North Korea is often portrayed as a “rogue state” and “unpredictable,” but like any other state it has a history that has to be taken into account to make sense of its present.

Dr. Jonathan Dresner, an associate professor of history at Pittsburg State University, will present “North Korea: Hangover of the 20th Century” at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 12, in Webster Hall’s Corley Auditorium.

Throughout the 20th century, Northern Korea has been on the front lines between empires, and between imperialists and liberators. The end of the Cold War globally has not solved the Korean separation the way it solved the German one, though the ideological rhetoric has changed. North Korean leadership invokes this history regularly to explain and justify its positions, and this has to be taken seriously in any analysis of North Korea’s 21st-century development.

Dresner is the director of PSU’s history master’s program and teaches East Asian history, specialized courses on Japan, and world history at the undergraduate and graduate levels.