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
A saga of corruption and looting after the hasty pullout of U.S. forces from their historic bases
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

Here and There

'Accidents' and 'Collateral Killings'

July 26, 2014

Tags:, Ukraine, Russia, Putin, North Korea

Special to
By Donald Kirk
The news from Ukraine and the Middle East carries grave implications for Northeast Asia, notably the Korean Peninsula.
Just think of all those missiles and artillery shells fired by North Korea over the east coast — generally without warning commercial airlines to stay away.
North Korean leader Kim (more…)

The world according to China

July 19, 2014

Tags: Obama and Xi Jinping’s latest phone call

Special to
By Donald Kirk,
China’s President Xi Jinping makes a careful distinction between U.S. President Obama and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. It’s OK to talk to the former, just not the latter. And so Xi and Obama got on the phone earlier this week (more…)

Korea Times: Obama's Futile Pleas

July 18, 2014

By Donald Kirk

China's President Xi Jinping makes a careful distinction between U.S. President Obama and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. It's OK to talk to the former, just not the latter. But China still isn't happy about what the Chinese see as the U.S. mixing it up where it has no (more…)

South China Morning Post, July 4, 2014: Game of changing partners in northeast Asia

July 4, 2014

Thursday, 03 July, 2014, 12:18pm
Comment›Insight & Opinion
Donald Kirk
Donald Kirk analyses the politics of friendship in northeast Asia amid the subtle diplomacy and dramatic policy shifts over the past two weeks
Alliances and policies have a way of shifting quickly, at opportune or even inopportune moments. What (more…)

Shifting alignments in NE Asia may have long-term impact

July 3, 2014

Special to
By Donald Kirk,
Alliances and policies have a way of shifting quickly, at opportune or even inopportune moments. What’s China’s President Xi Jinping doing in Seoul this week, and why are the Japanese talking to the North Koreans?
For that matter, how come Japan is revising (more…)

Clueless: What Our Leaders Don't Know about World Realities

June 26, 2014

Special to
By Donald Kirk,
WASHINGTON — U.S. foreign policy these days is so confusing and conflicting that it’s impossible to figure out where the U.S. is going, whether in the Middle East, Eastern Europe or Northeast Asia.
The U.S., which has suffered a catastrophe in Iraq (more…) Failures in Iraq and Vietnam raise questions about U.S. resolve in Ukraine, East Asia

June 21, 2014

By Donald Kirk,
Remember the great “surge” of U.S.forces in Iraq that Gen. David Petraeus believed would finish off the bad guys before the U.S. scaled down and then withdrew its forces? It was as though the U.S. wanted to declare a victory and go home.
Anyone would (more…) Tiananmen and Gwangju -- Contrasting Aftermaths of Two Bloody Showdowns

June 15, 2014

By Donald Kirk,
In all the stories I’ve been reading about the Tiananmen massacre 25 years ago, one element seems to have been missing. That’s the comparison between Tiananmen and Gwangju, South Korea.
When I got to Beijing in May 1989 and saw these students taking over the square, I was thinking (more…) Obama's non-inspiring message to future military leaders

June 9, 2014

By Donald Kirk,
WASHINGTON — Winston Lord, a retired senior U.S. diplomat with wide experience in Asia, is “shocked” that President Barack Obama, in his much criticized commencement address at West Point, failed to say a single thing about the “pivot” of U.S. forces to Asia.
Ralph Cossa, president of the (more…) Peace ploys across bloody borders; Could Kim Jong-Un pull a Modi even if he wanted to?

May 30, 2014

By Donald Kirk,

NEW DELHI — The division between India-held and Pakistan-held Kashmir ranks with that between North and South Korea as long-running, bloody and dangerous.

The two were divided at about the same time — Kashmir in “partition” of the Indian subcontinent that gave birth to Pakistan as a separate nation at a (more…)

Dancing to a new tune

On Forbes' Rich List

The Sewol Tragedy