James E. HoareJim Hoare (b.1943), has a Ph.D. in Japanese history from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London, and joined the Research Analysts (INR equivalent) of the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1969. He worked mainly on China and Korea, and was posted to the British Embassy Seoul (1981-95) and Beijing (1988-91). Following the establishment of diplomatic relations between the UK and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) in December 2000, he became the first British representative in Pyongyang from May 2001-October 2002.
Since his retirement in January 2003, he has regularly written and broadcast about North Korea, and is currently teaching a course on the subject at SOAS. Among his books are "Japan’s Treaty Ports and Foreign Settlements" (1994) , "Embassies in the East" (1999), “Historical Dictionary of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea” (2012) and “Historical Dictionary of the Republic of Korea” (2015), and several books on East Asia with his wife, Susan Pares.
British news coverage of North Korea suffers for two primary reasons: an insular attitude toward the outside world and the British public’s relative lack of interest in Korean affairs. The result is a trivia-dominated approach that emphasizes the weirdest stories over substantive issues. This state of affairs seems unlikely to change as [...]
I have only met Professor B.R. Myers once, when we both took part in a conference on North Korean arts in Vienna. Though young, or at least younger than me—not difficult these days—he came across as one with strong views, trenchantly expressed, characteristics also evident in his writing. Myers is a literature specialist and argues that [...]
At a recent private meeting in London, a former senior United Nations’ official, drawing on experience relating to a wide range of countries, said that transforming a “failing” or “fragile” state was not something that could be done overnight. Those involved needed to think in terms of ten to twenty years rather than weeks or months. [...]