March 01, 2021

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News media keeps missing the point on North Korea

Pursuit of catchy headlines, trendy stories ignores real long-term developments in the North – and elsewhere

Some time ago, I had a rather telling conversation at an office of a media outlet for which I have, for many years, been a frequent contributor.

The editor told me that he was not very happy about the columns I submitted recently since they were “not topical enough.” The editor said that they would much prefer to publish things related to breaking news, like nuclear negotiations and rumors about Pyongyang factional struggle, not stories about North Korea’s black markets, or North Koreans’ attitudes to the outside world.