US Korea Institute

Monday October 20th 2014
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James Church

Drawing on his experience as a veteran intelligence operative, this well-known author is also an astute expert on the North.

Bridge Building

Bridge Building

Here we are, almost at the end of the US-ROK joint military exercise Ulchi Freedom Guardian (UFG), and the situation is eerily calm. DPRK commentary at the start of the exercise last week was relatively restrained, especially in view of the warnings the North had issued over the preceding months. Meanwhile, North Korean reaction to numerous recent [...]

Tiptoeing Past Vesuvius

Tiptoeing Past Vesuvius

While several other areas in the world have gone completely to hell, Northeast Asia seems only to be rumbling, like Mt. Vesuvius in a long-ago August. The situation now, as then, looks grim, but many people apparently cling to the hope that the little earth tremors and the noxious gas venting from the various fissures will stop in a couple of [...]

Rough Seas, Rocky Roads

Rough Seas, Rocky Roads

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. [...]

Donald Gregg, A Plot Twist in Korea’s Story

Donald Gregg, A Plot Twist in Korea’s Story

(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 [...]

Chuztpah and Hype

Chuztpah and Hype

“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 [...]

These Are a Few of My Fav-Or-Ate Words

These Are a Few of My Fav-Or-Ate Words

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 [...]

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