Pyongyang

Look Away
December 14, 2003

The Bush administration's internecine squabbles over Iraq policy have gotten a lot of press, but no issue has divided its foreign policy team more than North Korea. For two years, engagers (who generally favor using diplomacy to get Pyongyang to give up its nuclear program) and hawks (who are suspicious of negotiations and believe rewarding North Korean leader Kim Jong Il could encourage other proliferators) were unable to resolve their differences. "It's as stark as stark could be--we weren't even on the same page," says one American official.

Pinball Wizards
July 07, 2003

The Japanese gambling game of pachinko is an acquired taste that foreigners rarely acquire. Yet it is adored by millions of “salarymen” those worker bees who keep Japan Inc. humming even during down times. The pachinko parlor in my neighborhood is typical. It’s crowded day and night with dozens of salarymen—who in crumpled suits, cigarettes dangling from their mouths—sit zombie-like as they pump coins into a contraption that looks like a vertical pinball machine.

Split Personality
July 07, 2003

Over the past several weeks, a parade of foreign policy experts, touting a pile of recently published “blue-ribbon” think-tank reports, has taken to the airwaves in full cry against the Bush administration’s policy toward North Korea. Or, more precisely, the absence of a Bush administration policy toward North Korea. According to these critics, the feuds between the Defense and State Departments that hobble so much else have virtually paralyzed U.S. policy toward the Hermit Kingdom.

Sudden Impact
April 21, 2003

In the six months since North Korea began publicly threatening to build nuclear weapons, two of its largest trading partners-China and South Korea have largely buried their heads in the sand. When Kim Jong Il admitted last fall that North Korea was developing highly enriched uranium, a violation of the 1994 Agreed Framework with the United States, South Korean leaders were not discouraged from pursuing then-President Kim Dae Jung's "sunshine policy" of engagement.

Next of Kim
August 08, 1994

When Jimmy Carter, after concluding several hours of discussions in Pyongyang with North Korea's Great Leader, Kim Il Sung, declared that "the crisis is over" on the Korean peninsula, a sigh of relief could be heard around the world. It appeared as if the drift toward a diplomatic and economic confrontation, and possibly even a military conflict, had been averted. If Carter was right, and no one could say with certainty that he was wrong, the stage had been set for a peaceful resolution of the North Korean nuclear challenge. Pyongyang subsequently agreed to permit inspectors from the Internati

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