US Korea Institute

Saturday September 20th 2014
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Posts Tagged ‘kim jong un’

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 [...]

The Incheon Asiad: Playing Games, Or a Game-Changer?

The Incheon Asiad: Playing Games, Or a Game-Changer?

Antonio Gramsci or Yogi Berra? It’s not often you see those two in the same sentence. Yet I find these two figures—or rather, things each of them said—helpful in sketching a dilemma which faces all of us in the North Korea business. In a phrase: Dare we hope for better things? Yes, said the Italian Marxist…with qualifications. His [...]

Bridge Building

Bridge Building

Here we are, almost at the end of the US-ROK joint military exercise Ulchi Freedom Guardian (UFG), and the situation is eerily calm. DPRK commentary at the start of the exercise last week was relatively restrained, especially in view of the warnings the North had issued over the preceding months. Meanwhile, North Korean reaction to numerous recent [...]

The North Korea Contingency: Why China Will Not Cooperate

The North Korea Contingency: Why China Will Not Cooperate

Since Kim Jong Un became the supreme leader of North Korea in late 2011, and especially after Pyongyang undertook nuclear and long-range missile testing in 2012 and 2013, planning for North Korea contingencies (possible political turmoil and collapse) has become a popular theme for the US and ROK governments. Both countries acknowledge the key [...]

Rough Seas, Rocky Roads

Rough Seas, Rocky Roads

On July 1, having studied for all of 24 hours the June 30 DPRK National Defense Commission (NDC) proposal for another go at reducing tensions, Seoul rejected it in categorically and, surely not by accident, somewhat insulting terms. NDC proposals, at least in the view of the North Koreans, are not to be sneezed at, much less abruptly dismissed. [...]

Pyongyang’s New Overtures and Abe’s Diplomacy

Pyongyang’s New Overtures and Abe’s Diplomacy

Recent meetings between Japan and North Korea have prompted concern about whether Prime Minister Abe may be departing from the US and South Korea in its dealings with Pyongyang. Japanese and North Korean officials met on March 30-31, 2014 in Shenyang, China, and again on May 26-28 in Stockholm, Sweden. On May 29, Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga [...]

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