March 4, 2011 |
South Korea's air force has been dropping balloons with leaflets into North Korea describing the struggle to oust Moammar Kadafi in Libya and calling on the North Koreans to rise up against their oppressors. This is a ridiculous exercise for the obvious reason that Libya is split by countless tribal and regional divisions. By contrast, North Korea is ethnically homogeneous and strongly united by a nationalist heritage deeply rooted in the struggles against the Japanese colonial occupation and three years of U.S. saturation bombing during the Korean War. More important, the South Korean leaflet barrage illustrates the utter ignorance of the conservative ruling party in the South concerning the nationalist ethos of North Korea, and thus explains why the current hard-line U.S. policy toward Pyongyang, reflecting the same lack of realism, is not working.
June 7, 2013 |
TUMEN, China - In a concrete building on the northern edge of this city across the border from North Korea, young pony-tailed women wearing hoodies sew sportswear. The building has no flashy logo or company name on the outside, only a blue-and-red flag flickering high on a nearby pole. Across the street, a dormitory sits on a weed-strewn lot. The estimated 300 women are among an unknown number of North Korean workers in China earning cash for their country's isolated economy and providing cheap labor for Chinese businesses.
March 6, 2013 |
The U.N. Security Council is set to vote this week on a new round of sanctions on North Korea in response to Pyongyang's February nuclear test, and with China's backing, it is likely to pass. Beijing was "strongly dissatisfied and resolutely opposed" to the nuclear test, as Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said. However, Beijing must walk a fine line in deciding how far it will go to press Pyongyang to change course. North Korea's nuclear test has again shaken regional stability and undermines China's national interests.
April 21, 2011 |
North Korea has recently made a desperate international appeal for food aid. Reports from aid workers and international nongovernmental organizations warn of a major food shortage. As the United States deliberates whether to restart a food aid program in North Korea, it must consider the following questions: Is there a true humanitarian need, can we address the potential risk of food diversion and can a properly monitored program allow us to engage with the vulnerable citizens of one of the most isolated countries in the world?
November 30, 2010 |
Although North Korea's attack last week on the island of Yeonpyeong was the first time since the Korean War that it has directed artillery fire on South Korean land, targeting civilians and homes, it follows a long pattern of calculated acts designed to compel South Korea and the United States to resort to crisis management; that is, to reward the North for little more than temporarily backing down. The response by Seoul and Washington this time should be to impose a palpable penalty on Pyongyang.
August 27, 2010 |
Former President Carter on Friday left the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, after negotiating the release of an American who had been imprisoned since January for illegally entering the secretive country, officials said. Carter went to North Korea this week seeking the release of Boston native Aijalon Mahli Gomes, a former English teacher in South Korea who was sentenced to eight years in prison for entering the North from China in January. North Korea's state-run media reported in July that Gomes had tried to commit suicide.