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

Hither and Yon

Sankei reporter’s South Korea prosecution excessive: U.S. journalist

July 2, 2015

Tags: Sankei Shimbun, Tatsuya Kato, President Park Geun-hye, Sewol, South Korea, Chosun Ilbo

JUN 30, 2015

SEOUL – A freelance U.S. journalist testified in a Seoul court that South Korea’s indictment of Japanese reporter Tatsuya Kato for allegedly defaming President Park Geun-hye was excessive.

Donald Kirk, 77, was testifying Monday at the Seoul Central District Court as a witness for Kato, 49, a former Seoul bureau chief for the (more…)

South Korea and Japan struggle to move beyond bitter history to address China threat

June 27, 2015

Tags: World War II, Okinawa, Shinzo Abe, Park Geun-hye, August 15, Japanese surrender, Dokdo, Takeshima, Xi Jinping, trilateral cooperation, U.S. alliance

Special to
By Donald Kirk,
It’s a time for anniversaries and memories of the tragedies that have afflicted Northeast Asia over the past century.
On Tuesday, the Japanese remembered the horror of the single worst battle in Asian history, the three-month struggle for Okinawa. The battle ended with the (more…)

One man is eating hearty up in Pyongyang

June 21, 2015

Tags: Kim Jong-un, World Food Program, WFP, KCNA, North Korea, food shortage, Hyon Yong-chol, Kaesong Industrial Complex, Choco-pie

Special to
By Donald Kirk,
You have to wonder what Kim Jong-Un is eating these days.
Every time his picture appears visiting a military unit or a factory or an agricultural cooperative, he seems to have gained a kilogram or two. What’s he feasting on? What’s his favorite (more…)

Mass killers on the loose ― cover up, hunker down, prepare to die

June 11, 2015

Tags: MERS, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, SARS, South Korea, AIDS

Special to
By Donald Kirk,
AIDS, SARS, MERS ― the four-letter acronyms leap from the headlines like killers in a horror movie each time the latest deadly disease spreads shock and awe among people to whom the inability to find cures seems unimaginable.
It was just a century or so ago (more…)

Ironies abound in Subic Bay and Vietnam: U.S. Navy welcomed back with open arms

June 4, 2015

Tags: South China Sea, Subic Bay, USS Shiloh, Olongapo, Philippines, China, Clark Air Base, Scarborough Shoal, Spratly Islands, Paracels, Vietnam

Special to
By Donald Kirk,
SUBIC BAY, Philippines ― The presence here of the USS Shiloh, a cruiser laden with missiles and cannon, reminds visitors of a bygone era. It was almost 25 years ago that the U.S. Navy had to abandon Subic Bay and the U.S. Air Force evacuated (more…)

Junket for peace: Gloria and ‘sisters’ feel good, stay on message — Pyongyang’s talking points

May 28, 2015

Tags: Gloria Steinem, DMZ, North Korea, UN Command, Mairead Maguire, Laymn Gbowee, Nobel peace prize, Christine Ahn

Special to
By Donald Kirk,
The crusade of WomenCrossDMZ for peace on the Korean Peninsula had certain defined boundaries.
Don’t talk about human rights and nukes. Say all you want about American sanctions on North Korea and the need for a peace treaty to end the Korean War.
The (more…)

Good guys, bad guys in NE Asia high tech war race: What could go wrong?

May 20, 2015

Tags: North Korea, THAAD, Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense, F-35, Osprey, Star Wars, General Curtis LeMay

Special to
By Donald Kirk,
The stakes are escalating in the contest for Northeast Asia.
North Korea’s got nukes and lots of missiles, most recently maybe the SLBM for submarine-launched ballistic missile. The U.S. has glistening new hardware too. THAAD, Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense, the missile system for (more…)

Betraying our allies: Lessons unlearned by less-than-compassionate foreign policy liberals

May 9, 2015

Tags: Vietnam War, Saigon, Iraq, South Vietnamese, Korean War, Ho Chi Minh, Saddam Hussein

Special to
By Donald Kirk,
SAIGON — It’s become fashionable among intellectuals from left and right to talk about the Vietnam War in terms of “lessons learned.”
Better yet, critics of U.S. policy write and talk about “lessons not learned.” One of the latter emailed asking me to tell (more…)

Asian wars and the American psyche: From a truce in South Korea to defeat in Vietnam

April 26, 2015

Tags: Words or phrases to categorize this post for the tags section

Special to
By Donald Kirk,
SEOUL — Anniversaries have their special appeal. The first anniversary on April 16 of the sinking of the Sewol off South Korea’s southwestern coast evoked emotions of outrage and sadness over the loss of 304 lives, 250 of them teenagers from the same school near Seoul.
Anniversaries of (more…)

As U.S. loses ‘its edge’, India looks to South Korea for defense options

April 17, 2015

Tags: Manohar Parrikar, India, Korea, Pakistan, China, Lakhvinder Singh, arms sales, Great Game

Special to
By Donald Kirk,
The Great Game for Asia is assuming new dimensions.
Korea counts on the U.S. for some of its most advanced weaponry, but Korea also is a source for weapons technology and components. That’s why India’s defense minister, Manohar Parrikar is in Seoul (more…)

Dancing to a new tune

On Forbes' Rich List

The Sewol Tragedy