Three-year anniversary of Kim Jong Il's death important milestone

Three-year anniversary of Kim Jong Il's death important milestone

The third anniversary of Kim Jong Il’s death, December 17, 2014, may very well turn out to be the most significant one historically in terms of North Korea’s leadership structure and policy trajec…

December 17th, 2014
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North Korean art comes to London

North Korean art comes to London

I have been rather silent on these (and other) pages recently as I finished a book – apologies for the shameless publicity but more details will follow in due course. But we found time to visit the …

November 28th, 2014
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Why Kim Jong Un's special envoy just met Vladimir Putin

Why Kim Jong Un's special envoy just met Vladimir Putin

Choe Ryong Hae, the special envoy of Kim Jong Un, is now in Russia. Officially he is in Moscow to discuss economic relations between the two countries, as well as international and regional issues. …

November 20th, 2014
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What was Panetta thinking?

What was Panetta thinking?

I have long considered North Korea’s frequent charge that the U.S. is contemplating a nuclear strike clunky and unconvincing. The assertion seemed very much over the top, and as we know from the fai…

November 20th, 2014
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Why North Korea attracts so much sensational media coverage

Why North Korea attracts so much sensational media coverage

With the growth of the Internet and social media, the way news is both produced and consumed has changed rapidly in recent years. Demand for traditional print and broadcast media is continually dec…

November 19th, 2014
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National unification, or national reconciliation?

National unification, or national reconciliation?

The shock visit of a North Korean “troika” to South Korea to jump-start the stalled inter-Korean dialogue bewildered North Korea watchers worldwide – as the visit was obviously spontaneous and t…

October 14th, 2014
2
Manchuria: The third Korea

Manchuria: The third Korea

It is obvious now that there are two Koreas in the world. There is another area, though, that is often referred to as the third Korea: large parts of Northeast China, near the Sino-Korean border, wher…

October 9th, 2014
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As the economy grows, N. Korea grows more defiant

As the economy grows, N. Korea grows more defiant

Are there contradictions in North Korean policies? The North is sending out mixed signals. On the one hand, it is continuing its diplomatic offensive – sending Foreign Minister Ri Su Young to the…

October 8th, 2014
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Inside North Korea’s Central Committee

Inside North Korea’s Central Committee

As everybody in North Korea, and, for that matter, all communist countries knows, the supreme power in the nation is the Central Committee of the Party, as well as its Secretariat. However, such bodie…

September 29th, 2014
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Why the U.S. made Korea exception for landmine ban

Why the U.S. made Korea exception for landmine ban

In a step toward compliance with the Ottawa Convention, the United States government announced Tuesday it will no longer use anti-personnel landmines and destroy all of its existing stockpiles. Alm…

September 29th, 2014
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Why North Koreans are driven to drive

Why North Koreans are driven to drive

Hanawon is an education facility for North Korean refugees who have just arrived in the South. Its main role is to equip recent refugees with the practical knowledge necessary to live in South Korea, …

September 23rd, 2014
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Remembering North Korea’s Chollima movement

Remembering North Korea’s Chollima movement

Among present scholars of North Korea, there has been a tendency to throw the baby out with the bathwater in regards to labels like “socialism” or “communism” in favor of terms like “fascism…

September 23rd, 2014
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Why North Korea hates the U.S. and Vietnam doesn’t

Why North Korea hates the U.S. and Vietnam doesn’t

North Korea is one of the most anti-American countries on Earth. If you open up a North Korean newspaper you will not struggle to find references to U.S. imperialism, the U.S. “occupation” of “s…

September 22nd, 2014
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Can we engage North Korea with soft power?

Can we engage North Korea with soft power?

As articulated by Joseph Nye, soft power is the ability to achieve goals through attraction rather than by threat or coercion. Soft power exists when a dominant party possesses a sufficiently attracti…

September 17th, 2014
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Watching the defectors: speaking truth to power

Watching the defectors: speaking truth to power

As they used to say about London buses: You wait for ages, then two come along at once. Right now, here in the Disunited Kingdom, it’s a bit like that with North Korean defectors. It’s a ra…

September 15th, 2014
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