US Korea Institute

Saturday May 27th 2017
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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.

The Myth of China’s Coal Imports from North Korea

The Myth of China’s Coal Imports from North Korea

On February 18, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce announced the suspension of coal imports for the remainder of this year. In a daily press briefing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said: “According to our statistics, China has already approached the upper limits of coal imports from North Korea. So because of this, we have [...]

A Eulogy to Women in Business Training

A Eulogy to Women in Business Training

“I want to go into business,” she said, “to show that women can be good business leaders too.” When Geoffrey K. See, Choson Exchange’s founder, first heard a female North Korean university student say this in 2007, two thoughts came to mind. First, there is so much we do not know or understand about North Korea. Second, there must be [...]

In Response to Leon Sigal’s “Misreading Tillerson”

In Response to Leon Sigal’s “Misreading Tillerson”

My former colleague Leon V. Sigal was a respected editorial writer in his years at the New York Times, and I’m always eager to read his analysis of diplomacy surrounding North Korea. But he wasn’t in the business of reporting news, and after reading his posting on 38 North about my coverage of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s trip to [...]

Misreading Tillerson

Misreading Tillerson

During Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s first visit to Asia, David Sanger’s lede in The New York Times coming on March 17 was ominous: Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson ruled out opening any negotiation with North Korea to freeze its nuclear and missile programs and said for the first time that the Trump administration might be forced to [...]

The Ultimate Failure in Korea

The Ultimate Failure in Korea

It must be morbidly amusing for the gods of war to hear members of the Obama administration tell the newcomers in Washington that they need a “strategy” to deal with North Korea. After all, painful has it might be for many people to admit, President Obama had no strategy on the North Korea issue. The reason he told Donald Trump that among his [...]

Paper Tigers: DPRK POE Report Shows Deep Problems with Enforcement

Paper Tigers: DPRK POE Report Shows Deep Problems with Enforcement

The February 27, 2017 report by the Panel of Experts (POE) responsible for monitoring the implementation of UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions against the DPRK paints a complex picture of how this sanctions regime is working. On the one hand, the report is actually reassuring. It is only made possible by a truly global effort to monitor and [...]

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