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Dead Certainties: OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea—Identifying bone fragments from those killed in the Korean War more than 65 years ago began the moment Pyongyang handed them over to the Americans.
Forensic experts from the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) landing at the North Korean airport at once sought to determine if all were really human and to look for evidence of racial or ethnic origin. Apparently none of the remains belonged to animals.
Donald Kirk, from Washington, D.C., travels to South Korea, with stops in London, the middle east, India, Japan, Hong Kong and the Philippines, among other places, writing on crisis and confrontation, including the North Korean nuclear threat, in the post-9/11 era.
From 1997 through 2003, Don was Seoul correspondent for the International Herald Tribune, also filing for The New York Times and CBS, covering nuclear and economic crises. In addition, he has written articles for such diverse magazines as Forbes, Institutional Investor, The New Leader, National Review, The Nation, Soldier of Fortune, Kyoto Journal and Hemispheres and commentaries for The Wall Street Journal Asia, Los Angeles Times, South China Morning Post and Newsday.
Don first visited Seoul in 1972 as Far East correspondent for the Chicago Tribune and has covered major events in Korea from the assassination of President Park Chung Hee in 1979 and the Kwangju revolt in 1980 to every presidential election since adoption of the “democracy constitution” in 1987.
From 1988 to 1994, he focused on economics and labor, writing Korean Dynasty: Hyundai and Chung Ju Yung, a critical study of Hyundai, Korea’s largest chaebol, and its founder. Again in Seoul, he wrote Korean Crisis: Unraveling of the Miracle in the IMF Era, published in 2000.
Don's latest book, Okinawa and Jeju: Bases of Discontent, published in hardcover by Palgrave Macmillan in late 2013, is available via kindle , and his previous book, Korea Betrayed: Kim Dae Jung and Sunshine, is available in hardcover and paperback. He continues to file for CBS News/Radio and Forbes Asia and columnizes for The Korea Times, WorldTribune.com and Future Korea Weekly. The University of Maryland University College in 2004 awarded him an honorary doctorate as "one of the United States' most knowledgeable observers and commentators on Asia."
Scenes of Two Capitals:Pyongyang and Seoul
Scenes of Disaster, Hope
©DON KIRK PHOTOS