ABC national radio in Australia: North Korea from the Inside

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.

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'Wild card' Trump heads into North Korea's line of sight

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. 

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Al Jazeera: US, South Korea laud new UN sanctions on Pyongyang

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.

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CNBC: North Korea sanctions could trigger more missiles and test US-China ties

"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.

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