US Korea Institute

Monday September 22nd 2014
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Media Analysis

While understanding North Korea’s public pronouncements is an artform that few have mastered, we will take you through methodology and application of dissecting its statements.

Nothing Doing

Nothing Doing

Is this any way to run a dance hall? The music has stopped, the lights have been turned off, and someone, apparently, has spat in the punchbowl. Seoul today rejected, seemingly without qualification or counteroffer, the January 16th proposal of North Korea’s National Defense Commission (NDC). It’s entirely up to Seoul to handle its own [...]

The Dainty Minuet Phase: In Which Our Characters Circle Each Other Warily

The Dainty Minuet Phase: In Which Our Characters Circle Each Other Warily

This is almost getting to be fun, right? Will they boogie, or won’t they? Pyongyang yesterday issued its response to the proposal in ROK President Park Geun-hye’s New Year’s press conference for family reunifications. Yonhap labeled the North’s answer a rejection, but that looks to be a little harsh. Where we are now is that neither side [...]

A Little Dance Music

A Little Dance Music

While initial reaction to Kim Jong Un’s relatively positive remarks about inter-Korean dialogue in his New Year’s address has been mixed, Seoul has apparently decided to return the volley. In her January 6, 2014 news conference, President Park Geun-hye “welcomed” Kim Jong Un’s New Year’s speech, and said a summit meeting with Kim could [...]

Peace Talks, Sanctions and Nuclear Negotiations: What the North Is Really Saying

Peace Talks, Sanctions and Nuclear Negotiations: What the North Is Really Saying

Over the past few months, following the visit of U.S. Ambassador Stephen Bosworth to Pyongyang, the North Korean Foreign Ministry has issued a number of pronouncements on issues related to the resumption of nuclear negotiations at the Beijing Six Party Talks. Outside experts and the media have concluded that the North is demanding the lifting of [...]

Tea Leaves and Turtle Shells: Reading North Korea

Tea Leaves and Turtle Shells: Reading North Korea

Serious study (and its close cousin, informed analysis) of North Korean media is not impossible but requires a rigorous approach that most people are not prepared to entertain. Contrary to common wisdom, there is not a lack of good evidence on North Korea. Rather, there is a lack of mining tools…and miners. At a minimum, it is essential for [...]

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