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Trilateral this, trilateral that but in Northeast Asia, three’s a crowd

The Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat is in Seoul. Above is the Gangnam section of the South Korean capital.

Special to By Donald Kirk, SEOUL — The word “trilateral” has a certain allure among those in search of ways to pull disparate nations or regions together. A group of three might cooperate while a group of two might form an alliance and fight the third one, the odd man out. Rather than [...]

Posted in BB Columnists,China,Columnists,COMMENTARY,Donald Kirk,Exclusives,Japan,NE Asia,South Korea,Top Stories | Read More »

S. Korean president makes case for ‘roadmap’ to unification in Dresden, Germany

South Korean President Park Geun-Hye proposes "roadmap" to reunification on March 28 at the Dresden University of Technology.  /AP

Special to South Korean President Park Geun-Hye said an ‘economic bonanza’ would result from the unification of North and South Korea. Park used her trip to the former East German city of Dresden to unveil a package of proposals calling for bolstering exchanges with North Korea to lay the groundwork for reunification of [...]

Posted in BB NE Asia,Exclusives,Intel Brief,Life,NE Asia,North Korea,South Korea,Top Stories | Read More »

In quest of the perfect insult: Fun and games for N. Korean linguists

South Korean President Park Geun-Hye and German Chancellor Angela Merke in Berlin on March 26. Parallels between German and Korean unification is not an amusing prospect for N. Korean propagandists. /Yonhap

Special to By Donald Kirk, The people who write for the Korean Central News Agency in Pyongyang must be having fun. How else can you account for some of the great turns of phrase that show up in the English-language versions of their harangues? It wasn’t enough that the KCNA quoted an otherwise [...]

Posted in BB Columnists,Columnists,COMMENTARY,Donald Kirk,Exclusives,Life,NE Asia,North Korea,South Korea,Top Stories | Read More »

Oliver Stone and anti-U.S. priest agree: Military base would be a curse on lovely Jeju island

Oliver Stone at Jeju International Airport on Aug. 2, 2013.

Special to By Donald Kirk, JEJU ISLAND, South Korea – The protest against building a South Korean navy base off the shore of a pleasant village on the southern coast of this “island of peace” by now seems a little tiresome. No way will the hardy band led by priests and pastors stop [...]

Posted in China,Columnists,COMMENTARY,Donald Kirk,Exclusives,Life,NE Asia,North Korea,South Korea,Top Stories,U.S. Military | Read More »

Topping the list of North Korean psychological tortures: Divided families

South Korean Park Yang-gon, left, and his North Korean brother Park Yang Soo are briefly reunited on Feb. 20.

Special to By Donald Kirk, The North Korean propaganda machine is nothing if not super-skilled at emitting conflicting signals. One day they’re castigating the U.S. and South Korea for military exercises, and the next they’ve dropped the subject and are entertaining a bunch of elderly South Koreans at a reunion with their long-lost [...]

Posted in BB NE Asia,Columnists,COMMENTARY,Donald Kirk,Exclusives,Life,NE Asia,North Korea,South Korea,Top Stories | Read More »

Iraq awards $6 billion refinery contract to S. Korean consortium


Special to BAGHDAD — Iraq has awarded South Korea a contract for the construction of a refinery. Officials said the Baghdad government awarded a contract to a South Korean consortium for a refinery in the southern province of Karbala. The 54-month engineering, procurement, and construction contract, valued at $6 billion, was awarded to a [...]

Posted in BB NE Asia,Exclusives,Iraq,Mideast,NE Asia,South Korea,Top Stories | Read More »

Suddenly, Japan and most of East Asia are currying favor with India

South Korean President Park Geun-Hye meets with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Jan. 16.

Special to By Miles Yu, India’s longtime low profile in East Asia is ending. The world’s largest democracy is being vigorously courted by virtually all the countries in the volatile and dynamic region. In the past decade, Vietnam, the Philippines and Burma have moved significantly closer to India. But in the last two [...]

Posted in BB Backgrounder,Exclusives,India,Intel Brief,Life,Mideast,NE Asia,South Korea,Top Stories | Read More »

The revolutionary who sought to stop, but may have hastened Japan’s annexation of Korea

Seoul’s Ahn Jung-geun Memorial Hall

Special to By Donald Kirk, Nowhere does the phrase, “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter,” apply more precisely than to Ahn Jung-Geun. Whether you call him a “terrorist,” as do the Japanese, or a heroic Korean revolutionary, as he is viewed in Korea and China, Ahn goes down in history for [...]

Posted in BB NE Asia,Donald Kirk,Exclusives,Life,NE Asia,South Korea,Top Stories | Read More »

The NSA: Ominous and omniscient maybe, but what are the real bad guys up to?

Guardian/OJO Images/Rex Features

Special to By Donald Kirk, WASHINGTON — Everybody here is talking about cyberspying. The National Security Agency has never had so much publicity. Until Edward Snowden came along, most people had never heard the initials “NSA.” Now President Obama is getting into the act big-time. In the hours after this newspaper comes out [...]

Posted in BB Americas,Donald Kirk,Exclusives,Life,NE Asia,North Korea,South Korea,Stateside,Top Stories,U.S. Intelligence | Read More »

S. Korea extends its air ID zone in blow to China’s anti-Japan strategy


Special to South Korea on Dec. 8 announced the extension of its air defense identification zone [KADIZ] to cover the Ieodo rock that was under the Chinese ADIZ coverage and disputed by the two countries. China’s Nov. 23 announcement of the establishment of an ADIZ was deemed “unacceptable” to South Korea. President Park [...]

Posted in BB NE Asia,China,Exclusives,Intel Brief,NE Asia,South Korea,Top Stories | Read More »

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