South Korea-Japan animosity risks strategic alliance

South Korea-Japan animosity risks strategic alliance

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk TOKYO ― Korean and Japanese relations have plunged to their lowest depths since the Korean War, and there’s apparently no reconciliation in sight. The governments in Seoul and Tokyo are engaged in a game of dare and double-dare in which each tries to out-threaten the other with hurtful measures […]

Brexit: Why other parts of the world second that emotion

Brexit: Why other parts of the world second that emotion

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk LONDON — You’ve got to admire the Brits for one thing. They sure are proud of their ancient heritage as citizens of a “tight little island” that has always stood aloof from Europe. Historically they’ve fought against the Romans (Hadrian’s Wall), the Normans (1066 and all that), Spanish (Sir […]

After G20, President Trump could visit DMZ; Will Kim jog down for a photo-op?

After G20, President Trump could visit DMZ; Will Kim jog down for a photo-op?

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk SEOUL — Summit fever is upon us. The mere idea of two leaders sitting down and talking suggests the ultimate panacea. Surely they can come to terms once they look each other in the eye and work out all those terrible differences. That’s the fantasy as Donald Trump wraps […]

Why North Korea needs to say sorry before any ‘peace treaty’ is signed

Why North Korea needs to say sorry before any ‘peace treaty’ is signed

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk Advocates of a “peace treaty” with North Korea believe, unanimously, that such a treaty would serve some real purpose other than provide the North with ammunition for withdrawal of U.S. forces from South Korea and closure of U.S. bases. The slightest scrutiny of history should make painfully clear that […]

Dreams of democracy: China and South Korea

Dreams of democracy: China and South Korea

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk The vision of a brave new world in China three decades ago was captivating, exhilarating proof at last that democracy could prevail in an outpouring of revulsion over Communist dictatorship. Alas, it was not to be. The hypnotic image of reform, of the forces of right defeating evil, yielded […]

Transcending the politics of historic hostilities for strategic goals

Transcending the politics of historic hostilities for strategic goals

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk WASHINGTON ― President Trump’s visit to Japan carries a message for South Korea as much as anywhere else. It’s time to call a halt to outpourings of anti-Japanese sentiment. That’s not to say South Koreans should bury their bitterness over the decades of Japanese rule, the slaughter of Koreans […]

War talk at the beach is a secondary concern in Trump-obsessed D.C.

War talk at the beach is a secondary concern in Trump-obsessed D.C.

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk VIRGINIA BEACH ― Memorial Day holiday crowds soak up the surf and sun while sailors and marines train for war in distant countries about which they know very little. A young Marine, bored with the routine at one of the dozen or so facilities between this sprawling oceanside community […]

‘Kim Jong-Un’s spokesman’: South Korea’s president dissed by opposition leader

‘Kim Jong-Un’s spokesman’: South Korea’s president dissed by opposition leader

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk WASHINGTON – South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in has been trying so hard to achieve the impossible dream of reconciliation with North Korea that it’s easy for foreign observers to forget a strong, traditional conservative opposition that deeply opposes the pattern of concessions to the will of North Korea’s leader […]

Russia’s stake in North Korea? Kim Il-Sung was a Soviet officer

Russia’s stake in North Korea? Kim Il-Sung was a Soviet officer

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk It’s easy to overlook the Russian stake in the Korean Peninsula. We hear so much about China’s pivotal role, its influence over North Korea and its enormous trade with South Korea that we tend to forget the Soviet Union shared responsibility with the U.S. for the artificial division of […]

Honoring 304 victims of Sewol ferry tragedy that was weaponized for political ends

Honoring 304 victims of Sewol ferry tragedy that was weaponized for political ends

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk SEOUL — The sinking of the Sewol ferry five years ago was one of the greatest tragedies in Korean history. The memory for me, along with many others, is especially poignant since I spent hours in the great school gymnasium where families of the 304 victims, most of them […]

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