BBC Radio 4: A Korean Thaw?

From bombs to Olympic banners: Can winter sports diplomacy stop a war in the Korean peninsula? North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un took the world by surprise with his announcement that his nation and South Koreawould unite under a single banner at the Winter Olympics. Was it a diplomatic masterstroke or a cynical stunt? Journalist Jean Lee pieces together what really led to this public relations coup. 

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KEI: Soap Operas and Socialism

Romance, humor, tension — everyone loves a good sitcom, even North Koreans. But in North Korea, TV dramas are more than mere entertainment. They play a crucial political role by serving as a key messenger of party and government policy. They aim to shape social and cultural mores in North Korean society. And in the Kim Jong-un era, they act as an advertisement for the “good life” promised to the political elite. 

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New York Times Op-Ed: Donald Trump is giving North Korea exactly what it wants

If President Trump thinks that his threats last week of “fire and fury” and weapons “locked and loaded” have North Koreans quaking in their boots, he should think again. If anything, the Mao-suit-clad cadres in Pyongyang are probably gleeful that the president of the United States has played straight into their propaganda.

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Wilson Quarterly: For North Korea, the War Never Ended

We in the United States often call the Korean conflict the “Forgotten War.” My high school history textbook in Minnesota devoted barely a paragraph to it, and growing up as the child of Korean immigrants, I knew almost nothing about a war my own parents survived as children. But the war is very much alive and present in North Korea, and the standoff with the United States figures prominently in their propaganda, identity, and policy. 

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New York Times Op-Ed: North Korea's Palace Intrigue

After the 14th-century Korean ruler Taejo, founder of the Joseon dynasty, chose the youngest of his eight sons to succeed him, a spurned son killed the heir apparent and at least one of his other half brothers and eventually rose to the throne. Today, rumors of royal fratricide are again swirling, this time around the court of Kim Jong-un, the ruler of North Korea.

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