Content Author | NK PRO
July 21, 2024


Stephen Mercado

Stephen Mercado

Stephen Mercado is a retired officer of the CIA’s Open Source Enterprise (originally the Foreign Broadcast Information Service). A researcher primarily interested in Japanese intelligence history and Asian open-source intelligence, he earned a master’s degree in international affairs at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and is the author of "The Shadow Warriors of Nakano: A History of the Imperial Japanese Army’s Elite Intelligence School" (Brassey’s, 2002), several articles and a few dozen book reviews.


Book review: Taking Tokyo to task for poor policy on North Korea’s abductions

Impressive Japanese book tells stories of abductees and accuses leaders of prioritizing publicity stunts over diplomacy

Stephen MercadoStephen MercadoJuly 4, 2024

Book review: A realist appraisal of North Korea’s ‘nuclear obsession’

In ‘North Korea in 100 Questions,’ two French experts push past stereotypes to shine light on all things DPRK

Stephen MercadoStephen MercadoMarch 21, 2024

Book review: Jargon weighs down an impressive study of gender in North Korea

‘North Korea’s Mundane Revolution’ draws heavily on DPRK publications but ultimately has limited appeal beyond academia

Stephen MercadoStephen MercadoFebruary 20, 2024

Book review: A deep dive into the obscure world of North Korean animation

In ‘The Complete Encyclopaedia of North Korean Anime,’ a Japanese IT worker explores seven decades of DPRK cartoons

Stephen MercadoStephen MercadoDecember 26, 2023

Book review: Exploring Japan’s response to North Korea’s growing nuclear threat

Tomotaro Inoue delves into rapid increase in Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile tests and Tokyo’s options to deter them

Stephen MercadoStephen MercadoSeptember 11, 2023

Book review: A chronicle of Korea, from a mythological god-king to Kim Jong Un

‘Korea: A New History of South and North’ packs 4,000 years into an insightful overview but oversimplifies DPRK issues

Stephen MercadoStephen MercadoJuly 11, 2023

Book review: An African woman’s memoir of privilege and identity in North Korea

‘Black Girl from Pyongyang’ documents the fascinating story of Monica Macias, a dictator’s daughter who grew up in DPRK

Stephen MercadoStephen MercadoJune 19, 2023

Book review: A moving personal account of Japan’s pro-North Korea enclave

In a fascinating book of essays, filmmaker Yang Yonghi shares the drama and heartbreak of her Zainichi Korean family

Stephen MercadoStephen MercadoMay 18, 2023

Book review: A look at North Korea from outside the Anglosphere

“Something About North Korea” promises firsthand account of French authors’ studies in DPRK but loses the thread

Stephen MercadoStephen MercadoMarch 22, 2023