When experienced reporter Jean Lee took on the role of AP bureau chief in Seoul, she was asked to establish a bureau in North Korea’s capital, Pyongyang.
The task, which seemed almost impossible, became even less certain when the Supreme Leader, Kim Jong Il, disappeared.
Jean managed to open the news bureau in 2012, and was witness to the momentous change brought to North Korea by Kim Jong Il’s death. 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
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
We binge-watched North Korean soap operas to learn more about Kim Jong Un's policy priorities and everyday life in the secretive kingdom. See it on VICE News Tonight, 7:30 on @hbo Read More
Leading experts on North Korea discuss the challenges surrounding North Korea's nuclear and missile capabilities. What does North Korea want, and what leverage does the U.S. have? How close to nuclear war are we? Read More
In the South Korean capital Seoul, Trump will find people who have lived with that reality for decades.
"It's crucial for Trump to show that he's willing to defend and protect South Korea because there's a lot of questions and concerns on the part of South Koreans about his commitment to that alliance, and that has fed fears here in South Korea that they may be abandoned," said Jean Lee, a global fellow at the Wilson Center and former Pyongyang bureau chief for The Associated Press. Read More
All eyes will be on President Trump as he heads to Asia next week, with seething tensions over North Korea topping his diplomatic agenda. Global Fellow Jean H. Lee says that while Pyongyang’s neighbors are accustomed to anxiety about the nuclear threat, the temperature – and the stakes – are only continuing to rise: “It’s not the first time that we’ve had this fever. That said, we need this fever to subside.” Differences between the U.S. president and his South Korean counterpart, the Kim regime’s strategy, and China’s current calculations are also discussed in the latest edition of Wilson Center NOW. Read More
Where in the world is Kim Han Sol? Jean Lee @newsjean Wilson Center speaks to @gordongchang on the John Batchelor Show about the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's half-brother that has sent the slain man's son into hiding. Read More
Jean Lee, a fellow at the Wilson Centre, said it was "not the right time" for Tillerson to engage with his North Korean counterpart.
"The US and its allies will be looking for some proof and concrete steps taken by the North Korean side to show that they are willing to discuss a freeze or step back from the nuclear provocations, before they even begin discussing engagement," she told Al Jazeera from Seoul, South Korea's capital. Read More
"There are concerns that North Korea could respond with more defiance: further tests of missile technology that would get the regime close to its goal of mounting a nuclear warhead on an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) — or another nuclear test," echoed Jean H. Lee, global fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and former Pyongyang bureau chief at the Associated Press. Read More
Today on War College, Lee walks us through her time in the Pyongyang and shares her thoughts on the recent nuclear detonation, and well as the country’s tumultuous relationship with China and love for Disney. Read More
Earlier this year, David Guttenfelder, chief Asia photographer for the Associated Press, along with Jean H. Lee, AP bureau chief in Seoul, were granted unprecedented access to parts of North Korea. The pair made visits to famous sites accompanied by government minders. They were also allowed to travel into the countryside accompanied by North Korean journalists instead of government officials. Though much of what the AP team saw was certainly orchestrated, their access was still remarkable. Read More