North Korea-watchers come in all ideological shapes and sizes. We will draw on informed views to give our readers a spectrum of perspectives.
Well, did Kim Jong Un pull a rabbit out of his hat, or didn’t he? More specifically, in his work report delivered at the 7th Workers' Party Congress held May 6-8, did Kim use the flexibility inherent in byungjin to begin to shift his emphasis from developing the country’s nuclear weapons program to building the economy? To clear the air [...]
For decades, many Koreans have viewed German unification as a model for the future of a divided Korean peninsula. However, there are differences between the two that need to be understood, both to inform current policy and provide valuable lessons for the future. German unification has been a success story that Koreans interested in unification [...]
The single most remarkable thing about the 7th Congress of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) is that it took place. After a 36-year hiatus, it was, without doubt, a noteworthy event, but the truly big news we were waiting for—such as an announcement of a drastically new economic policy or a switch to collective leadership—was missing. There [...]
Foreign journalists leave a venue after being told that coverage plans had changed until further notice on Sunday, May 8, 2016. (Photo: AP/Wong Maye-E) With a few exceptions, the Western press and broadcast corps that trooped into Pyongyang to cover the recent 7th Congress of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) deserves praise and our thanks. [...]
Everyone has a pet thesis about what is going on and what will happen on the North Korean issue over the next several months. In mid-January, I laid out what seemed to be six likely possibilities to keep in mind. Ten weeks later, I think we can winnow the choices down to two. (Photo: Getty-Reuters.) The first possibility is that we are in [...]
The new sanctions established on March 2, by UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2270 bring to mind the hardships that North Korea endured after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The economic disruption from the end of the Cold War led to a contraction of production in the DPRK and hobbled its Public Distribution System (PDS), contributing [...]