Give President Trump credit for confronting North Korea on its horrific rights record

Give President Trump credit for confronting North Korea on its horrific rights record

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk SEOUL — Whenever experts talk about “confederation” or “reunification” between North and South Korea, they overlook the fate of tens of thousands of people confined to prison camps in the North for offenses that might threaten the regime. Examples of such “crimes” include Christian worship, possession of a bible […]

How I got into the closing ceremonies at the PyeongChang Winter Games

How I got into the closing ceremonies at the PyeongChang Winter Games

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk PYEONGCHANG ― Now I know firsthand what they’re talking about when they say the Russians are tricky. Yes, they’ve gotten into American and other websites, tried to sway the U.S. presidential election and are not to be trusted, but those were media reports. In an era of fake news, […]

Ground Zero in Korea: Thinking about talking about talks

Ground Zero in Korea: Thinking about talking about talks

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk U.S. officials remain deeply skeptical of North Korea’s intentions while South Korea’s President Moon Jae-In seeks to build on the momentum toward negotiations in the aftermath of the Winter Olympics. The White House is awaiting a firm signal directly from Pyongyang about the prospects for talks while wondering about […]

The Ivanka counter-charm offensive: Bracing for the Winter Olympics end game

The Ivanka counter-charm offensive: Bracing for the Winter Olympics end game

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — Ivanka Trump’s upcoming weekend in South Korea is sure to set off another round of intense speculation while the vice chairman of North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party leads a delegation south at just about the same time. The big question is whether the presidential daughter […]

Joshua Cooper Ramo, the Winter Olympics and NBC’s staggering conflicts of interest

Joshua Cooper Ramo, the Winter Olympics and NBC’s staggering conflicts of interest

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk The strange case of NBC sports commentator Joshua Cooper Ramo touched the sensitive nerves of millions of Koreans. Thousands responded with indignation, aggrieved feelings, even outrage to his on-air remark at the Winter Olympics to the effect that “every Korean will tell you that Japan as a cultural and […]

Winter games delays yet another moment of truth in Korea

Winter games delays yet another moment of truth in Korea

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk American policy-makers appear highly uncertain and divided among themselves as to moves toward negotiation between North and South Korea in the wake of the Winter Olympics. The view from the White House, is that President Donald Trump has succeeded in forcing the hand of Kim Jong-Un, compelling him to […]

Korean protests at the Olympics, then and now

Korean protests at the Olympics, then and now

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk Mid-winter is not exactly the best time for mass demonstrations in South Korea. Protesters prefer to wait for spring, but the Winter Olympics leave them no choice. Flag-wavers are out there during the coldest ever Olympics, the rightists waving Korean and American flags, leftists and liberals those one-Korea flags, […]

Trump’s ‘new American moment’: Paving the way to a ‘bloody nose’ for North Korea?

Trump’s ‘new American moment’: Paving the way to a ‘bloody nose’ for North Korea?

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk SEOUL — Don’t count on the Winter Olympics as the moment for rapprochement on the Korean peninsula. That message came through loud and clear in President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address. “Our new American moment,” as Trump called this turbulent time in U.S. history, does not […]

As unification euphoria builds, Pyongyang-watchers brace for ‘something really scary’

As unification euphoria builds, Pyongyang-watchers brace for ‘something really scary’

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk WASHINGTON – U.S. officials and so-called “Korea experts” look with clearly mixed feelings on the prospects of North Korea sending hundreds of performers, artists and officials to the upcoming PyeongChang Olympics. Conservative forces in Washington share the misgivings of Korean conservatives over athletes from the two Koreas parading together […]

Has it been 50 years? Remembering the Tet, the Blue House raid and North Korea’s capture of the Pueblo

Has it been 50 years? Remembering the Tet, the Blue House raid and North Korea’s capture of the Pueblo

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk VIRGINIA BEACH, Virginia ― How quickly we forget. Memories, dates and events fade away, only to be revived on anniversaries. A lot of historical events are barely recalled. I was in a country named “South” Vietnam 50 years ago when North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces attacked almost every […]