November 30, 2023


Thomas Schäfer

Thomas Schäfer

Thomas Schäfer was German ambassador to North Korea from 2007 to 2010 and again from 2013 to 2018. He has just published the book “From Kim Jong Il to Kim Jong Un: How the Hardliners Prevailed. On the Political History of North Korea (2007-2020).”


Biden, along with Tokyo and Seoul, should propose liaison offices to Pyongyang

A trilateral offer would show the allies' will for diplomacy and mark a departure from previous US policy

Thomas SchäferThomas SchäferSeptember 22, 2021

Why do so many people believe Kim Jong Un holds absolute power?

The evidence suggests he does not rule alone

Thomas SchäferThomas SchäferJune 8, 2021

What we lost with North Korea’s dwindled expat population: A diplomat’s account

Ambassador Thomas Schäfer recalls what he learned from his firsthand experiences in the DPRK

Thomas SchäferThomas SchäferApril 28, 2021

Why North Korea paradoxically does and does not want to boost its economy

Many carrots have been dangled in front of the DPRK, but leaders don’t want economic growth to ruin their political sway

Thomas SchäferThomas SchäferJanuary 6, 2021

North Korean moderates need their power back — or nuclear talks won’t succeed

Major political shifts in the DPRK leadership are derailing negotiations today

Thomas SchäferThomas SchäferSeptember 10, 2020