US Korea Institute

Friday May 26th 2017
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Andray Abrahamian

Andray Abrahamian is the Associate Director of Research for Choson Exchange, a non-profit specializing in training for North Koreans in business, economic policy and law. He is an Honorary Fellow at Macquarie University and was a CSIS non-resident Kelly Fellow. Andray has a PhD from the University of Ulsan, in which he examined media discourse and our understanding of North Korea and an M.A. from the University of Sussex, which focused on US-Korea relations.

How to (or Not to) Reboot the Sunshine Policy

How to (or Not to) Reboot the Sunshine Policy

Moon Jae-in, the Minjoo Party candidate for the South Korean Presidency, presented his North Korea policy last week. The frontrunner’s core idea is to create an “economic community” that will lead to “permanent peace for the peninsula and a solution to the North Korea nuclear crisis.” His grandiose vision centers on reviving the Kaesong [...]

A Eulogy to Women in Business Training

A Eulogy to Women in Business Training

“I want to go into business,” she said, “to show that women can be good business leaders too.” When Geoffrey K. See, Choson Exchange’s founder, first heard a female North Korean university student say this in 2007, two thoughts came to mind. First, there is so much we do not know or understand about North Korea. Second, there must be [...]

Banking on North Korea’s Banks?

Banking on North Korea’s Banks?

Observers of North Korean domestic developments will remember 2016 as the year that Kim Jong Un further formalized his political preeminence by convening the 7th Congress of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) in May and later creating a new supreme decision-making institution, the State Affairs Commission (SAC). The year’s significance to the [...]

The Gossip Mill: How To (SP)Read a Rumor About North Korea

The Gossip Mill: How To (SP)Read a Rumor About North Korea

The Gossip Mill: How To (SP)Read a Rumor About North Korea This week, Seoul’s Joongang Daily reported that Kim Jong Un executed two top officials: Hwang Min, former agricultural minister, and Ri Yong Jin, who had a “senior position in the education ministry, possibly as high as minister level.” These high level executions were said to [...]

Sensationalist Squad: Olympic Coverage of DPRK Team Misses the Mark

Sensationalist Squad: Olympic Coverage of DPRK Team Misses the Mark

Ah, North Korea at the Olympics. A chance for the world’s media to see the DPRK’s fittest citizens up close and ponder how unusual a country it is. Yet missing from all this hype, is just how normal the role of sports is for North Koreans. (Photo: Laurence Griffiths/Getty) At each Olympic games, the media unavoidably get a little [...]

Propaganda Games: Reviewing Two Documentaries on North Korea

Propaganda Games: Reviewing Two Documentaries on North Korea

The Propaganda Game. Directed by Alvaro Longoria. Spain: Morena Films, 2015. DVD, 98 min. Under the Sun. Directed by Vitaly Mansky. Russia: Vertov, 2015. DVD, 110 min. What is truth and what is propaganda? How do documentaries fit into those paradigms? Two films that came out in 2015 attempt to answer those questions vis-à-vis North Korea. One [...]

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Credit for photo of young North Korean girl: T.M. All rights reserved, used with permission.