Censorship Human Rights Sports

The media fawning over North Korea’s Censor-in-Chief is indefensible, yet they still defend it.

A MEDIA CRITICISM OF DONALD TRUMP that weighs more heavily than their predictable policy and tribal differences with him is that his tepid repudiation of racists like David Duke and Richard Spencer “normalized” some of America’s most deplorable people. It’s going to be much harder for the Washington Post to make that charge stick after …

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Capitalism China & Korea Class Warfare Japan & Korea Resistance

How Kim Jong-un, China & the autumn gales set a death trap for North Korea’s fishermen

By now, you’ve probably seen the ghastly reports of boats from North Korea washing up against the Japanese coastline with the desiccated or skeletal remains of their crews. You’ve probably also read reports speculating about why. This post will sift through dozens of those reports, discard the theories that the evidence refutes, and assemble the …

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Diplomacy Korean War II

Korean War II: What the Joint Statements tell us about Pyongyang’s strategy

“To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.” – George Orwell On June 15, 2000, Kim Dae-jung and Kim Jong-il signed a joint statement agreeing to seek “independent” reunification and an inter-Korean coalition government. It was not the first joint statement between North and South. This relatively modest one from 1972 …

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China & Korea Money Laundering Sanctions

Cash & credit squeeze hits China-North Korea trade

One of the more maddening tropes I see in reporters’ coverage is a question that’s usually presented as dispositive to the success of sanctions: “Will China cooperate?” For reasons I’ve already explained and don’t have time to repeat today, I always answer that question by asking what the questioner means by “China.” The point being: …

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Africa Regime Change

The crocodiles of Pyongyang: A remembrance of Zimbabwe & thoughts on the fall of tyrants

The man who terminated the 37-year misrule of Robert Mugabe last week and then took his job is a general named Emmerson Mnangagwa with a history as ominous as his nickname: “the Crocodile.” Long one of Mugabe’s most ruthless cronies, Mnangagwa’s resume includes leading Zimbabwe’s feared Central Intelligence Organization and dispatching the North Korean-trained Fifth Brigade to Matabeleland …

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Arms Trafficking Money Laundering Shipping sanctions

Treasury Dep’t hits Sun Sidong, N. Korea’s maritime smuggling & mineral exports

Here at OFK, we’ve chronicled a curious fact that few professional foreign policy scholars have noticed: China is opposed to unilateral sanctions, except when it isn’t. Last week — barely a week after President Trump returned from Beijing — he gave Xi Jinping something to oppose. OFAC designated Dandong Kehua Economy & Trade Co., Ltd., …

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Defectors NK Military

Dramatic video shows North Korean soldier’s defection; doctor says he will survive

The U.N. Command, which stands face-to-face with the Korean People’s Army (NKPA) at the Korean DMZ, has released footage of the defection last week of an NKPA soldier right through the so-called-but-not-really-that-at-all Joint Security Area, or JSA: The video shows the soldier, who may have been the driver for an NKPA general, hauling ass toward …

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Terrorism (NK)

Most journalists still have no clue why Trump listed N. Korea as sponsor of terrorism yesterday

Yes, the news coverage of President Trump’s decision to put North Korea back on the list of state sponsors of terrorism was lazy and terible, but not in the ways I expected it to be. .@POTUS: Today, the United States is designating #NorthKorea as a state sponsor of terrorism. pic.twitter.com/ElRsoYJv0V — Department of State (@StateDept) …

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Korean War II

S. Korean Unification Minister: Hey, maybe Kim Jong-un would use his nukes to reunify Korea under his rule

Atypically, the most unserious person in a left-wing Korean administration turns out not to be its Unification Minister. In an interview with Jonathan Cheng, the Wall Street Journal’s Seoul Bureau Chief, Cho Myoung-gyon concedes that Pyongyang may indeed have grander ambitions than defending itself against the Yankee hordes: Mr. Cho also said that he was …

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Luxury Goods Money Laundering Sanctions Southeast Asia

Singapore’s trade ban with North Korea yields more questions than answers

At first glance, this looks like the State Department’s biggest coup yet in its campaign of progressive diplomacy against Pyongyang. “Singapore will prohibit all commercially traded goods from, or to, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK),” the city-state’s customs said in the notice sent to traders and declaring agents last Tuesday, referring to the …

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