US Korea Institute

Wednesday August 24th 2016
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North Korea-watchers come in all ideological shapes and sizes. We will draw on informed views to give our readers a spectrum of perspectives.

North Korea’s Man on the Moon?

North Korea’s Man on the Moon?

“Even though the U.S. and its allies try to block our space development, our aerospace scientists will conquer space and definitely plant the flag of the DPRK on the moon!” What would have been alarming coming from a Cold War superpower seems almost comical coming from Pyongyang. Yet that was the recent claim from Hyon Kwang Il, director of [...]

Propaganda Games: Reviewing Two Documentaries on North Korea

Propaganda Games: Reviewing Two Documentaries on North Korea

The Propaganda Game. Directed by Alvaro Longoria. Spain: Morena Films, 2015. DVD, 98 min. Under the Sun. Directed by Vitaly Mansky. Russia: Vertov, 2015. DVD, 110 min. What is truth and what is propaganda? How do documentaries fit into those paradigms? Two films that came out in 2015 attempt to answer those questions vis-à-vis North Korea. One [...]

North Korea Said it is Willing to Talk about Denuclearization…But No One Noticed

North Korea Said it is Willing to Talk about Denuclearization…But No One Noticed

There was a train wreck last week, but not a lot of people noticed, swooning as they were over the July 6 announcement that the US Department of Treasury had designated Kim Jong Un by name on a new list of individuals sanctioned for human rights violations. In the dance of jubilation, few had the time or inclination (to borrow a line from Irma La [...]

North Korea Still Faces Significant Challenges in Developing a Sea-Launched Missile: Expert

North Korea Still Faces Significant Challenges in Developing a Sea-Launched Missile: Expert

North Korea’s previous SLBM launches from May 8, 2015 and April 26, 2016 (Photos: KCNA/Rodong Sinmun) North Korea conducted what appeared to be another test of a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) off the east coast on Saturday, according to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff and a report by Seoul’s Yonhap News Agency. The [...]

Experts Caution on THAAD Deployment

Experts Caution on THAAD Deployment

(Photo: Lee Jin-man/AP) South Korea and the United States have reached an agreement to deploy an advanced missile defense system in South Korea to protect the country from North Korean missile attacks. The decision to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), announced on July 8 in Seoul, follows five months of negotiations [...]

Preparing for Korean Unification?

Preparing for Korean Unification?

A growing number of policymakers and experts in South Korea, the United States and other countries now presume that the best solution in principle for the North Korean nuclear problem and the larger “Korean issue” is unification, implying a peaceful takeover of the North by the South. This has been especially true in the latter half of Park [...]

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