Mention the name “Lothar de Maiziere” in most conversations and one will elicit blank stares. But de Maiziere, who visited Seoul in November, is actually one of contemporary history’s more interesting personages. He was elected to the parliament as a Christian Democrat in East Germany’s only free election, served as Prime Minister for 5 months, and [...]
The Nobel Laureate Milton Friedman once argued that dropping money out of helicopters would cause inflation but not affect the real economy. “Helicopter money” has made a comeback of sorts in recent years with the unconventional “quantitative easing” experiments of Japan, the US, and now Europe. And it seems to have come to North Korea as [...]
Our man in Ann Arbor, Fred Zimmerman, sent along this interesting travelogue written by Ryan Romanchuk, bearer of one of those great, only-in-the-Western-hemisphere names. Members of the quora website where it appears have added their own extensive commentary to the original post.
We pass along this amazing collection of 26 digitally preserved photographs taken in Heijo (now Pyongyang) in the early 20th century. Thanks to Korea Peninsula Through the Lens for making these photos available to us. We also thank the USC Digital Library, The Maryknoll Mission Archives, and The Reverend Corwin and Nellie Taylor Collection for [...]
We prefer not to provide links to closed sites. But for those of you with access to an academic library, two recent review essays on North Korea provide useful introductions to the literature on the country. (Truth in advertising: both reviews address our work, often with useful critical commentary.) We focus here mainly on books [...]
North Korea is often touted as a sui generis system. But interesting comparative lessons can be drawn from other Communist systems, even from paths not taken. We have posted before on some studies of Cuba that we thought were of interest, including an explicit Cuba-North Korea comparison by Jose Luis Leon-Manriquez. My colleague Richard Feinberg has [...]
We are always interested in new information on the opaque DPRK-China relationship. Adam Cathcart at SinoNK.com has done the service of assembling a quite remarkable 78-page dossier of every single thing that both parties said in the week or so following Kim Jong Il’s death; diplomatic messages from China at all levels, Chinese press coverage, [...]
It is a well-known fact in the NGO world that people are suckers for kids, and with good reason; they define our sense of the vulnerable. So it is not surprising that a coalition of Korean-Americans has sought to advance a bill that would ease the adoption of North Korean refugee children. The bill is [...]
We are now feeling guilty about coming down so hard on Mitch Reiss. As we noted in an earlier post on Romney’s foreign policy, the candidate had taken a generally centrist line with help from Scowcroft-style Republicans like our friend Elliot Cohen at SAIS. Mitch Reiss purportedly had the North Korea portfolio. We were concerned [...]
Thanks to Aiden Foster-Carter and Adam Cathcart for bringing this “fair and balanced” documentary on “The Great Successor” to our attention. Its in Korean, but the pictures are worth a thousand words (or 40,000 words in North Korean Won).