Must the Cheonan wreck torpedo inter-Korean ties?

Must the Cheonan wreck torpedo inter-Korean ties?

How time flies. Can it really be five years since the Cheonan was sunk? It seems like just yesterday I heard the news: from the BBC, who wanted an interview. So I hurried to my local studio with …

March 27th, 2015
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Korea and America, North and South

Korea and America, North and South

“Our country ... In bits and pieces, this phrase was again slowly coming to mean North and South, one and the same.” Was this quote, referring to “our country” (uri nara in Korean) uttered …

March 23rd, 2015
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War is Peace: North Korea’s ongoing nuclear threat show

War is Peace: North Korea’s ongoing nuclear threat show

During the last decade many people interested in North Korea have regularly (about every a year and a half or so) observed a “nuclear war” show, during which the DPRK threatens to nuke Seoul, Japa…

March 20th, 2015
3
Iranian sanctions model won’t work with North Korea

Iranian sanctions model won’t work with North Korea

Last week’s controversial speech by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was the latest salvo in a long-running battle between President Obama and the U.S. Congress over efforts to craft a deal…

March 12th, 2015
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No joke: North Koreans don’t fully understand the ridicule

No joke: North Koreans don’t fully understand the ridicule

The top North Korean leadership has attracted a great deal of attention in the world media – especially given the meager economic significance of the country they run (after all, in terms of its siz…

March 10th, 2015
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‘The Interview’ as anti-North Korean propaganda

‘The Interview’ as anti-North Korean propaganda

Months have now passed since the hacking of Sony Pictures Entertainment and the furor has largely died down. It has not dissipated entirely, though, and may yet reignite: The FBI and NSA have made the…

March 9th, 2015
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South Korea’s new unification minister: Big deal?

South Korea’s new unification minister: Big deal?

South Korea has a new Minister of Unification (MOU), or soon will have. President Park Geun-hye, whose ratings have fallen to 29 percent this year, carried out a mini-reshuffle last week. Picking p…

February 26th, 2015
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Engagement with North Korea again? Perhaps

Engagement with North Korea again? Perhaps

A year on from the United Nations’ damning report on the human rights’ situation in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK – North Korea’s official name), it is perhaps time to take…

February 23rd, 2015
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Color brings Kim Il Sung-era pictures to life

Color brings Kim Il Sung-era pictures to life

When we open history books that discuss modern – but not very recent – history, they are usually filled with black-and white photos, as for many years taking color photos required much time and …

February 20th, 2015
2
Why Kim doesn't love Hitler, and why this matters

Why Kim doesn't love Hitler, and why this matters

Over the last 20 years various international media have several times issued a sensational report: The North Korean leader, they say, is a fan of Adolf Hitler. The most recent report of this kind came…

February 11th, 2015
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Lee Myung-bak’s memoir: Did we need to know?

Lee Myung-bak’s memoir: Did we need to know?

Retired politicians love to write memoirs – as a matter of fact, this activity might be their single favourite pastime. Usually memoirs are crafted to demonstrate that the politician has always been…

February 10th, 2015
3
Ultra vires! Rapporteur’s remit is not regime change

Ultra vires! Rapporteur’s remit is not regime change

My older cousin Michael, now long gone above to the final court of no appeal, was a judge: a very good one. The job suited his keen mind and mordant wit. But he knew his boundaries, as I once learnt t…

February 6th, 2015
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After the Shin Dong-hyuk affair: Separating fact, fiction

After the Shin Dong-hyuk affair: Separating fact, fiction

For the last two weeks North Korea watchers have been much pre-occupied with what can be described as the “Shin Dong-hyuk affair.” At least some suspicions had been confirmed when Shin suddenly ad…

February 3rd, 2015
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The hollow, vacant nature of Juche

The hollow, vacant nature of Juche

One of the most distinctive traits of communist countries was an existence of a state ideology, the most prominent of which was the Soviet Marxism-Leninism. The state ideology claimed to be a scientif…

February 2nd, 2015
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They’ve got a little list: Should NK go back on?

They’ve got a little list: Should NK go back on?

Ever since Washington fingered Pyongyang for Sony Hackgate – a culpability that some still query – there have been calls to put North Korea back on the “terraced” list. Terraced? That’s how …

January 29th, 2015
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