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Compounding Curiosity

Nov 9, 2022

My guest today is Ramon Pacheco Pardo (@rpachecopardo), Ramon is a Professor of International Relations at King’s College London, and Korea Chair at the Brussels School of Governance. He is also a non-resident adjunct fellow with the Center for Strategic Studies Korea Chair, and a non-resident fellow at the Sejong Institute. He is also the author of Shrimp to Whale: South Korea from the Forgotten War to K-Pop, which is today's focus.

In this conversation, we cover the incredible rise of South Korea, where the future lies for them, and his awesome and aptly named book.

I hope you enjoy my conversation with Ramon Pacheco Pardo.


For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page on 




Show Notes:

[00:00:31] - [First question] - Ramon’s history with South Korea

[00:05:29] - Who came up with the title for the book?

[00:07:17] - Ramon’s favourite period of South Korean History

[00:08:15] - South Korea’s insane growth put into perspective

[00:10:52] - What has South Korea done differently that has allowed it to succeed? 

[00:14:22] - Chaebols and their role

[00:16:14] - Dark side of Korea’s growth

[00:18:43] - South Korea’s future?

[00:22:09] - South Korean Identity and what it means going forward

[00:24:29] - What was the process for writing the book?

[00:29:18] - Unexpected challenges of writing the book?

[00:32:12] - Anything we haven’t talked about that’s consequential to South Korea’s future?

[00:33:59] - Underrated skill or experience?

[00:35:20] - Influential books?

[00:36:57] - Future plans?

[00:38:10] - Wrapping up




Connect with Ramon:

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Buy Ramon’s book - Shrimp to Whale: South Korea from the Forgotten War to K-Pop: 




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