Next up on Kim Jong Un’s diplomatic checklist: Vladimir Putin.
The summit itself comes as no surprise. After all, Russia has long been a traditional, if largely absentee, ally of North; a Kim-Putin meeting was long overdue.
It’s the timing that is significant. Kim, in a visit heavy on symbolic ties of friendship, will be seeking to shore up Russian support in the face of tough nuclear negotiations with the United States. Kim has acknowledged to his people that relations with the United States remain tenuous, and will be looking to reassure his people that their traditional relationships remain intact. Read More
Both men have unfinished tasks. Kim needs to establish some sort of reconciliation with the United States so that his country can move on from the Korean War and focus on building North Korea’s emaciated economy. Trump needs stronger commitments on denuclearization in order to back his claim that North Korea no longer remains a nuclear threat.
But there is a risk to rushing headlong into this second summit, as they did the first, without adequate preparation. Read More
This week’s summit in North Korea between Kim Jong Un and South Korea’s Moon Jae-in was packed with milestones and camera-ready moments, as the two leaders made another show of Korean unity in their third meeting this year. Read More
There’s no denying it: This was a historic handshake. It’s the first time the leaders of North Korea and the United States — two countries that remain locked in a state of war — have held a summit.
To see President Trump and Kim Jong Un shaking hands warmly and chatting so easily was both stunning and chilling. It’s a powerful moment that augers a change in the tense relationship between these two countries. But it also legitimizes the path Kim took to get here: Building and testing illicit nuclear weapons that have the potential to wreak unimaginable destruction. Read More
Simply by landing in Singapore in a 747, Kim Jong Un is doing something his late father, Kim Jong Il, never did: fly to a foreign country. And now we are seeing him interact with foreign leaders in real time, away from the bubble and protection of North Korea’s tightly controlled state media. It’s a remarkable moment for a country long called the Hermit Kingdom, and part of a carefully crafted strategy designed to make sure he continues to capture and captivate international media attention. Read More
Fleeing war in North Korea in 1951, my aunt and her siblings scrambled aboard an American cargo ship pulling away from port, her parents and grandmother shouting their names to keep track of them in the chaos of the evacuation. They made it. But their grandfather stayed behind in Wonsan to protect the family property.
He thought his family would return. They never saw him, or the rest of their family in North Korea, again.
As the leaders of North Korea, South Korea and the United States discuss denuclearization and a possible peace treaty to formally end the Korean War of the 1950s, I wanted to check in with my aunt, a child of the war who was born in North Korea, and her millennial daughter Euni Cho, who grew up in democratic, thriving South Korea. Read More
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. Read More
North Korea’s participation in these Olympics runs the risk of rewarding bad behavior and handing Mr. Kim a diplomatic victory that he will brandish as proof that his strategy was right. Still, we have to start somewhere after so many years of tension. Read More
Photos and video by Jean H. Lee from North Korea's Masikryong ski resort in Kangwon, Province, taken in January 2014. South Korean skiers are slated to train in North Korea as part of the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics. Read More
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. Read More