Why interest in the North Korean army is dropping

Why interest in the North Korean army is dropping

North Korean army barracks are not a nice place to be, even by the tough standards of barracks worldwide. Conditions are tough, food supplies are poor and discipline is harsh. To make matters worse, t…

April 17th, 2014
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How change in South Korea changes the North

How change in South Korea changes the North

Book Review: “Contentious Activism & Inter-Korean Relations”, by Danielle L. Chubb, Columbia University Press, 2014. How much is it possible to learn about North Korean human rights or the …

April 11th, 2014
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Reining in South Korea's out-of-control National Intelligence Service

Reining in South Korea's out-of-control National Intelligence Service

The story so far: Seoul’s gripping but tangled spy scandal saga has five separate threads. Part I covered three of these: 1) Accused of meddling in 2012’s presidential election, the National Intel…

March 18th, 2014
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South Korea's meddlesome spooks

South Korea's meddlesome spooks

Part of my remit here at NK News is to write about the other Korea. You know, the nicer one. The serious one. The non-freak. The world’s 7th-largest trading nation. The one that gives us – well, s…

March 17th, 2014
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Why the UN's damning human rights report wasn't a news priority in South Korea

Why the UN's damning human rights report wasn't a news priority in South Korea

The news priorities of international and South Korean media organizations are strikingly different at times. A case in point would be Monday of last week, when the UN released its damning report on hu…

February 28th, 2014
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Pula Botswana! Ian Khama kicks Kim Jong Un into touch

Pula Botswana! Ian Khama kicks Kim Jong Un into touch

What to do about North Korea? It’s difficult, whoever you are. But some have choices. And totally out of the blue, one principled African country has just made a very commendable one. The UN Comm…

February 27th, 2014
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"Reading North Korea: an Ethnological Inquiry" - A Book Review

"Reading North Korea: an Ethnological Inquiry" - A Book Review

Professor Sonia Ryang of Iowa University may well be one of the few qualified people to discuss matters of North Korean culture from an insider's perspective. For those who like to follow North Korea …

February 25th, 2014
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Marching Orders: A necessary tradition of annual parades and drills?

Marching Orders: A necessary tradition of annual parades and drills?

The “Marching Season” is a term long associated with the sectarian problems of Northern Ireland. Each year, roughly from Easter onwards, rival bands parade to mark their dominance in an area. Prot…

February 20th, 2014
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High-level talks: A North-South turn for the better?

High-level talks: A North-South turn for the better?

Like in my own country, the weather in Korea can change very quickly. The political weather, I mean. The literal weather in Korea is much more predictable; unlike in the UK, where it can rain at any t…

February 11th, 2014
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Going undercover, revealing very little

Going undercover, revealing very little

Book Review: Undercover in North Korea. Inside the World’s Most Secretive State, by John Sweeney, London, Bantam Press, 2013 One may wonder why John Sweeney wrote a book, and a somewhat lengthy o…

February 5th, 2014
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Subverted Engagement

Subverted Engagement

Contrary to a Western canard, the German crowds at the Berlin Olympics in 1936 cheered and applauded Jesse Owens, and went home with their faith in Nazism unshaken. Most of the foreign visitors, on th…

January 29th, 2014
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Is Kim Jong Un the reformer and Jang Song Thaek the reactionary?

Is Kim Jong Un the reformer and Jang Song Thaek the reactionary?

Professor Moon Chung-in is joining NK News as a bi-monthly contributor. Here are his latest thoughts on North Korea from The World Post: One of the most striking pieces of news in 2014 was the ruth…

January 24th, 2014
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Aidan Foster-Carter joins NK News in 2014

Aidan Foster-Carter joins NK News in 2014

As a fan and keen supporter of NK News from the outset, it’s a great pleasure and honour to be joining the team. Hitherto NK News has kindly interviewed and quoted me, but I relish this oppor…

January 19th, 2014
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The kaleidoscope – Two years of Kim Jong Un

The kaleidoscope – Two years of Kim Jong Un

As the news broke of the fall and execution of Jang Sang Thaek at the end of November, it was hard to think that it was less than two years since Kim Jong Il died and Kim Jong Un replaced him. Even i…

January 16th, 2014
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The problem with Dennis Rodman’s basketball diplomacy

The problem with Dennis Rodman’s basketball diplomacy

By Charles Kay First and foremost, exchanges have to go two ways. The beginning of a cultural exchange needs to inspire optimism, not cynicism, on both sides, and unfortunately for Rodman, his init…

January 13th, 2014
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