North Korea

Why Wikileaks Is Bad for Progressive Foreign Policy
November 30, 2010

Will the latest Wikileaks dump really matter that much? It’s true, as both Laura Rozen and Kevin Drum have observed, that many of the secret messages don’t seem to reveal big secrets. As Rozen wrote yesterday: one is struck overall that the classified diplomatic discussions on Iran revealed in the cables are not all that different from what one would expect from following the public comments senior U.S.

What Should We Do About North Korea?
November 23, 2010

What shall we make of North Korea's attack on the small South Korean island of Yeonpyeong? Well, by the everyday standards of International relations, a 90-minute barrage of over 200 artillery shells that killed at least two South Koreans and wreaked havoc on a civilian town would justifiably be described as what it so obviously is: a crisis and an act of war. But in the Alice in Wonderland world of U.S. policy toward the Hermit Kingdom, all the White House can summon itself to do is "condemn" the attack.

North Korea's Uranium Enrichment Centrifuge Plant Is Not Just About Pyongyang. It Is Also About Iran. Does Obama Know ... Or Care?
November 23, 2010

The last time I looked the president was still trying to entice (or maybe the word I should say “entrance”) the Iranians into...Well, what? As with the North Koreans, Obama still has faith that Tehran -with all the evidence against this proposition notwithstanding- is a rational actor in its drive for nuclear weapons. In fact, given the assumption that atomic war is probably something that Iran would very much like to wage, Dr. A’jad and the ayatollahs are playing the game just right. They have gotten time and more time...and time is not really money.

Abused by Hope
October 19, 2010

Famine and Foreigners: Ethiopia Since Live Aid By Peter Gill (Oxford University Press, 280 pp., $27.95) In the fall of 1994, James P. Grant, the executive director of UNICEF, sent a message in the name of his agency to the upcoming Cairo conference on population and development, in which he declared that the world had within its grasp the means to solve “the problems of poverty, population, and environmental degradation that feed off of one another in a downward spiral [bringing] instability and strife in its wake.” Grant was a great man, a giant of the development world.

The Rise of Lil' Kim
September 16, 2010

The best way to understand North Korea is to think of it not as a traditional nation-state, but as a nuclear-armed organized crime family, albeit one that will soon find itself in need of a new boss.

The Coming North Korean Coup?
September 09, 2010

In the next few days—perhaps Thursday—the Korean Workers’ Party will begin its national conference, the first since 1966. The meeting, according to state media, will “mark a meaningful chapter in the history of our party.” Some reports indicate that the gathering already started on Monday, with the registration of participants. The event, the third in the history of North Korea, is the result of a national mass mobilization. South Korean sources say military units have been converging on Pyongyang, presumably to take part in a show of might.

The Coming North Korean Coup?
September 09, 2010

In the next few days—perhaps Thursday—the Korean Workers’ Party will begin its national conference, the first since 1966. The meeting, according to state media, will “mark a meaningful chapter in the history of our party.” Some reports indicate that the gathering already started on Monday, with the registration of participants. The event, the third in the history of North Korea, is the result of a national mass mobilization. South Korean sources say military units have been converging on Pyongyang, presumably to take part in a show of might.

Does China Have Any Friends Left in the Obama Administration?
August 26, 2010

Over the last few months, China has had several fairly nasty public rows with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of State Robert M.

'Top Secret America'—A Bust
July 29, 2010

In late July the Washington Post published an ambitious report on U.S. national security intelligence that we are told had taken the Post’s staff two years to complete. The project was led by two competent and experienced reporters, Dana Priest and William Arkin, and the report has received an enthusiastic press. Having written about national security intelligence in books like Countering Terrorism: Blurred Focus, Halting Steps (2007), I was looking forward to reading the Post’s report. The report is, in fact, a disappointment.

The Ghoulish Regime In Pyongyang
July 25, 2010

You can’t have missed the fiendish photograph of a North Korean soldier  hovering through a window over Hillary Clinton as she stands in a hut  at the “truce village” at Panmunjom in no-man’s land just below what  her husband had called after a trip “the scariest place on earth.”    The conflict between North Korea and South Korea was the hottest  encounter in the Cold War. Nobody really won that war.

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