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

‘Blessed are the meek’? Documentary slams Korean megachurch pastors

November 20, 2014

Tags: Full Gospel Church, South Korea, Rev. David Cho, megachurches, Quo Vadis, Kim Jae-Hwan

Special to
By Donald Kirk,
The growth of megachurches worldwide is a phenomenon in which thousands of individual churches or parishes each claim more than 2,000 members.
The Full Gospel Church in Yeoeuido is the world’s largest, with hundreds of thousands attending 10 or more services every Sunday. Nearly half the (more…)

South Korea’s champion-class baseball fans

November 13, 2014

Tags: Samsung Lions, Nexen Heroes, Korea series, Jamsil Stadium, Jerry Royster, Red Sox, Lotte Giants

Special to
By Donald Kirk,
American baseball fans, maybe U.S. major league baseball in general, have some lessons to learn from the way that diehard Koreans cheer on their teams.
At the final game of the Korea Series, I was surrounded wherever I hung out in the stands by (more…)

Don't Repeat the Mistakes of Vietnam

November 10, 2014

Tags: Wall Street Journal, Paris peace, Vietna, Iraq, Saigon, Baghdad, Robert Komer

OPINION, Wall Street Journal

Updated April 28, 2005 12:01 a.m. ET
HO CHI MINH CITY -- Being back in old Saigon 30 years after it fell conjures up an almost otherworldly image. Maybe it's all those bright red flags with the yellow stars that brings memories to one who lived and worked here for (more…)

The behind-the-scenes fixer who has North Korea’s ear

November 9, 2014

Tags: Tony Namkung, Kenneth Bae, Matthew Miller, North Korea, Jeffrey Fowle, prisoner release

MONDAY 10 NOVEMBER 2014 The Independent, UK News > World > Asia
With no official position, Kun ‘Tony’ Namkung seems to have played a central role in the sudden release of three American prisoners


Few people know how or why Pyongyang decided to release two American prisoners over the weekend. Acts of leniency (more…)

America’s political ‘takeaway’: A Congress that has abdicated its responsibility for the U.S.

November 6, 2014

Tags: President Obama, Operation Inherent Resolve, U.S. senate, mid-term elections, White House, Obamacare, Affordable Care Act

Special to
By Donald Kirk,
The U.S. exercise in democracy is a drama that’s turning from success story to farce, and may wind up in tragedy.
That’s the “takeaway” — a word that’s come into vogue for wrapping up everything from delivery of fast food and winding (more…)

South Koreans: Too stressed to appreciate their new status as coolest Asians

October 30, 2014

Tags: Euny Hong, Daniel Tudor, Mark Russell, Gangnam, South Korea, K-pop, Psy

Special to
By Donald Kirk,
A lot of Koreans don’t know it, but Korea is cool.
Three newly published books say so. Two of them even have “cool” in the title — “The Birth of Korean Cool” by Euny Hong, who describes herself as having “spent her childhood in Chicago and in (more…)

Hong Kong’s battle with Beijing: Where are the other righteous Asian protesters?

October 23, 2014

Tags: Hong Kong, President Xi Jinping, Tiananmen, South Korea democracy movement, Philippine President Aquino

Special to
By Donald Kirk,
The demonstrations in Hong Kong are at a critical stage. In the spirit of democracy movements in Korea, the Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand, these protesters are not giving up.
Unlike demonstrators elsewhere, those in Hong Kong have come up with a defense that I never (more…)

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…)

Dancing to a new tune

On Forbes' Rich List

The Sewol Tragedy