Topics: Peace and Human Rights
International Relations
Science and Technology
Regional focus: Asia and the Pacific
Origin: Korea, Republic of
Fellowship: Richard von Weizsäcker Fellow

Woo-ik Yu is a geographer and statesman. He has been professor of geography at the SNU for 29 years serving also as Secretary General and Treasurer of the International Geographical Union (2004-2010). He left university to serve the Korean government (2008-2013) as Chief of Staff for the President, Ambassador to China and lastly Minister of Unification. Then he returned to academia to teach at the SNU as honorary professor and at the Korea Military Academy (KMA) as distinguished professor.

His main interest lies in geography and national policy, especially in the reunification of the Korean Peninsula. As a Richard von Weizsäcker Fellow, he plans to conduct intensive interviews on the integration process of reunified Germany.

Woo-ik Yu received his BA and MA in geography at the Seoul National University (SNU), Republic of Korea, and his PhD at the University of Kiel, Germany (1980) with his doctoral thesis “Zentralörtliches Verhalten und Sozialstruktur in ländlichen Räumen” (“Central Place Behaviour and Social Structure in Rural Areas”).

Last updated: 2018