Little Madmen: Correspondents' Tales

Caught between huge conflicting forces, people look with foreboding on the gathering clouds of war
1.Points of Crisis
The rise of Kim Dae Jung and the high price of his failed drive for reconciliation with North Korea
Three contributions on Korea -- North, South and Kim Dae Jung -- for this massive five-volume work on human rights issues worldwide
Dispelling myths about the sinking of the South Korean navy corvette the Cheonan in March 2010
Memories of the Vietnam War and its aftermath from the arrival of U.S. forces to the release of the last U.S. POWs
The Vietnam War as it spread through Cambodia and Laos into northern and northeastern Thailand
Washington's pact with Pyongyang won't help the starving children
2.Covering Korea
Q&A, Asia-Pacific Businss & Technology Report
Looking back to the Old Days: A Correspondent's Field Manual; A Reader’s Guide to Real News:
Korea through the eyes of correspondents who were there, 1871-2006
Following the story
How the news goes in and out of the Hermit Kingdom
3. Business and Economy
The Rev. Moon's empire bouncing back in South Korea
Play-by-play account of the meltdown that nearly bankrupted the South Korean economy
The story of North Korea's 105-story white elephant
An unauthorized study of Korea's largest business group, its triumphs and failures, and the peasant's son who founded it.... "Korean Dynasty is a must read for business people and students of business and the social sciences learning about the socio-economics of Asia." Business Book Review Library; 1995, Vol. 12 Issue 2, p1
The ultimate business reference to the Philippines, providing practical advice from leading experts
Iraq and South Korea face contrasting economic problems and issues, as seen in these articles for Institutional Investor
4. Seoul-Searching
I.--Heart and Seoul: From the ashes of war, Korea's capital rises like a phoenix to world-class. II.--Three Perfect Days: Wining, dining, sightseeing and strolling around one of the world's oldest and greatest capitals

Dancing to a new tune

On Forbes' Rich List

The Sewol Tragedy


Here and There

Cane or swagger stick? We report, you decide

October 16, 2014

Tags: Kim Jong-un, Kim Jong-il, Kim Il-sung, Hwang Pyong-so, Kim dynasty

By Donald Kirk,
Why do the North Koreans simply refuse to follow the logic and needs of foreign analysts when it comes to the timing of great events?
Here everyone was saying that Kim Jong-Un had to show up for the 69th anniversary of the founding of the Workers’ Party one week (more…)

Unbelievable: Take your pick of unlikely North Korean power play theories

October 9, 2014

Tags: Kim Jong-un, Kim Jong-il, Asian Games, Hwang Pyong-so, Choe Ryong-hae, Kim Yong-gon, Kim Kwan-jin, Ryoo Kihl-Jae

By Donald Kirk,
The world seems to be missing Kim Jong-un.
The porcine image of this overweight 30-something reviewing his troops or wagging a finger at a map or “ordering” a missile test had become a media staple until he vanished from view in early September.
Oh, we also like to read (more…)

A tale of two Hong Kong demonstrations

October 9, 2014

Tags: Hong Kong, President Xi, Mao Zedong, Red Guards

By Donald Kirk,
The democracy demos in Hong Kong evoke so many memories going back to the late 1960s when I saw thousands pouring on to the streets of what was then a British crown colony brandishing copies of Mao Zedong’s “little red book.”
That was the era of the Great (more…)

U.S. At War Again

September 26, 2014

Tags: ISIS, ISIL, Al Qaida, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Senator Tim Kaine

By Donald Kirk,
WASHINGTON — The eyes of the world are upon the new U.S. war in Syria and Iraq, and that’s not just because people want to know how or whether aerial bombardments and missile strikes are really knocking out the bad guys.
One question is whether such high-tech attacks (more…)

In 1950, UN forces fought back; Of what use are today’s ‘peackeepers’?

September 12, 2014

Tags: Philippine peace-keepers, Golan Heights, Srebrenica, UN force

By Donald Kirk,
The United Nations as a force for peace has never lived up to the hopes implicit in the name.
You can’t blame a succession of secretary-generals for the failures of the UN The current secretary-general, Ban Ki-Moon, may seem bland and ineffective, but there’s not much he (more…)

Coming Soon: Star Wars over Asia

September 5, 2014

Tags: THAAD, Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, Taepodong, Scud, Rodong, Korea Air Missile Defense

Some in carefree Seoul worry about waging futuristic wars in the here and now
By Donald Kirk,
SEOUL — Star Wars is coming. Wait around long enough, and we’ll see missiles and interceptor projectiles knocking each other out in great blazes of flashing light hundreds of miles above from where we cower (more…)

Could today’s South Korea fight off invaders as did its legendary Adm Yi?

August 29, 2014

Tags: Admiral Yi Sun-sin, turtle boats, "Roaring Currents, " Sewol

By Donald Kirk,
Shots of the treacherously swirling seas off Korea’s southwestern coast in the film “Roaring Currents” — about an epic battle in which Adm. Yi Sun-sin’s iron-clad turtle boats withstood a Japanese fleet — conjure images of how the overloaded ferry the Sewol sank in those same waters in April.

Strangely Shifting Alliances: Vietnam Today, North Korea Later?

August 21, 2014

Tags: General Martin Dempsey, General Do Ba Ky, Vietnam, Korea

By Donald Kirk,
History is full of such twists, turn and reversals. What are we to think of an American four-star general, medals and ribbons dripping from his chest, showing up in Hanoi talking up the idea of the U.S. shipping arms to the regime that dealt the U.S. the (more…)

Pope's Visit to Korea Raises Questions About Plight of Christians

August 20, 2014

Tags: pope francis, south korea, north korea, korean christians

Pope's visit to Korea raises questions about plight of Christians
Donald Kirk says religious persecution is going on today in North Korea
PUBLISHED : Thursday, 14 August, 2014, 12:11pm
UPDATED : Friday, 15 August, 2014, 2:46am
Donald Kirk

Pope Francis will spend five days travelling around South Korea and meeting some of the country's five million Catholics (more…)

As Pope Francis Beatifies Korea's martyrs, Will He Remember Christian Martyrs Up North?

August 14, 2014

Tags: Pope Francis, President Park

By Donald Kirk,
The visit of Pope Francis to Korea coincides with the 69th anniversary tomorrow, Friday, Aug. 15, of the Japanese surrender at the end of World War II.
The eyes of the world will be on the pontiff as he celebrates Mass in Daejeon’s World Cup Stadium on Asian Youth (more…)