About Sejong



Research Fellows

Seong-Hyon Lee
Department : Department of Unification Strategy Studies
Contact : 031-750-7535
Position : Research Fellow
E-Mail : sunnybbsfs@gmail.com

List Organization Chart

Degree and Work Experience


eong-Hyon Lee, Ph.D. (Political Communication) 世宗研究所 常任研究委員 李成賢 博士​, is a Research Fellow at the Sejong Institute in Seoul. He holds bachelor’s degree from Grinnell College, master’s degree from Harvard University, and Ph.D. from Tsinghua University. A native of Seoul, he lived a total of 20 years in the United States, China and Japan, including 11 years in Beijing. His research interests include Chinese Media and Foreign Policy, Public Diplomacy, Propaganda in Controlled States, and Narrative Framing in Sino-U.S. Relations. Currently, he is also Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Korean Peninsula Studies (nonresident) at Peking University. 

He served as an internal reviewer for the International Crisis Group (ICG)’s geopolitical analysis, including the China-North Korean intrigue. He was 2013-14 Pantech Fellow at the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center, Stanford University. He is a former Salzburg Global Fellow and a faulty member for the Salzburg Seminar, as well as
an assistant professor at the Center for Asia-Pacific Future Studies, Kyushu University, Japan. In 2013, he was invited to the Boao Forum (China’s Davos), where he was a panel discussant for a closed-door session.

His recent publications include, “Historical Perspective on China's 'Tipping Point” With Kim Donggil. Asian Perspective (SSCI), volume 42, number 1 (Jan.-Mar 2018); “Why Did We Get China Wrong? Reconsidering the Popular Narrative: China will abandon North Korea.” International Journal of Korean Unification Studies (KCI), 2016, vol.25, no.1, pp. 65-93; “Chinese Scholarly Perspectives on Contemporary Sino–South Korean Relations.“ Journal of Korean Studies (SSCI), Volume 21, Number 1, Spring 2016, pp. 265-275; “North East Asia Eyes the Arctic," in The New Arctic Governance (edited by Linda Jakobson and Neil Melvin), Oxford University Press, 2016.

He gave lectures and talks at Harvard Kennedy School, Stanford University, University of Pennsylvania, Seoul National University, Korea Economic Institute in Washington D.C., among others. His comments and columns appeared at CNN, New York Times, Al Jazeera, Foreign Policy, South China Morning Post, Japan Times, Chinese State CCTV
国中央电视台, Phoenix TV (Hong Kong) 香港凤凰卫视,  Huan Qiu Shi Bao 环球时报, and Kyodo News Agency 日本共同社. He can be reached at sunnybbsfs@gmail.com
     or     boston.sunny@yahoo.com


Ph.D. Tsinghua University (Political Communication, International Communication)

M.T.S. Harvard University

B.A. Grinnell College


Fmr) Pantech Fellow, Stanford University

Fmr) Assistant Professor, Kyushu University

Fmr) Salzburg Global Fellow & Salzburg Seminar faculty 

Military service, Headquarters, the 8th U.S. Army Inspector General's Office, Yongsan Garrison, Seoul. ARCOM (Army Commendation Medal)

미국 그리넬대학에서 학사, 미국 하버드대학에서 석사, 그리고 중국 칭화대학에서 박사학위 (정치커뮤니케이션) 를 받았다. 스탠포드대학교 아태연구소 팬텍펠로우 (Pantech Fellow, 2013-2014), 그리고 일본 규슈대학 교수 (2014-2016)를 역임했다. 현재 베이징대학교 한반도연구센터 시니어리서치펠로우 (nonresident)이기도 하다. 최근 세가지 논문으로 (1) “Why Did We Get China Wrong? Reconsidering the Popular Narrative: China will abandon North Korea.” International Journal of Korean Unification Studies, 2016, vol.25, no.1, pp. 65-93 (KCI); (2) “Chinese Scholarly Perspectives on Contemporary Sino–South Korean Relations.“ Journal of Korean Studies, Volume 21, Number 1, Spring 2016, pp. 265-275 (SSCI); (3) “Historical Perspective on China's 'Tipping Point' with North Korea” (SSCI, Asian Perspective 42 (2018), 33–60.)이 있다. 최근 한국어 논문으로 “미중 갈등과 ‘리더십 부재’의 국제질서” (계간 외교, 제123호2017.10)가 있다. 그의 칼럼과 코멘트는 CNN, BBC, New York Times, Al Jazeera, Japan Times, South China Morning Post, 중국 CCTV, 環球時報,Korea Times, Financial Times (중문판), 홍콩 봉황위성TV(凤凰卫视), 중앙일보 중앙선데이 등에 실렸다. 

“Historical Perspective on China's 'Tipping Point' with North Korea." With Kim Donggil. Asian Perspective (SSCI), volume 42, number 1 (Jan.-Mar 2018).

[정세와정책 2017-08] 북중 '혈맹' 논란을 계기로 살펴본 현재의 북중 관계 

[세종논평 No. 355] ‘레드 라인’을 넘어 ‘레드 존’에 들어선 북핵

[세종논평 No. 354] 문재인 대통령이 직면한 외교환경과 사드 문제

Moon Jae-in’s Foreign Policy & Roh Moo-hyun’s Shadow. 2017.
Asan Institute for Policy Studies. 

China's THAAD retaliation and South Korea's response. 
[세종논평 No. 341] 중국의 사드 보복과 한국 신정부의 대응 방안. 2017.

Trump-Xi summit assessment. 2017.
[세종정책브리핑 2017-08] 트럼프-시진핑 정상회담 평가: 한국의 시각 

[세종논평 No. 336] 사드배치 관련 한국의 對중국 커뮤니케이션 고찰 2017
THAAD and South Korea-China strategic communication issues. 

북중관계 주류 담론에 대한 대안적 고찰' 2017
Scrutinizing the popular narrative on China-North Korea relations

[세종정책브리핑 2017-03] 트럼프 행정부의 동아시아 정책과 한미관계
Trump administration’s policy on East Asia and Korea-U.S. Relations

[세종논평 No. 334] 트럼프 시대 미중(美中)관계가 북중(北中)관계에 주는 함의

[정책브리핑2016-31] 중국의 ‘여론전(輿論戰)’과 언론의 역할 평가: 한국의 사드 배치 결정을 중심으로
Lee, Seong-Hyon. (2016). With Qian Yong. "Chinese Scholarly Perspectives on Contemporary Sino–South Korean Relations." (SSCI). Journal of Korean Studies.中国学界对当代中韩关系的若干看法. Vol.21, No.1, Spring. pp. 265-275.

“미국 전문가들의 한반도 상황과 동아시아 정세 인식.” 정책브리링. 세종연구소. No. 2016-20 (2016.08.22)

LEE, Seong-Hyon (2016). Why Did We Get China Wrong? Reconsidering the Popular Narrative: China will abandon North Korea. International Journal of Korean Unification Studies, 2016, vol.25, no.1, pp. 65-93. (KCI)

리수용 방중과 북중관계의 지정학적 관성 세종논평 7 June 2016  


LEE, Seong-Hyon, with Linda Jakobson. (2016). North East Asia Eyes the Arctic. Chapter in:  The New Arctic Governance (edited by Linda Jakobson and Neil Melvin). Oxford University Press.


LEE, Seong-Hyon (2016). Japan-South Korea relations: history and present. Book chapter. To be published in 2016 by Routledge.


Lee, Seong-Hyon (2016) with Qian Yong. Chinese Scholarly Perspectives on Contemporary Sino-South Korean Relations, Journal of Korean Studies (Accepted).

중국의 평화협정 제안 동기와 미중관계에 대한 고찰  세종논평 21 March 2016




 꽌시실용주의프레임으로 · 관계. 정세와 정책. March 2016.



中대사 사드발언 한국의 대응전략: 중국 외교에 있어서의非외교적발언 사례가 주는 함의. 세종논평. 25 February 2016.



Lee, Seong-Hyon. (2015). The policy orientation of Xi Jinping’s China and South Korea’s response. 이성현. 중국 시진핑 체제의 성격과 한국의 대응. 현안과 정책 67, [Korean]. http://www.kcgg.org/publications/issues.php?sno=0&group=basic&code=B10&category=&&abmode=view&no=956&bsort=&bfsort=


Lee, Seong-Hyon. (2014). The Korean Angle on Crimean Fallout: America’s Perception Gap. The National Bureau of Asian Research. Retrieved from http://www.nbr.org/research/activity.aspx?id=423.


시진핑의 "모순의 정치", 성균관대학교 성균중국연구소, <성균차이나브리프> 1 4. 2013 pp.132-136


북핵 3 실험에 대한 중국의 시각. 성균관대학교 성균중국연구소, <성균차이나브리프> 1 3. 2013 pp.97-103

弱连接”发挥“强”作用——从“阿拉伯之春”看新媒体的政治传播能力. 李成贤. 新闻记者, 2013. 2. (CSSCI)



韩两个舆论场的比较. Comparative analysis of the ‘public opinion fields’ in China and the Republic of Korea. Nanfang Media Research, (8). [In Chinese].南方传媒研究38



Lee, Seong-Hyon (2013) with Linda Jakobson. The North East Asian States' Interests in the Arctic. Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Retrieved from https://www.sipri.org/publications/2013/north-east-asian-states-interests-arctic-and-possible-cooperation-kingdom-denmark


Lee, Seong-Hyon. (2013). Firm Warning, Light Consequences: China’s DPRK Policy Upholds Status Quo. China Brief, 13(23). http://www.jamestown.org/programs/chinabrief/single/?tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=41668&tx_ttnews%5BbackPid%5D=688&no_cache=1#.U-qztYBdWsg


Lee, Seong-Hyon. (2013). Will China's soft-power strategy on South Korea succeed? The Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS). Retrieved from



Lee, Seong-Hyon. (2013). When ‘weak tie’ produces ‘strong tie’ results: the political communication capability of new media during the ‘Arab Spring.’ Journalism Review, 3, 67-71. [In Chinese] CSSCI.


Lee, Seong-Hyon. (2013). Chinese Perspective on North Korea and Korean Unification. On Korea [The Korea Economic Institute Academic Paper Series], 6, 49-68. Retrieved from http://www.keia.org/sites/default/files/publications/kei_onkorea_2013_sunny_seong-hyon_lee.pdf


Lee, Seong-Hyon. (2012). The Eagle Versus the Dragon. [Review of the book A Contest for Supremacy: China, America, and the Struggle for Mastery in Asia]. Korea Review, 2(2), 160-163.


Lee, Seong-Hyon. (2012). A new paradigm in thinking about soft power: the case of the Korean song “Gangnam Style.” Xinwen Zhanxian, 12. [In Chinese] CSSCI.


Lee, Seong-Hyon. (2012). In-depth interview survey: the perspectives of foreign journalists in China on their reporting environment. Zhongguo Jizhe, 11. (CSSCI). [In Chinese]


Lee, Seong-Hyon (2012). The institutional protection system for journalists in South Korea. Zhongguo Jizhe (8). (CSSCI). [In Chinese]


Lee, Seong-Hyon. (2011). China’s North Korean Foreign Policy Decoded. Yale Global Online.

Retrieved from http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/content/chinas-north-korean-foreign-policy-decoded


Lee, Seong-Hyon. (2011). The case of ‘public advocacy journalism’ in South Korea. Nanfang Media Research (8). [In Chinese]



Columns & Commentaries                                                                                            


Will new sanctions on North Korea have an impact? Arirang TV

[차이나 인사이트] 중국은 북한과 혈맹 아님을 행동으로 보여라 / 중앙일보

Nordkorea har skjutit upp ny robot – landade i japanska vatten

Is it time to accept a nuclear-armed Pyongyang? Straits Times. 

[Arirang Special] Achievements of South Korea-U.S. Summit _ Full Episode / Arirang TV

South Korean leader forced to harden stance after North's latest ICBM test / Straits Times

Are N. Korea and China still allies? / The Korea Times

N. Korea crosses red line, now into red zone / The Korea Times

Moon Jae-in's foreign policy challenge​ / The Korea Times. 

China, South Korea likely to hold talks at G20 amid strained ties over missile shield, says diplomat / South China Morning Post

Moon's public diplomacy / The Korea Times
Envoy, THAAD and Korea-China relations under Moon Jae-in / CSIS 

Washington Post on Moon  / The Korea Times

Best way for Trump to persuade China to up the pressure on North Korea / The Korea Times

이해찬 특사 자리 배치는 ‘의도된’ 의전상 결례다. 중앙일보-네이버 차이나랩. 22 May 2017



分析│朝鲜时隔一周又射导 欲破文在寅外交合围. 【财新】.​ 22 May 2017.


Washington Post on Moon. 
문재인과 워싱턴포스트. 华盛顿邮报和文在寅​. The Korea Times. 17 May 2017.



North Korea Fires New Type of Ballistic Missile With Longer Range. Wall Street Journal. 14 May 2017.



대선 이후, 한-중 협력과 대북정책 전망. NK News. 13 May 2017.


Post-election, how can Beijing and Seoul cooperate on North Korea? NK News. 12 May 2017.


文在寅主政后“萨德”将重议 半岛局势牵引大国博弈.  【财新】. ​9 May 2017.


弹劾风暴后选出新总统 韩国改革何往民意期待深. 【财新】. 9 May 2017.

Best way for Trump to persuade China to up the pressure on North Korea. The Korea Times. 2 May 2017.



미중관계 전문가, “트럼프 말, 미국에서 먼저 검증된 뒤 반응해도 늦지 않아” Sputnik (Russia). 28 April 2017.

Trump's 'without-China' approach on North Korea. The Korea Times. 4 April 2017

Why Moon is likely 'bad moon' for China. The Korea Times. 21 Mar 2017

[차이나 인사이트] 겅솽(耿爽·중국 외교부 대변인)은 왜 누구나 아는 한한령(限韓令·한류 규제 명령)을 들은 적 없다 하나

China's THAAD strategy 中国对韩国的萨德战略  
The Korea Times. 7 Mar 2017.

“Understanding China's behavioral dynamics on N. Korea.”
The Korea Times. 21 Feb 2017.

“Political crisis in South Korea leaves ‘comfort women’ deal in limbo.” 
South China Morning Post. 18 Feb 2017. 

“Thaad's the question for South's next govt.” 
Straits Times (Singapore). 15 Feb 2017.

South Korea, US call urgent UN meeting over North's missile test. 
ABC (Australia)​. 13 Feb 2017

Xi's 'signal diplomacy' with Trump. The Korea Times. 7 Feb 2017

China-N. Korea ties under Trump. 特朗普時代的中朝關係 The Korea Times. 24 Jan 2017

Outlook for Situation in North Korea in 2017. Arirang TV. 11 Jan 2017.

Taiwan's public diplomacy. The Korea Times. 10 Jan 2017.

Outlook 2017 East Asia: S. Korea in need of leader who can heal nation. Straits Times (Singapore). 27 Dec 2016.

Chinese journalism 101: seeking truth, not fact The Korea Times 27 Dec 2016

Xi, Trump and South China Sea The Korea Times 14 December 2016

Early presidential polls in S. Korea likely 3 December 2016 The Straits Times (Singapore)

US-China relations under Trump The Korea Times 29 November 2016

[CSF 중국전문가포럼] 트럼프 당선과 미중관계(美中关系) 전망

Beijing, Seoul's different readings on Trump The Korea Times 15 November 2016

Xi's 'strategic patience' with Kim Jong-un The Korea Times 1 November 2016

萨德”未必拦得住,朝鲜如继续核试验美国会动武吗?澎湃. 13 October 2016

THAAD, ginseng and art of negotiation. 萨德、人参、谈判的艺术 The Korea Times. 4 October 2016

美国对朝核问题的“内心戏”:继续“忍”还是默认其核地位?澎湃[In Chinese] (The psychology of the American unwillingness to enter into negotiations with North Korea.) 22 September 2016

A China that doesn't analyze Korea. 一个对韩国不加分析的中国   The Korea Times. 21 September 2016

Xi's strategic 'face game' with Park. The Korea Times. 6 September 2016 

Future of China-NK relations the Korea Times 9 August 2016

N. Korean missile lands in Japan waters The Straits Times 4 August 2016

Security experts say Asian allies of U.S. prefer Clinton over Trump Kyodo News Agency 29 July 2016

China-N. Korea defense treaty The Korea Times 26 July 2016

Beijing can't risk pushing Seoul closer to US The Global Times 12 July 2016

THAAD and Korean images of China 12 July 2016

Koreans' knowledge of China The Korea Times 28 June 2016

Will Xi Jinping invite Kim Jong-un? The Korea Times 14 June 2016

China's ultimate concern is US, not NK The Korea Times 31 May 2016

Rethinking optimism in Sino-U.S. ties The Korea Times 17 May 2016

朝鲜改革开放?勿抱太大希望 Financial Times Chinese edition. 16 May 2016

China-NK relations and information asymmetry The Korea Times 3 May 2016

Art of sanctioning North Korea  The Korea Times 19 April 2016

解决朝核危机是全球的责任 Financial Times Chinese edition 16 April 2016

从“萨德”报道看韩中媒体差异 Financial Times Chinese edition. 28 March 2016​ 
Why China proposed N. Korea peace treaty The Korea Times 18 March 2016


China and the NK disease. The Korea Times. 8 March 2016.



Worrying about war. The Korea Times. 23 February 2016.



What does North Korea mean to China? The Korea Times. 15 February 2016.



What New Approach Should the U.S. and China Take to North Korea? ChinaFile. 9 February 2016



Why Xi Jinping didn't answer Park's call? The Korea Times. 2 February 2016.



When it comes to North Korea, the US should stop pointing fingers and act. South China Morning Post. 19 January 2016.



China-North Korea relations and "envoy politics”. The Korea Times. 8 October 2015.



Time to hit the reset button on Tokyo-Seoul relations. Japan Times. 16 June 2015.



중국 특색의 사회주의 언론의 특징과 속성. 국가미래연구원. 9 December 2014.



미국 의도 읽는 한국. 중국 의도도 읽고 있을까? 국가미래연구원. 5 November 2014.



[써니 리의 중국 엿보기] 윈도 비스타와 한국의 중국외교. 중앙SUNDAY. 13 July 2014.



중국공산당의 지식인 길들이기 중앙SUNDAY.  1 June 2014.



[써니 리의 중국 엿보기] 중국 대북정책의티핑 포인트’. 중앙SUNDAY. 12 May 2014.



[써니 리의 중국 엿보기] · 읽는 한국 언론들. 중앙SUNDAY. 16 February 2014




凤凰评论. 2013.12.20.76 总第76



장성택 없는 · 관계

중앙일보 <중앙SUNDAY>. 2013.12.15




2013.12.13. Financial Times Chinese edition



고민거리 대미 공공외교. 중앙일보 <중앙SUNDAY>





2013.11.7. Financial Times Chinese edition



일본 때리기· 다른 셈법

2013.10.13. 중앙일보 <중앙SUNDAY>



중국 예외론

2013.9.22. 중앙일보 <중앙SUNDAY>




2013.8.5. Financial Times Chinese edition



李源潮赴朝满足中韩朝需要 安排费神而微妙





凤凰评论. 2013.07.16 总第25



国应抓住时机 赢得韩国女总统的心










Financial Times Chinese edition







鸟叔反美 国可以学到什么

大公 2013.1.6




2012.11.1 大公




Interests and Expertise

Research Interests: US-China Relations, Sino-North Korea Relations, Press and Foreign Policy, Media and Diplomacy,  the Role of Social Media in Controlled States, International Communication, Political Communication, Strategic Communication

Countries: China, North Korea, the United States, Taiwan​


연구 관심: 미디어와 외교, 소셜미디어와 공공외교, 통제된 사회에서 소셜미디어의 역할, 미디어 리터러시, 정치커뮤니케이션, 국제커뮤니케이션

관심 국가: 중국, 미국, 북한, 대만​ 

List of Publications