Kim Jong-Il’s Libyan Solution for his Bomb

The frozen US$25 million  in funds from Macau’s Banco Delta Asia -- the fulcrum of the US-North Korea denuclearization pact – reached a Russian bank Saturday, according to the Associated Press, clearing the way for inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency to head for North Korea to inspect the country's Yongbyon nuclear facility, which is…

North Korea – Back to the Talks

The road to forcing Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear weapons program is littered with so many landmines that it is much too early to celebrate despite North Korea’s belated collection of the US$25 million that had been blocked in a Macau bank. In fact, the road to denuclearization is just beginning. According to US assistant…

Tracking the North Korean Supernote

As Chinese cities go, Dandong, on the border with North Korea in Liaoning province, is strictly small change. A place notable mostly for the Sino-North Korean “Friendship Bridge” which spans the Yalu River and is memorialized as the only Chinese target bombed by U.S. forces during the Korean War. At night the current bridge is…

Some Korean Lessons for Iran

It is time for the Great Satan to talk to what is left of the Axis of Evil. This is the great lesson of recent movement on the Korean nuclear question. The Iraq war will go down in history as the least excusable big-power blunder since Hitler invaded the Soviet Union. By comparison, the six-year…

North Korea Strikes a Deal on Nukes

Five months after it conducted an underground nuclear test that sent shockwaves around the world, North Korea has agreed to a landmark deal with the United States and other powers, including China and Russia, to halt the operation of the main nuclear reactor at the heart of its atomic weapons program. The agreement, if followed…

North Korea Pushes the West’s Buttons

With the United States and North Korea on the threshold of striking a new deal under which Pyongyang would halt its development of nuclear weapons in exchange for aid and diplomatic normalization with the US and eventually with Japan, North Korea is back at its old tricks, throwing up last-minute demands that opposing negotiators are unwilling…

Are North Korea’s Reform Bottles Half-Empty?

In the basement entertainment center of the luxurious Yanggakdo Hotel in Pyongyang, there is a bowling alley and a cocktail bar. A row of expensive liquor bottles stand reserved for their owners, their amber contents glowing in the light just as one would find in affluent Seoul or Tokyo. But this is austere North Korea…

Smells Like Kim Spirit

Jumpin’ Jong-il Flash, is a gas, gas, gas?   North Korea is not known for its rock and roll but they do have accordions... Well, maybe. If a Korean-French national who makes his home in London and swears allegiance to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has his way, Pyongyang is gonna flat rock, this…

Did US diplomatic blunders trigger the North Korean bomb?

For Chinese academics in Beijing, US President George W Bush has only his own administration to blame for the nuclear test that North Korea announced on October 9, shocking the world and particularly the Asian region.  While the political debate rages across much of the United States, these academics say the answer is clear from…

Taking Away Kim Jong-Il’s Nuclear Toys

Most of the world is now preoccupied with getting the North Korean genie back in the bottle – trying through the threat of sanctions to force Kim Jong-Il to abandon his nuclear program.  So far, Kim has resisted all attempts to rein him in.  With Japan having instituted a unilateral complete blockade of North Korea…