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Little Madmen: Correspondents' Tales

History
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








©DON KIRK PHOTOS

Hither and Yon

Fake news and false flags: According to Kim Jong-Un, the CIA killed his brother

February 24, 2017

Tags: Kim Jong-nam, Jong-un, Malaysia, Kuala Liumpur airport, North Korea, fake news, false flags, CIA, NIS, Chun Do0-hwan

February 22, 2017
Special to WorldTribune.com

By Donald Kirk

The assassination of Kim Jong-Nam promises to go down as one of those weird acts of terrorism that North Korea, in the face of all evidence to the contrary, will forever deny having perpetrated.

The prevarication and obfuscation in this case would appear a little more (more…)

Trump’s world: How to distinguish between allies, friendly rogue states and bad actors? added by World Tribune on December 29, 2016

December 30, 2016

Tags: friendly rogue states and bad actors?, North Korea, Syria, Trump and Israel, Trump and Putin, Trump Foreign Policy, Trump’s world: How to distinguish between allies, WorldTribune.com

World Tribune on December 29, 2016
Special to WorldTribune.com

By Donald Kirk

WASHINGTON – The U.S. refusal to veto the UN Security Council resolution attacking Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory as “a flagrant violation” of international law has triggered cries of outrage worthy of full-scale hostilities.

You might think, from the responses of Israeli Prime (more…)

Growing political crisis in South Korea could impact critical security ties with U.S.

December 21, 2016

Tags: Donald Trump, Growing political crisis in South Korea could impact critical security ties with U.S., North Korea, Park Geun-Hye

By World Tribune on December 15, 2016
Special to WorldTribune.com

By Donald Kirk

The populist revolt against President Park Geun-Hye has grave implications for governance amid economic unease and high youth unemployment.

In this uncertain transition period, Korea’s relationship with the United States is sure to undergo strains if not change while foes of (more…)

Russia’s stake in Korea: How U.S.-backed unification could work for Moscow

October 21, 2016

Tags: Russia, Tumen River, Russian far east, Siberia, North Korea, Soviet Union, Stalin

By World Tribune on October 20, 2016
Special to WorldTribune.com

By Donald Kirk

We hear so much about China and Japan competing on and for the Korean peninsula, now and historically, that we overlook one other great Northeast Asian power.

That would be Russia, which has a 17-kilometer border with North Korea as the Tumen (more…)

North Korea curses the world yet again and with more venom than ever

September 10, 2016

Tags: North Korea, Kim Jong-un, Obama, Xi Jinping, Park Geun-hye, Vladimir Putin

By World Tribune on September 8, 2016
Special to WorldTribune.com

By Donald Kirk

You have to credit the North Koreans with chutzpah ― the Yiddish word for “nerve,” brazen arrogance or insolence, all in untranslatable exclamation.

The leaders of the world’s 20 strongest, most powerful nations were gathered in a solemn conclave in China, and (more…)

A loyal son’s lonely crusade

September 2, 2016

Tags: Hwang In-cheol, Hwang Won, Korean Air hijacking, North Korea, Kim Dae-jung, June 2000 summit, Kim Kong-il, North Korea

By World Tribune on September 1, 2016

By Donald Kirk

Time slowly erases the traces of those held in North Korea. The longer they’re there, the easier it is to forget them. Their families, reluctant to invest more psychic energy on those for whom they know the North Koreans have no mercy, give up the (more…)

Surreal world: Ever notice how celebrity visitors to N. Korea have nothing to say about horrors there?

June 11, 2016

Tags: North Korea, Kim Jong-un, Muhammad Ali, Inoki, Ric Flair, Gloria Steinem, Yanji, Rason, Chongjin, Nobel Peace Prize

By World Tribune on June 9, 2016
Special to WorldTribune.com

DonKirk3By Donald Kirk, EastAsiaIntel.com

North Korea, that is the people who run the place, likes nothing better than endorsements from foreign visitors.

The list of foreigners paying obeisance to the Kim regime, Kim Jong-Un and his father and grandfather before him, is quite (more…)

North Korea ‘experts’ agree on the certainty of uncertain outcomes

June 3, 2016

Tags: Jeju Peace Forum, Song Min-soon, Yu Myung-Hwan, Roh Moo-hyun, G. John Ikenberry, Peter Hayes, North Korea, nuclear, Zhengqiang Pan

By World Tribune on June 2, 2016
Special to WorldTribune.com

By Donald Kirk, EastAsiaIntel.com

JEJU ― Ask an expert analyst how to deal with North Korea, and the responses range from getting tough to massaging gently.

Nobody has the real answer ― though some people like to talk with absolute certainty ― and there’s no proof (more…)

The South Korean split over Gwangju revolt still festers, empowering the North

May 20, 2016

Tags: Gwangju uprising, May 18, Kim Dae-jung, Chun Doo-hwan, Gwangju, North Korea, Kim Jong-un

Special to WorldTribune.com
By Donald Kirk, EastAsiaIntel.com

GWANGJU ― The ghosts of the uprising of May 18, 1980, hover over this old but new city in a restive spirit that shows the disunity, the factional splits and the regional hatreds that persist in undermining the ability of South Korea to stand effectively against challenges (more…)

Does China have more influence over South Korea than North Korea?

May 12, 2016

Tags: Shen Yun Performing Arts, New Cosmos Media, Falun Gong, Suwon, North Korea, China, KBS, Gyeonggi Arts Center

Special to WorldTribune.com
By Donald Kirk, EastAsiaIntel.com

We keep hearing about all the influence the Chinese have over North Korea.
If only they'd exert their power, maybe cut off or slow down the flow of oil that's the lifeblood of the country, then the North Koreans would start talking seriously about giving (more…)

A filmmaker’s stealth coup: Zooming in on North Korean mind control

April 29, 2016

Tags: Vitaly Manski, A State of Mind, Under the Sun, Kim Jong-il, Kim Jong-un, Zin Mi, North Korea

Special to WorldTribune.com
By Donald Kirk, EastAsiaIntel.com
Russian documentary filmmaker Vitaly Mansky has managed to bamboozle his North Korean hosts in a confidence game that’s one of the greater journalistic coups ever scored against the regime.
Mansky, having given the North Koreans the clear impression that he wanted to collaborate fully (more…)

By ‘invitation’ only: North Korea’s blunt force approach to foreign language education

April 23, 2016

Tags: North Korea, Robert S. Boynton, The Invitation Zone

Special to WorldTribune.com
By Donald Kirk, EastAsiaIntel.com
North Koreans some years ago had an unusual way of acquiring professional expertise in teaching people foreign languages.
Rather than advertise for teachers, they kidnapped native speakers. Most of them were Japanese, but they also captured likely candidates from Europe and the Middle East.
Robert (more…)

Do North Korean propaganda writers really want to channel Abraham Lincoln

April 15, 2016

Tags: President Park Geun-hye, South Korea, North Korea, Abraham Lincoln, President Obama, North Korea Today

Do North Korean propaganda writers really want to channel Abraham Lincoln
Special to WorldTribune.com
By Donald Kirk, EastAsiaIntel.com
WASHINGTON – Credit someone in North Korea with a sense of historical irony. Who would have thought anyone up there would have dreamed of writing an imaginary letter from Abraham Lincoln to President Obama berating (more…)

Pop quiz: Is North Korea a terrorist state? Yes or no?

April 8, 2016

Tags: Christopher Hill, Condoleezza Rice, State Department, state sponsor of terrorism, North Korea, nuclear, missile tests, Joshua Stanton, Arsenal of Terror

Special to WorldTribune.com
By Donald Kirk, EastAsiaIntel.com
WASHINGTON ― Here’s a question people here keep asking: Is North Korea a terrorist state?
Forget about the missile shots. They’ve all landed in the sea and harmed no one. What about the nuclear tests? They dislocated some rocks deep underground but were otherwise (more…)

Conflict resolution 101: Here’s how the U.S. should talk with the North Koreans

February 26, 2016

Tags: Kaesong, Gaesong, KIC, GIC, Christopher Hill, North Korea, South Korea, peace trreaty, UN Security Council, 1991 Joint Declaration on Denuclearization of the Korean peninsula

Special to WorldTribune.com
By Donald Kirk, EastAsiaIntel.com
Listen to people talking about the panacea of “dialogue” and “a peace treaty” with North Korea.
They make it seem so simple. We need to talk, they say. We’ll never come to terms with North Korea if we don’t talk.
One advocate of (more…)

Burma and North Korea? No comparison

February 19, 2016

Tags: Myanmar, Burma, Aung San Suu Kyi, Kim Jong-un, North Korea, Shan, Yangon, Kaesong Industrial Complex

Special to WorldTribune.com
By Donald Kirk, EastAsiaIntel.com
Comparisons between North Korea and Burma (also known as Myanmar) over the years have suggested that the two nations share some of the same problems.
However, even in the worst periods of military dictatorship, Burma never bore any similarity to North Korea. The contrast extends (more…)

North Korea triggers a U.S. missile defense showdown among major powers

February 13, 2016

Tags: North Korea, South Korea, China, Russia, KIC, Kaesong Industrial Complex, THAAD, Kim Jong-Un, Unha-3, Rason, China, Russia

Special to WorldTribune.com
By Donald Kirk, EastAsiaIntel.com
North Korean rocket launches and nuclear tests risk getting boring.
The pattern is familiar: expressions of outrage, loud condemnation ― then nothing. Has the latest one-two punch of nuclear test and rocket launch changed a thing? The easy answer is not really ― but think again. The (more…)

Conflicting U.S. views on conflict resolution with N. Korea: What if there is no solution?

January 28, 2016

Tags: Donald Gregg, Kim Jong-un, North Korea, East Asia Foundation, Park Geun-hye, Evans Revere

Special to WorldTribune.com
By Donald Kirk, EastAsiaIntel.com
Donald Gregg, U.S. ambassador to Korea as the country was making the transition to democracy in the early 1990s, did not take kindly to my column [A former U.S. diplomat’s inexplicable defense of Kim Jong-Un] in which I quoted him, accurately, as (more…)

A former U.S. diplomat’s inexplicable defense of Kim Jong-Un

January 23, 2016

Tags: Donald Gregg, Kim Jong-un, North Korea, nuclear program, fouirth nuclear test, Hwang Pyong-so, Kim Yang-gon, Kim Jong-il

Special to WorldTribune.com
By Donald Kirk, EastAsiaIntel.com
Donald Gregg, former U.S. ambassador to Korea, makes an astounding statement in a piece published after North Korea’s fourth nuclear test.
Striking “a very positive note,” he praises “the performance of Kim Jong-Un in improving the North Korean economy and downplaying nuclear threats (more…)

Stephen Bosworth, ‘consummate diplomat’ brought his values to the table

January 9, 2016

Tags: Stephen Bosworth, Kim Dae-jung, Fletcher School, Donald Gregg, Chris Hill, Tony Naamkung, Six-Party talks, Sunshine policy, North Korea, Iran

Special to WorldTribune.com
By Donald Kirk, EastAsiaIntel.com
American ambassadors to South Korea pursue a fine line between defense of the U.S.-Korean alliance and pursuit of North-South reconciliation.
If they seem hell-bent on military goals, they’re accused of trying to push Korea into a war that nobody wants. And if (more…)

South Korean president walks tightrope on North-South strategy, left-right domestic politics

November 27, 2015

Tags: Park Geun-hye, APEC, South Chiona Sea, East Asia Summit, Yeonpyeong Island, North Korea

Special to WorldTribune.com
By Donald Kirk, EastAsiaIntel.com
President Park Geun-Hye is pursuing a fight-talk strategy.
On Monday, South Korean gunners staged a live-fire exercise in waters well within hearing range of North Korea’s southwestern coast. Next, North and South Korean negotiators were planning to meet at Panmunjom.
The contrast between military (more…)

Obama welcomes Xi: A matter of ‘optics’ and not much else

September 27, 2015

Tags: Xi Jinping, President Obama, South Korea, China, Demilitarized Zone, DMZ, South China Sea, North Korea

Special to WorldTribune.com
By Donald Kirk, EastAsiaIntel.com
WASHINGTON -- China President Xi Jinping’s meeting with President Obama Friday is sure to be an exercise in double-and-triple talk that will sorely test the skills of both of them in papering over, covering up and otherwise evading issues that neither of them is going (more…)

China’s loud signal to North Korea reminded Kim Jong-Un he’s not his own man

August 27, 2015

Tags: Kim Jong-un, Park Geun-hye, Xi Jinping, China, North Korea, Demilitarized Zone, DMZ, Korean War

Special to WorldTribune.com
By Donald Kirk, EastAsiaIntel.com
Conflict with South Korea is a gambit that North Korea cannot afford.
Much as leader Kim Jong-Un may have yearned to humiliate the South by ordering gunfire against the mega-loudspeakers broadcasting music, news and invidious commentary into the North from below the Demilitarized Zone, he (more…)

Shared Pain of War and Colonisation Does Little to Heal Korea's Bitter Divisions

August 14, 2015

Tags: North Korea, South Korea, liberation, Japanese surrender, Kim Jong-un, Lee Hee-ho, Dangun, Shinzo Abe

COMMENT›INSIGHT & OPINION
Donald Kirk sees no sign of a breakthrough in North-South relations, despite efforts to bridge the gap, as they separately mark their liberation from colonial rule

The tragedy of Korea is that "liberation" on August 15, 1945, was the prelude not to lasting peace and freedom but to the division of the peninsula (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 WorldTribune.com
By Donald Kirk, East-Asia-Intel.com
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…)

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 WorldTribune.com
By Donald Kirk, East-Asia-Intel.com
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 WorldTribune.com
By Donald Kirk, East-Asia-Intel.com
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…)

Irreconcilable differences: Let’s not go to pieces over peace

March 21, 2015

Tags: BenjaminNetanyahu, John Boehner, Palestine, two-state solution, Gaza strip, Israel, North Korea, Kashmir, India, Pakistan

Special to WorldTribune.com
By Donald Kirk, East-Asia-Intel.com
Some of the terrible problems we read, hear and talk about so often are beyond solution.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated this week that as long as he was in office there would not be a Palestinian state. The two-state idea, he said, (more…)

Dealing with Iran: Give diplomacy a shot

March 7, 2015

Tags: Netanyahu, Iran, Persia, North Korea, Israel, ISIL

Special to WorldTribune.com
By Donald Kirk, East-Asia-Intel.com
WASHINGTON — Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s exhortations to the U.S. Congress to forget about a “bad deal” with Iran avoids one problem. Absent a deal, who believes Iran will scale down its nuclear program? Is Iran likely to give up on the whole idea (more…)

With all the angst over Netanyahu’s visit and Iran, why no mention of North Korea?

February 26, 2015

Tags: Netanyahu, Boehner, Iran, nuclear program, North Korea

Special to WorldTribune.com
By Donald Kirk, East-Asia-Intel.com
President Obama faces a foreign policy predicament of gigantic proportions.
The leader of Israel is coming to Washington, doing an end run around the White House, taking his case to a Republican-controlled Congress that’s eager for just about any excuse to pillory the President.
(more…)

Journalism nightmare: How to confirm a defector’s story about surviving the kingdom of lies

January 24, 2015

Tags: North Korea, defectors, Shin Dong-hyuk, Tumen River, Blaine Harden, China, Jilin Province

Special to WorldTribune.com
By Donald Kirk, East-Asia-Intel.com
Defectors from North Korea all have harrowing tales of suffering that are difficult to imagine in real life.
Their stories differ widely depending on the circumstances — some have spent time in prisons, most have not. Many have been hungry, or have seen relatives and friends (more…)

U.S. continues to tolerate N. Korean WMD, but can Pyongyang handle satire?

January 8, 2015

Tags: The Interview, Kim Jong-Un, Randall Park, North Korea, U.S. sanctions, China, Russia, Iran, Syria

Special to WorldTribune.com
By Donald Kirk, East-Asia-Intel.com
The rapid-fire sequence of events surrounding the film “The Interview” raises a familiar question: When will the world lose patience with the North Korean regime and toss out the “supreme leader” along with the flunkies and toadies and cronies surrounding him? Or do we need (more…)

And what is AP’s Pyongyang bureau reporting about ‘The Interview’? Absolutely nothing

January 1, 2015

Tags: The Interview, Associated Press, Pyongyang. AP, KCNA, Seth Rogen, James Franco, Kim Jong-un, Sony, North Korea

Special to WorldTribune.com
By Donald Kirk, East-Asia-Intel.com
By now so many people have seen “The Interview” that it almost seems ridiculous to think that Sony briefly banned its release. The film is so accessible that Sony’s main problem may be how to get people to pay to see it when anyone (more…)

Many motives for the cyber-attack on ‘The Interview’

December 26, 2014

Tags: The Interview, Sony, Rogen, Franco, Sony, North Korea, Kim Jong-un

Special to WorldTribune.com
By Donald Kirk, East-Asia-Intel.com
Maybe we should all be thankful. No harm done in this Sony/North Korea flap; just a war of words. A torrent of them, in fact, but so far no fatalities, no injuries, merely hurt feelings, stunned outrage, routine mass media sturm and drang.
Ok, (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
DONALD KIRK

SEOUL

SUNDAY 09 NOVEMBER 2014
Few people know how or why Pyongyang decided to release two American prisoners over the weekend. Acts of leniency (more…)

Mini-wars and world wars: uncomfortable comparisons

August 7, 2014

Tags: Israel, Hamas, North Korea, South Korea, Palestine, British mandate

Mini-wars and world wars: Some uncomfortable comparisons
By Donald Kirk, East-Asia-Intel.com
Conflict between Israel and the Hamas bears some startling resemblances to that between North and South Korea. Think about it:
Israel and North Korea are both essentially client states. Israel couldn’t fight anyone, could not exist surrounded by Arab enemies, without (more…)

War Without End

July 31, 2014

Tags: North Korea, Hamas, Israel, ISIS, Tehran, arms merchants

Special to WorldTribune.com
By Donald Kirk, East-Asia-Intel.com
Rocketing, bombing and bloodshed in the Middle East from Gaza to Syria and Iraq provide a bonanza for the world’s arms-manufacturers, none more than the North Koreans and the Americans.
For North Korea, the more rockets and missiles that are fired, the more they (more…)

'Accidents' and 'Collateral Killings'

July 26, 2014

Tags: WorldTribune.com, Ukraine, Russia, Putin, North Korea

Special to WorldTribune.com
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…)

WorldTribune.com: The more things change....

May 2, 2014

Tags: North Korea, Japan, Philippines, East Asia.

‘I shall return’: 70 years after MacArthur’s triumphant return to the Philippines, history repeats itself
Special to WorldTribune.com

By Donald Kirk, East-Asia-Intel.com

MANILA — U.S. forces were supposed to be gone from the Philippines for good by 1991 when the U.S. pulled out of Clark Air Base after ashes from the eruption (more…)