Drawing on his experience as a veteran intelligence operative, this well-known author is also an astute expert on the North.
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 [...]
“Howdy.” I looked up and to my surprise it was Inspector O greeting me, thumbs in his belt. “You look a little bow legged,” I said, and for once I wasn’t kidding. O eased himself beside me onto the bench “Been roping doggies, pardner.” He sighed. “Painful.” He shifted his weight. “Very painful.” “Really? I [...]
Once upon a time, there was a television show hosted by Groucho Marx called “You Bet Your Life.” Groucho would waggle his eyebrows and tell the contestants, “Say the magic woid (that’s how it came out) and the duck will come down and give you fifty dollars.” For the past six or seven weeks, the duck has worked overtime. The “magic [...]
There is a regular posse of US policymakers and pundits who, when it comes to dealing with North Korea, like to say that Washington should not “buy the same horse twice.” Sooner or later, when something goes wrong—and it usually does—they end up galloping off on their own steeds—the Three Horses of the Apocalypse: Hysteria, Hyperbole, [...]
The range of topics for authors is endless, the techniques of story telling as diverse as the stars in the sky, limited only by what eyes can see—with or without reading glasses—and the public’s brain can comprehend. All of this applies in spades to Adam Johnson’s new book, The Orphan Master’s Son. Many readers are blown away by its [...]
“Oops, there goes another rubber tree plant,” Frank Sinatra used to sing. The day after the memorial rally—at which Kim Jong Un stepped out smartly onto the dais ahead of the rest of the leadership, and stood looking very stern out over Kim Il sung square—things began to happen. The sound you have been hearing over the past week was not a [...]