Tag Archives: North Korea

The Fascination and the Fear

Review – See You Again in Pyongyang by Travis Jeppesen

Global interest in North Korea is prompted by fascination and fear. Both are overdone. Continue reading

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The Singapore Summit Has Trivialised a Brutal Dictatorship

The world’s attention is fixated on Singapore, the venue for a summit that not long ago looked like it wouldn’t happen.

Discussion between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump was imperilled by the former’s intransigence and the latter’s rashness. Trump dictated an intemperate letter to Kim on May 24 cancelling the thing. It looked as though that was that. Continue reading

Trump Won’t Win the Nobel Peace Prize – Whether or Not He Deserves It

There we have it. The date and time for Donald Trump’s meeting with Kim Jong-un are set.

It was announced when Trump’s newly appointed secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, returned from Pyongyang with three Americans who had been imprisoned in North Korea. The summit – an outbreak of diplomacy after the two countries traded threats last summer – will occur on June 12, in Singapore. Continue reading

Meeting with the Enemy

For all his capacity to surprise politicians and commentators, Donald Trump has done little in office which could be called truly original.

Since his ascent to the presidency, Trump has shepherded little significant domestic legislation through Congress, and his foreign policy could hardly be considered revelatory. Continue reading

John Bolton Is Only as Dangerous as His Boss

Amid the routine chaos surrounding the Trump administration, one recent change in personnel, among many in recent weeks, stands out.

After months of rumour, always followed by denial, Donald Trump announced that John Bolton, once upon a time the American ambassador the United Nations, will shortly replace General H. R. McMaster as the president’s national security advisor. Continue reading

North Korea and Literature

North Korea is in part fascinating because it is mysterious. Cut off from viewing eyes not by geographical remoteness but by political design, the state and the lives within it seem strange and bizarre to observers. The mystery of the hermit state is part of its myth, which is cultivated by North Korea’s leadership, as well as a by-product of its peculiar circumstances. Outsiders can enter only irregularly. Western journalists cannot report on North Korea as they might any other country. Outside analysts can only guess at the bare facts of its economy, its politics and its culture. Continue reading

Necessary Acts Are Never Popular – So Politicians Have Done Nothing about Iran or North Korea

The situation on the Korean peninsula has not been good for a long time. But the ceasefire agreed in the 1950s, following years of open warfare, seems more strained now than at any moment in recent memory. Continue reading