Real news in Korea always comes as a complete surprise

Real news in Korea always comes as a complete surprise

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk Here’s a hard truth that’s certifiable by any rudimentary review of modern Korean history: the real news about Korea catches almost everyone by surprise. Who, for instance, would have predicted the outbreak of the Korean War nearly seven decades ago? Who knew, in the depths of South Korea’s economic […]

U.S. takes cautious approach to coming summit between two Koreas

U.S. takes cautious approach to coming summit between two Koreas

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk SEOUL — The U.S. is pursuing a careful policy of appearing to support South Korea’s drive for reconciliation and dialogue with the North but holding out the option of refusing to go along with anything short of complete certainty that Kim Jong-Un is dismantling his nuclear program The carefully […]

Why the blind spot for China by the American intelligentsia?

Why the blind spot for China by the American intelligentsia?

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk China remains the darling of western, particularly American, intellectuals and academicians even though under President Xi Jinping it’s reverting to the dictatorial habits of the era of Mao Zedung. The system is not only incredibly corrupt but also authoritarian. We hear constantly about suppression of free speech, of the […]

China and North Korea, best friends forever?

China and North Korea, best friends forever?

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk There is a certain inevitability about China’s need for North Korea and the North’s need for China. The two may intuitively hate one another, but they can hardly stay apart in the regional tug of war. It’s been that way ever since Chinese forces poured into North Korea to […]

Bolt out of the blue: Trump’s new national security adviser ruffles dovish feathers in Seoul

Bolt out of the blue: Trump’s new national security adviser ruffles dovish feathers in Seoul

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk The appointment of John Bolton as President Trump’s national security adviser portends a tough U.S. policy toward the North even as South Korea’s President Moon Jae-In is planning to meet North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un in late April and Trump is to see Kim in May. Conservatives in the U.S. […]

Media hatred may derail Trump-Kim summit; And does Kim Jong-Un dare leave home?

Media hatred may derail Trump-Kim summit; And does Kim Jong-Un dare leave home?

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk U.S. President Donald Trump is in such hot water in Washington that his summit with Kim Jong-Un, if it actually happens, will be either a distraction or a welcome relief from the pressure-cooker atmosphere at home. The only problem is, he may be so busy fending off the investigation […]

Imprisoned Korean-Americans in North Korea factor into pre-summit negotiations

Imprisoned Korean-Americans in North Korea factor into pre-summit negotiations

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk The fate of three American citizens still imprisoned in North Korea is on the line in a flurry of talks between North Korean and Swedish diplomats in the run-up to next month’s summit between North Korea’s leader KimJong-Un and South Korea’s President Moon Jae-In and then the summit in […]

North Korean ‘regime change’? Give dreamers a chance

North Korean ‘regime change’? Give dreamers a chance

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk In the excitement over impending summits, we may have forgotten one other solution everyone was talking about, oh, just a month or two ago. Whatever happened to all the enthusiasm for forcing Kim Jong-Un out of his job by internal upheaval, external attack, or maybe just a plain old […]

Charmed I’m sure: Double-talk or a love-fest in Pyongyang?

Charmed I’m sure: Double-talk or a love-fest in Pyongyang?

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk SEOUL — U.S. President Donald Trump is putting the best face on the agreement for North and South Korean leaders to meet next month at the truce village of Panmunjom, on the North-South line 55 kilometers north of Seoul for the third inter-Korean summit. Despite pervasive doubts about North […]

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 […]