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Dad Expert in That Adorable BBC Interview Heads to Manila

We doubt Dr. Robert Kelly will be bringing his children to his lecture at the Ateneo de Manila University, but here’s how you can attend it.

Remember Dr. Robert Kelly? The Korean expert who was being interviewed at his home office by the BBC when his charming children, Marion, 4, and eight-month-old James, burst into the room?

Kelly will be in Manila next week on the invitation of the Korean Studies Program under Ateneo de Manila University’s School of Social Sciences.

As a representative of the Pusan National University, Kelly will deliver a lecture on the political crisis in South Korea and Northeast Asia regional security. The special lecture, together with a discussion held by Dr. Aileen Baviera of the University of the Philippines, will be held on May 5, at Ateneo's Leong Hall. Those interested may register before the April 30 deadline, as this event is open to the public.

The lecture will touch on the dwindling state of South Korean politics following the impeachment of President Park Geun-Hye. After reviewing South Korea’s constitutional order, which compares the South Korean democracy and its executive powers to that of the Philippine government’s, the speaker will argue his case for the eradication of prime ministerial elements in the government to make way for a traditional vice-president, possibly to prepare the Korean government for future situations like these.

Apart from discussing the plausible outcomes of the upcoming May 9 elections in South Korea, the lecture will tackle foreign policy issues and the growing concern of missile defense in Northeast Asia.

Kelly is an associate professor at the Department of Political Science and Diplomacy, where he specializes in international security and political economy. His curriculum vitae includes scholarly work on Confucianism in the geopolitics of East Asia, and his work has appeared in numerous academic journals.


Kelly catapulted to fame after footage of his two young children interrupting his live video interview with the BBC went viral. Kelly had been talking to BBC World News about the implications of the ousting of the South Korean president when his bespectacled young daughter suddenly sauntered into his home office, followed by her infant brother in a walker.

Discussant Baviera is a professor at the Asian Institute at U.P. She is also currently the editor in chief of Asian Politics and Policy and has been serving as a pro bono advisor to the Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of National Defense, and the Philippine Navy.

For more information about the lecture and discussion on May 5, visit the Ateneo Korean Studies Program page.

About The Author
Hannah Lazatin
Senior Staff Writer
Hannah is a communications graduate from Ateneo de Manila University. She’s originally from Pampanga and from a big, close-knit family who likes to find a reason to get together at the dinner table. Experiences inspire her. “Once, at a restaurant, I received an interpretation of my second name ‘Celina,’ and it meant 'someone who tries everything once' and that is me through and through,” she says. As for the job, she wants her “readers to be inspired by the stories of the people we feature and to move them to reach for greater things.”
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