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A filmmaker’s stealth coup: Zooming in on North Korean mind control

By letting his cameras tell the rest of the story, Russian filmmaker Vitaly Mansky committed an act of stealth journalism that left his North Korean handlers fuming. / Vitaly Mansky / IDFA

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk, EastAsiaIntel.com Russian documentary filmmaker Vitaly Mansky has managed to bamboozle his North Korean hosts in a confidence game that’s one of the greater journalistic coups ever scored against the regime. Mansky, having given the […]

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By ‘invitation’ only: North Korea’s blunt force approach to foreign language education

The father of Japanese abductee, Megumi Yokota, holds a picture of his daughter at 13 and then at 20 in North Korea. / Koichi Kamoshida / Getty

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk, EastAsiaIntel.com North Koreans some years ago had an unusual way of acquiring professional expertise in teaching people foreign languages. Rather than advertise for teachers, they kidnapped native speakers. Most of them were Japanese, but […]

Posted in BB Columnists,BB NE Asia,Columnists,Donald Kirk,Exclusives,Japan,NE Asia,North Korea,South Korea,Top Stories | Read More »

S. Korean president to visit Iran, longtime secret N. Korean strategic partner

South Korean President Park Geun-Hye.

Special to WorldTribune.com Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty Park Geun-Hye is due to become the first South Korean president to visit Iran, according to her office. Park’s office said on April 18 that she and Iranian President Hassan Rohani […]

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Do North Korean propaganda writers really want to channel Abraham Lincoln

Honest Abe

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk, EastAsiaIntel.com WASHINGTON – Credit someone in North Korea with a sense of historical irony. Who would have thought anyone up there would have dreamed of writing an imaginary letter from Abraham Lincoln to President […]

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N. Korea propaganda update: ‘Honest Abe’ pens an open letter from the grave to Obama

Kim Jong-Un conjured Abraham Lincoln?  /Reuters/KCNA

Special to WorldTribune.com Honest Abe has a message for the current occupant of the White House: President Barack Obama should rethink economic sanctions against North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. At least, that’s what North Korea’s propaganda machine said in a […]

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Pop quiz: Is North Korea a terrorist state? Yes or no?

Chief U.S. negotiator Christopher Hill negotiated a deal whereby North Korea would accept a verification plan after being delisted as a state sponsor of terrorism. / AFP

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk, EastAsiaIntel.com WASHINGTON ― Here’s a question people here keep asking: Is North Korea a terrorist state? Forget about the missile shots. They’ve all landed in the sea and harmed no one. What about the […]

Posted in BB Columnists,BB NE Asia,Columnists,Donald Kirk,Exclusives,Mideast,NE Asia,North Korea,Stateside,Terrorism,Top Stories,U.S. Intelligence,U.S. Military,Washington | Read More »

How the U.S. handles the baddest of bad actors: ISIL, Cuba and North Korea

ObamaCastro

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk, EastAsiaIntel.com WASHINGTON – The hype surrounding President Obama’s visit to Cuba quickly gave way to fear and loathing as the world absorbed the news of the slaughter perpetrated in Brussels, for which ISIL, the […]

Posted in Americas,BB Columnists,BB NE Asia,Belgium,Columnists,Cuba,Donald Kirk,Exclusives,Mideast,NE Asia,North Korea,Stateside,Syria,Terrorism,Top Stories,U.S. Military,U.S. Politics,Washington | Read More »

S. Korea’s new elite ‘Spartan 3000’ special forces unit trained for raids inside North

South Korean (blue headbands) and US Marines take part in a US-South Korea joint landing operation drill in Pohang, South Korea.  /Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters

Special to WorldTribune.com South Korea has formed an elite unit of marines which can be quickly deployed to any part of the Korean peninsula and could carry out raids inside North Korea. The “Spartan 3000” unit trained with U.S. forces […]

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U.S. student to 15 years of hard labor in N. Korea for ‘college-style prank’

Otto Warmbier said in February that he had made "the worst mistake of my life."  /Reuters

Special to WorldTribune.com An American tourist, accused of attempting to steal a propaganda poster from his hotel room, has been sentenced by a North Korean court to 15 years of hard labor. Otto Warmbier, a 21-year-old University of Virginia student […]

Posted in BB NE Asia,Exclusives,NE Asia,North Korea,Stateside,Top Stories,U.S. Intelligence,World Links | Read More »

How to answer the ‘unprecedented’, increasingly overheated North Korean rhetoric?

How about responding in kind to the unprintable, white-hot invective coming out of Pyongyang?

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk, EastAsiaIntel.com Ho hum, here we go again. That seems to be the response to the latest rhetorical blasts from Pyongyang as U.S. and South Korean forces dive into their annual war games. A “preemptive […]

Posted in BB Columnists,BB NE Asia,Columnists,Donald Kirk,Exclusives,NE Asia,North Korea,South Korea,Stateside,Top Stories,U.S. Intelligence,U.S. Media,Washington | Read More »