US Korea Institute

Friday November 28th 2014
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Mediabusters

We will shine the spotlight on “the good, the bad and the ugly” of Western media coverage, busting myths and uninformed news stories (while praising well-informed analysis).

Media Busters: Is North Korea Building a Ballistic Missile Submarine?

Media Busters: Is North Korea Building a Ballistic Missile Submarine?

A recent article in Yonhap citing unnamed ROK Ministry of Defense sources as well as articles in 38 North came to the conclusion that North Korea has built a submarine capable of carrying and launching ballistic missiles that may be operational in 1-2 years. This article has received widespread international attention. While we do not take [...]

A Senior North Korean Banking Official Defects?

A Senior North Korean Banking Official Defects?

Office 39 (Image (c) 2012 DigitalGlobe; Courtesy of Michael Madden) Last Friday’s headlines on North Korea were filled with the following news alert—“a senior North Korean banking official who managed money for leader Kim Jong Un has defected in Russia and was seeking asylum in a third country.” We do not know if he did defect—the [...]

“Chat-to-China” Choo Choo: Kim Rides the Rails Again

“Chat-to-China” Choo Choo: Kim Rides the Rails Again

The Wall Street Journal may be edited from somewhere to the right of Attila the Hun, but at least you’d expect them to be able to count. Actually WSJ’s Korea reportage is excellent as a rule, but they and most everybody else are wrong to say that Kim Jong Il’s just-confirmed visit to China, still ongoing as I write, is his seventh. Math was [...]

Special Report: Chaos in North Korea Coverage

Special Report: Chaos in North Korea Coverage

"The headline above all news stories purporting to report what is going on in North Korea’s economy and polity should be: buyer beware." In a Special Report, 38 North examines the problems that often arise when trying to cover a "hard target" like North Korea and heeds caution in relying too heavily on any specific news report. Download a [...]

A Third North Korean Nuclear Test: How a Local TV Station Can Make Global Headlines

A Third North Korean Nuclear Test: How a Local TV Station Can Make Global Headlines

Like the first predictions abut North Korea’s imminent collapse made almost two decades ago, recent stories run by Reuters (“North Korea readying for 3rd nuclear test: report”) and the Associated Press (“Analysts say N. Korea hinting at 3rd nuke test”) about preparations for a third North Korean nuclear test may some day prove true. In [...]

The New York Times and the Human Torpedo – A Close Second Place

The New York Times and the Human Torpedo – A Close Second Place

The runner-up for the monthly bad reporting award is: the New York Times and the Human Torpedo. Afghanistan and Iraq have absorbed so much of the American media’s attention that it appears to have all but forgotten about the Korean peninsula. With more than 28,000 American troops based in South Korea, a mutual defense treaty with Seoul and [...]

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