March 4, go to:

Yun Posun

Yun Posun, who was president of South Korea between 1960-1962, is seen as the father of the Korean democratic movement.

While working in the Korean government-in-exile in the 1920s, President Yun Posun decided to study in the UK following a recommendation from a fellow independence activist.

He began studying at Edinburgh in 1924, receiving undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in archaeology.

During his presidency, he was a champion of liberal democracy and citizens’ rights at a time of considerable political turmoil in the country. He resigned in 1962 after a military coup.

Yun Posun Symposium

The inaugural Yun Posun Memorial Symposium is the first in a series that will be held each year at the University. Events this year include:

  • Speeches by Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea, University Principal; Park Suk Hwan, the Korean Ambassador to the UK; and Scott Wightman, the British Ambassador to Korea
  • The inaugural Yun Posun Memorial Lecture, delivered by Dr James Hoare, Freelance Writer and Broadcaster on Korean Affairs; Chargé d'Affaires and HM Consul General, British Embassy Pyongyang (2001-2002)
  • A welcome reception with Korean and Scottish musical recitals
  • The launch of a publication on the life of Yun Posun by Dr Myungkoo Kim
  • A tour of Korean artefacts held in the National Museum of Scotland
  • A Korea arts and culture presentation, ahead of an exhibition of Korean artist Nam June Paik's work at the Edinburgh International Festival in August 2013, hosted by the University
  • A student exchange awareness raising session
  • A Korean Culture Show organised by Edinburgh University Korean Students’ Society, covering traditional music and dances to contemporary K-pop
  • A pan-sector Scotland-Korea Symposium on 6 March, hosted by Universities Scotland