Over at Foreign Policy …

Professor Sung Yoon Lee and I have a piece up discussing the world’s next, almost-certain-to-be-lost opportunity to respond to North Korea more effectively than having Susan Rice continue to beat her cranium against the Great Wall of China at the Security Council.  It’s a blend of Professor Lee’s prognostications about what the North will do next, and some of the financial constriction ideas I’ve been pushing as one of those Three C’s.

I’ll say this about FP — it’s certainly a great place to find an audience that isn’t, erm, accustomed to reading that sort of proposal, which makes me all the more appreciative that they decided to publish it.  I’m sure the comments will be just … fascinating.

I want to offer my sincere thanks to Professor Lee for his co-authorship, without which I doubt FP would have given this serious consideration.  Admittedly, there are many people who share his linguistic head start toward understanding the pathology of North Korea; very few who are his equal in judgment, intellect, and knowledge; and none who can communicate that understanding so cogently to those of us who aren’t Korean.  Honestly, I think his English is actually several levels better than mine.  That’s what makes him such a unique resource.

Update:  Here’s Prof. Lee saying many of the same things in 2009.


  1. Its “KIm Jeong Il” not bil..

    NK’s human right issue….the issue easily misused politically. ni As you were in S Korea,I belive you may know the history of division of Korean peninsula. They are one people and long cold war and geopolitics enabled what N Korea is now.

  2. Whether your prescription is right or wrong, those comments on the FP piece show how limited the average person’s understanding of the North Korean economy is. Interesting that Felix Abt entered the fray too.

  3. Not only the ‘average person’, but even people who have ‘engaged’ with NK and purport to know better than others…

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