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First conference of the EU-Korea Institute a success

The EU-Korea Institute (EKI) of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel,  the Society for East Sea, and Northeast Asian History Foundation co-organised an “International  Law Seminar on Sea Names”, on the 7th-9th March 2012 at the Renaissance Brussels Hotel.

The conference was preceded by a high-level networking dinner on the 7th of March hosted by Dr. Christian Ehler MEP in collaboration with the EKI.  It was attended by Prof. Paul De Knop (Rector, VUB),  Prof. Nohyoung Park (Head of Society for East Sea, Dean of Korea University Law School), Mr. Robert-Jan Smits (Director General, DG Research and Innovation at the European Commission), Mr.  Viorel Isticioaia-Budura (Managing Director,  Asia Division, EEAS), Mr Bertrand de Crombrugghe (Director for Asia, Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs), and Dr. M. Miryung Kim (Executive Director EKI), among other high ranking officials, diplomats and academics.

 The major topic of discussion concerned the dispute over the naming of the East Sea/Sea of Japan, the body of water that is a shared feature between the Korean peninsula and the Japanese archipelago.  Reference was made to relevant international law and other naming disputes and to the UNGEGN (United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names).  During the next two full days, a number of papers were presented by invitees, 24 scholars, and legal-and policy experts from around the world, including Prof. Erik Franckx, Law Faculty at VUB.