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Hither and Yon

Key U.S. alliance in Northeast Asia put to the test with election of new South Korean leader

May 19, 2017
Special to WorldTribune.com

By Donald Kirk

Would Kim Jong-Un mind giving Moon Jae-In a break?

More than any other South Korean leader in years, Moon would like nothing better than to be the one to bring about North-South reconciliation. Wouldn’t it be great, Moon’s newly appointed former activists must be  Read More 
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South Korea’s new leadership has a record of promoting summitry with North Korea

May 11, 2017
Special to WorldTribune.com

By Donald Kirk

The drama of South Korean history opens a tumultuous new act with the election of a liberal labor lawyer who has promised both to bring about detente with North Korea and satisfy the demands of restive masses fed up with alleged rightist abuses.

Whether Moon Jae-In  Read More 
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Profiles in Korean corruption: First female president may be seen later as tragic figure

March 30, 2017
Special to WorldTribune.com

By Donald Kirk

The prospect of Park Geun-Hye going to jail in the most sweeping political scandal in modern Korean history inspires invidious comparisons. Who, actually, was the most corrupt president since promulgation of the “democracy constitution” in 1987 at the height of demonstrations as massive as those we have  Read More 
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A loyal son’s lonely crusade

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

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  Read More 
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Joy and heartache of cynical family reunions in divided Korea

Special to WorldTribune.com
By Donald Kirk, EastAsiaIntel.com
SEOUL — Another round of visits for South Koreans to see their long-lost relatives in North Korea brings both hope and sadness.
Anyone selected for a family visit has to know, after seeing a brother, sister, cousin or some other relative who may be hardly remembered,  Read More 
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2 tough Asian leaders will be rememered longer than nicer mediocrities

Special to WorldTribune.com
By Donald Kirk, East-Asia-Intel.com
When it comes to judging the performance of deceased national leaders under the icy glare of historical research, strongmen go down in collective memory as tough guys who defeated their enemies and built up their countries. Weak leaders are often regarded as mediocrities, especially if  Read More 
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