What would you do if you could go back in time to your early 20s? There is a famous poem by Kimberly Kirberger, “If I Knew Then What I Know Now,” that reminds of how to live a life you won’t regret. Many of you might feel the same way the poet did, except for this guy, whom we want to introduce you all.
Moon, Yechan (2020, MDP) is a KDIS student who recently acquired his bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Diplomacy. He graduated from university at the age of 21 and came to KDI school right after his early graduation.
Briefly introduce yourself.
My name is Ye-Chan Moon; I am currently in the master’s course in development policy at KDI school. I decided to study development policy because I want to reduce the economic gap between South and North Korea through the development of North Korea.
What made you have a passion for the development of North Korea?
During my undergraduate years, I took part in various activities after researching peace and unification on the Korean Peninsula. It made me have a strong passion for studying inter-Korean relations.
In particular, I worked for the Unification Ministry as a student reporter for three years to improve the public awareness of national unification. But those activities alone couldn’t satisfy my academic thirst. I wanted to carry out in-depth research using my experience in reporting. I also wrote papers under the themes ‘Sustainable South and North Exchange and Cooperation,’ ‘Comfort Women’ and ‘Building Peace among Korea, China, and Japan.’ In addition to that, I proposed ways to resolve language differences and support reunions of separated families through inter-Korean broadcasting exchanges and utilizing the agenda for sustainable exchanges and cooperation.
Then, why did you choose KDI school?
I am here for building networks all over the world. I was always interested in the progress of development in so-called developing countries, like their real-status quo. I still want to gain any insights about North Korea’s development through the case of developing countries. Ever since I decided to work in the field of North Korea’s development, I have been passionate about my career.
How is your life in KDI school?
Although my interactions with KDI classmates and faculty have all been online since February, I feel grateful to be able to continue to attend KDI school. I believe that this is the place where I have opportunities to meet diverse experts and professionals. One of my KDI school friends used to work in the office of the President of Afghanistan. You never know who is sitting next to you; he or she might be a politician in his or her own country.
What are your expectations for your future career?
The best part of being the youngest member of KDI school is that I have more time than anyone else to develop my professionalism. I am currently writing a paper on building peace on the Korean Peninsula through the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and researching North Korea’s development strategy through the case of developing countries. In particular, I have compiled statistical data of international organizations, and am now in the process of establishing a research database.. Besides, as a manager of the “South-North Walk,” a book club for youth from South and North Korea, I am taking the lead in revitalizing the North-South youth network. I just want to do my best in what I am doing right now, and I want to leave worries about my future on the side. I do not know what I will be in the future, but I do know what I want to do in the future. Plus, I know KDI school will continue to be my best motivation for finding and achieving my dream.