Pyongyang poker: N. Korea ups the ante with the U.S., Japan, S. Korea and China

Pyongyang poker: N. Korea ups the ante with the U.S., Japan, S. Korea and China

John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — Shortly after the Security Council unanimously condemned the recent North Korean missile launch and demanded that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea abandon nuclear testing, Pyongyang’s rulers decided to up the political ante. They announced that they are on the verge of a third nuclear test and for good […]

Obama’s windy words, dovish appointments and lack of resolve

Obama’s windy words, dovish appointments and lack of resolve

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk, East-Asia-Intel.com WASHINGTON — A mood of collective celebration swept over the American capital as President Barack Obama entered his second term under clear skies in freezing temperatures. It was as though the country were taking a break from fears about the economy, the next “fiscal cliff” and debate on […]

Fewer escaped N. Korea in 2012 as Kim Jong-Un hardened borders, tightened internal security

Fewer escaped N. Korea in 2012 as Kim Jong-Un hardened borders, tightened internal security

Special to WorldTribune.com By Lee Jong-Heon, East-Asia-Intel.com Fleeing North Korea has been increasingly difficult due to tightened border controls and stronger internal security measures since the country’s new ruler Kim Jong-Un assumed power a year ago, South Korean officials and sources say. But defectors in Seoul say that desperate North Koreans will keep trying to […]

Two chubby young Koreans register on the global recognition scale

Two chubby young Koreans register on the global recognition scale

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk, East-Asia-Intel.com LONDON — There was a time when Korea was best known overseas for Samsung gadgetry and Hyundai cars. Now Korea is permeating the global consciousness in ways that would have seemed unlikely if not impossible two or three years ago. The latest proof positive is a New Year’s […]

With policies in flux among world powers, N. Korea again threatens to go ballistic

With policies in flux among world powers, N. Korea again threatens to go ballistic

John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — The impending launch of a North Korean ballistic missile has as much to do with the propaganda goal of putting a satellite into orbit as to serve as a less than subtle bullying to neighboring states all undergoing a period of political transition. Though Pyongyang has forewarned regional governments […]

When world leaders talk about ‘human rights’ and when they do not

When world leaders talk about ‘human rights’ and when they do not

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk, East-Asia-Intel.com The spectacle of the ASEAN summit in Phnom Penh did more to lay bare the problems, conflicts and paradoxes of relations among the region’s wildly different and widely scattered nations than to resolve them. The fact that at least three of the leaders at this year’s ASEAN summit […]

At confab on North Korea, not a single word about the hundreds of thousands in gulags

At confab on North Korea, not a single word about the hundreds of thousands in gulags

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk, East-Asia-Intel.com What are the experts thinking when they talk in learned tones, replete with facts and stats, about issues and conditions for North-South Korean reunification, the pitfalls and problems, but omit passing mention of one of the most awful obstacles? At a conference this week bearing the portentous title, […]

Daughter of a controversial leader runs for president of South Korea

Daughter of a controversial leader runs for president of South Korea

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk, East-Asia-Intel.com The specter of Park Geun-Hye running for president of the Republic of Korea evokes almost as many memories for those foreigners who were here during the reign of her father as it does for millions of Koreans who share quite differing perspectives. As a journalist in pursuit of […]

Kim Jong-Un’s frequent visits to front-line bases makes South anxious

Kim Jong-Un’s frequent visits to front-line bases makes South anxious

Special to WorldTribune.com By Lee Jong-Heon, East-Asia-Intel.com YEONPYEONG ISLAND, South Korea — North Korea’s youthful new dictator Kim Jong-Un’s frequent visits to front-line military bases have put residents of this border island on alert over fears that the North will launch another deadly artillery attack similar to the one in November 2010. While fishermen continue […]

Report: South Korean president approves major missile buildup

Report: South Korean president approves major missile buildup

Special to WorldTribune.com Geostrategy-Direct.com Seoul has approved an ambitious missile upgrade plan for additional 500-600 cruise and ballistic missiles during the next five years, according to a May 22 report in the Chosun Ilbo. “Given the mounting threat of provocations from the North since Kim Jong-Un took power, the [ROK] Defense Ministry reported to President […]