Donald Kirk

Donald Kirk is a veteran newspaper correspondent who has worked throughout East Asia and in the Middle East. A columnist for WorldTribune.com and a correspondent for East-Asia-Intel.com, he has also written for the International Herald Tribune, the New York Times, USA Today, Christian Science Monitor, CBS, Asian Wall Street Journal, National Review, Chicago Sun Times, South […]

Playing defense: Who are Kim Jong-Un and Donald Trump kidding with their war of words?

Playing defense: Who are Kim Jong-Un and Donald Trump kidding with their war of words?

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk It wasn’t exactly a declaration of war, but it did come close. What else to make of President Trump’s remark that the U.S. might “totally destroy North Korea”? It was one thing to belittle Kim Jong-Un as “rocket man” but quite another to threaten annihilation of a country torn […]

Let’s make a deal: Donald Trump to remake Pyongyang’s skyline!

Let’s make a deal: Donald Trump to remake Pyongyang’s skyline!

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk Everybody’s talking about overtures to Pyongyang. Informal talks, secret talks, talks about talks – then, somewhere in everyone’s pet solution, comes the killer line: Pyongyang has to “freeze” its missile-and-nuclear program before real talking begins. It’s unlikely Kim Jong-Un will “freeze” anything, but here’s an idea. Remember that enormous […]

Art of the deal: How about a summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un at the Korean DMZ?

Art of the deal: How about a summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un at the Korean DMZ?

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk, EastAsiaIntel.com Donald Trump may be running neck and neck with Hillary Clinton in the U.S. presidential sweepstakes if the polls are at all credible, but there’s one constituency in which he appears to be well ahead. That’s within the ruling circles in Pyongyang. He’s winning popularity there for two […]

The New York Times vs. consummate New Yorker Donald Trump

The New York Times vs. consummate New Yorker Donald Trump

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk, EastAsiaIntel.com WASHINGTON ― Talk about local boy making good, and then look at the case of Donald Trump. He’s a New Yorker through and through ― looks, talks and acts like one, arrogant, sneering and sure of himself. So what are the New York papers saying about him? Clearly, […]

Can Seoul and Tokyo cooperate? Yes, says U.S.; No, says Pyongyang

Can Seoul and Tokyo cooperate? Yes, says U.S.; No, says Pyongyang

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk WASHINGTON ― Koreans have innumerable reasons to resent Japan’s sense of superiority and also every reason to get over it. Astonishingly, apologists for North Korea deride U.S. attempts at persuading South Korean and Japanese leaders to get along with each other. It’s as though they really think South Korea […]

North Korea dusts off its Mount Geumgang playbook

North Korea dusts off its Mount Geumgang playbook

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk Editors’ Note: North Korea is demanding demolition by South Korea of the entire resort area at the base of Mount Geumgang (Diamond). The tourist facilities were built with investment, mostly from Hyundai, of more than $2 billion. South Korea closed tours from the South in 2008 after a South Korean woman […]

Memo to sophisticates in Seoul embarrassed by pro-U.S. demonstrations: Get over it

Memo to sophisticates in Seoul embarrassed by pro-U.S. demonstrations: Get over it

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk SEOUL — Americans hardly know how to respond to all those American flags seen in central Seoul on Saturday afternoons and evenings. Initially, as Korean conservatives began flying the Stars and Stripes at conservative rallies after the impeachment, ouster and jailing of Park Geun-Hye in 2016 and 2017, Americans […]

Strategic ambiguity: Decoding Trump’s 30 words about North Korea at the UN

Strategic ambiguity: Decoding Trump’s 30 words about North Korea at the UN

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk WASHINGTON ― President Donald Trump’s thinking on a deal with North Korea is difficult to figure out. He’s less transparent, actually, than Kim Jong-Un. We know perfectly well that Kim is not about to give up his nuclear weapons program, including the missiles to send them to distant targets. […]

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