Evil geniuses, stumbling fools, or something in between, we will attempt to divine the real motives behind Pyongyang’s foreign policy moves.
DPRK Foreign Minister Ri Su Yong at the United Nations (Photo: UN/Kim Haughton) The UN Commission of Inquiry (COI) released its highly-critical report last February, of which, the findings and recommendations were strongly endorsed by UN Member States at the March UN Human Right Council meeting. In May, and then further in September and [...]
Sports are always political. International sports competitions especially can serve many purposes, such as an outlet for nationalist sentiment—in a my-country-is-better-than-yours sort of way—or as a distraction, a galvanizing force or even as a major event that can signal its coming of age. (The 1964 Tokyo Olympics, the 1988 Seoul Olympics, [...]
There are times when nothing much can happen between the Koreas. This is not one of them. Since I last wrote here about South-North relations a month ago, there have been several fresh developments. While no one denies that North Korea’s belligerent unpredictability is the main problem, the feeling is spreading that South Korea is not doing [...]
In addition to long-standing international concerns about North Korea’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and technology, the US and its regional allies—the Republic of Korea (ROK) and Japan—are increasingly worried about the DPRK’s growing cyber offensive capabilities. A recent HP study detailing North Korea’s electronic warfare capabilities [...]
At first glance, last week’s wrestling exhibition in Pyongyang seems to have been a one-off event similar to others with which North Korea has used in the past to try to shift attention away from its nuclear program. As such, it could be dismissed as little more than a dose of regime propaganda. However, this interpretation seems inaccurate. [...]
Antonio Gramsci or Yogi Berra? It’s not often you see those two in the same sentence. Yet I find these two figures—or rather, things each of them said—helpful in sketching a dilemma which faces all of us in the North Korea business. In a phrase: Dare we hope for better things? Yes, said the Italian Marxist…with qualifications. His [...]