“You have South Korea moving so quickly on these projects to push for reconciliation with North Korea, and in Washington you have people pushing for denuclearization before anything else happens,” said Jean H. Lee, director of the Wilson Center’s center for Korean history and public policy. “They have very different end games and very different time frames. It’s very problematic.”Read More
Though only a brief interaction, it was telling that the salute was included in the documentary, according to Jean H. Lee, a North Korea scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington.
“This is a moment that will be used over and over in North Korea’s propaganda as 'proof' that the American president defers to the North Korean military,” Lee said. “It will be treated as a military victory by the North Koreans.”Read More
NPR's Audie Cornish talks with North Korea expert Jean Lee about what daily life is like in the country and how much the average person knows about the upcoming summit between President Trump and Kim Jong Un.Read More
When President Donald Trump meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore, it will mark the coming together of perhaps the world’s most sealed-off and press-hostile autocrat with a president who frequently rages against the media, all in a country known for its repressive views on free speech.
Needless to say, journalists are concerned over what access will be granted at the historic meeting.Read More
Jean Lee joins host Margaret Brennan and Sue Mi Terry of CSIS to discuss the latest on North Korea on Face the Nation.Read More
Kim Jong-un has suddenly become the new popular leader in the political class of 2018.
After years in isolation, he has emerged as a powerful player. Leaders from China, Russia, Syria, South Korea and the US have all met or are due to meet Mr Kim this year.Read More
NPR's Ailsa Chang speaks with Jean Lee, Director of the Center for Korean History and Public Policy at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. She talks about what is known about the leaders of both North and South Korea, and what this summit means for both of them.Read More
There's reason for caution when it comes to expectations about North Korea, warns Jean Lee, director of the Hyundai Motor-Korea Foundation Center for Korean History and Public Policy at the Woodrow Wilson Center. Kim's understanding of "denuclearization" of the Korean Peninsula — a key U.S. goal — may be very different from what President Trump expects, says Lee.Read More
“Kim Jong-un is making it clear that he is no one’s ‘little brother’ — certainly not China’s. He wants to sit at the table with the United States.”Read More
The news that President Trump had accepted an offer to meet Kim Jong Un to talk about North Korean denuclearization took many people by surprise.
Thursday's announcement had come after nearly a year of rapidly increasing tension between the United States and North Korea, as Pyongyang made considerable leaps in its nuclear weapons program despite the Trump administration's “maximum pressure” strategy.
But this scenario may have been foretold. As Jeffrey Lewis, an expert on North Korea's nuclear program at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey has noted, there was a preview of a similar line of events — in a North Korean propaganda film aired years ago.Read More
To understand more about what North Koreans are watching and what the government wants them to think, we arranged a screening with Jean Lee, who became an expert in North Korean television when she worked as a journalist in Pyongyang.Read More
In order to learn more about Kim’s policy priorities and everyday life in the secretive kingdom, VICE News binges North Korean soaps with the Wilson Center’s Jean Lee.Read More
"The North Koreans won't have the same kind of access to the Olympics as we do. But if their athletes do well, they will certainly be celebrating it."Read More
Michel Martin asks North Korea expert Jean Lee, former Ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert, and former COO for the U.S. Olympic Committee Lt. Gen. Wallace Gregson about behind-the-scenes diplomacy.Read More
“As a young man in his mid-30s, Kim Jong Un must woo the next generation if he’s to rule for decades to come,” Lee told Fox News. “Sports and technology — two things all young people love — are part of that equation.”Read More
"Snowboarding just doesn't have the same exposure there, and she doesn't have the same accomplishments yet as someone like Yuna Kim," says Jean Lee, a global fellow at the Wilson Center, who previously served as Associated Press bureau chief in Pyongyang, North Korea. "But she has the potential. If she goes home with a medal, and I think she probably will, she'll become a huge star in South Korea."Read More
Political experts say there is much to be learned from the warship crisis 50 years ago that brought the Korean peninsula to the brink of a second war.Read More
I was just on a snowboarding trip with Jean and downloaded her brain for two hours (look out for that in a future article). - Jada Yuan, the New York Times' world travelerRead More
North Korean state media is often known for its bombast and fiery rhetoric. But spend some time watching North Korea’s televised dramas and soap operas, and you may be surprised to see that the country acknowledges some of its weaknesses, too.Read More
A group of women gossiping about the new neighbor. A feisty middle schooler using a homemade drone to prank his classmates. A young military officer seeking information from his past. These themes could be from any American TV show. But they are, in fact, storylines from a new wave of soap operas produced by the North Korean state.
Former AP journalist Jean Lee, now a Global Fellow at The Wilson Center, analyzed four of these North Korean soaps for a new research paper commissioned by KEI. In this episode of Korean Kontext, she discusses some of her observations, including a shift from emphasizing military service to emphasizing family ties and a focus on youth and the next generation of North Koreans - themes which may indicate some of Kim Jong-un's main domestic prioritiesRead More