Drawing on his experience as a veteran intelligence operative, this well-known author is also an astute expert on the North.
On July 1, having studied for all of 24 hours the June 30 DPRK National Defense Commission (NDC) proposal for another go at reducing tensions, Seoul rejected it in categorically and, surely not by accident, somewhat insulting terms. NDC proposals, at least in the view of the North Koreans, are not to be sneezed at, much less abruptly dismissed. [...]
(This book review is co-published by 38 North and Global Asia.) THROUGH various means I recently came into possession of a book, Bound by Destiny: Donald Gregg, Kim Dae-jung and Turning Points in the US-ROK Alliance, with a small envelope affixed to the cover. It was too cold to sit outside, so the next day I took the book to the Ongnyu [...]
“I thought you had dropped off the planet.” Inspector O did not look up when I walked into the bar and sat down at the small table in a dark corner of the room. He’d been drinking something clear, and nibbling on peanuts. “Funny,” I said, “I was thinking the same thing. Been busy, have you?” “Here and there, now and then.” He [...]
It was a cold morning, and I wasn't happy sitting on a bench alone in the park across the street from the White House, but that was the arranged meeting place so I was there on time. Five minutes after the appointed hour, someone walked up behind me, singing softly. I didn't turn around. Inspector O put his hands on my shoulders. “Raindrops on [...]
The high-profile purge and now execution of Jang Song Thaek has rattled teacups in Northeast Asia and beyond. High-level people have been executed many times before in North Korea, but not in sight or hearing of the international audience. For outside observers, whether Jang was actually guilty of any of the bill of particulars against him is, at [...]
So far this week, the very, absolutely, most favorite word of headline writers and reporters is “defiance,” as in “North Korean Missile Launch Act of Defiance.” Yes, that’s one way to look at what happened a few hours past dawn on December 12, when the North made up for its “botched” (another favorite word recently) launch attempt [...]