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 […]

Former UN Sec. Gen. Ban Ki-Moon on North Korea: ‘If you are cheated two times, you are stupid’

Former UN Sec. Gen. Ban Ki-Moon on North Korea: ‘If you are cheated two times, you are stupid’

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk Ban Ki-Moon, now that he’s no longer United Nations secretary-general, can offer frank views that would definitely have had North Korean diplomats screaming bloody murder in the UN headquarters had he expressed them there. Ban, ever bland, polite, genial, the essence of the seasoned diplomat, gave about as reasoned […]

Reporter in Seoul accused of ‘treason’ for challenging government’s pro-Pyongyang statements

Reporter in Seoul accused of ‘treason’ for challenging government’s pro-Pyongyang statements

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk President Moon Jae-In almost accidentally stepped into a battle that did not have to happen with journalists for foreign news organizations. The ruckus was all about a Korean reporter for Bloomberg who wrote in September that Moon sounded like a spokesman for Kim Jong-Un by singing the praises of […]

‘Animal Farm’? George Orwell never imagined this

‘Animal Farm’? George Orwell never imagined this

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk SEOUL — The Demilitarized Zone that’s divided North from South Korea since the Korean War evokes images of the Berlin Wall that divided East from West Berlin from 1961 to 1991 but shows no signs of going down after the second summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean […]

After sit-down with Kim, as Cohen testified and ‘experts’ circled like vultures, Trump walked

After sit-down with Kim, as Cohen testified and ‘experts’ circled like vultures, Trump walked

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk HANOI — No matter what he does or says, Donald Trump is playing a losing game with his critics on North Korea and probably on just about everything else. If he had joined Kim Jong-Un last week in signing a piece of paper agreeing to give up sanctions while […]

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