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North Korea is one of the hardest targets for U.S. intelligence, and the country’s border closure since 2020 has only increased the difficulty. State propaganda remains one of the only ways to learn about the regime and what’s happening in the country.A former analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency, Soo Kim has been working to understand the K…
 
North Korea is one of the hardest targets for U.S. intelligence, and the country’s border closure since 2020 has only increased the difficulty. State propaganda remains one of the only ways to learn about the regime and what’s happening in the country. A former analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency, Soo Kim has been working […]…
 
North Korea is one of the hardest targets for U.S. intelligence, and the country’s border closure since 2020 has only increased the difficulty. State propaganda remains one of the only ways to learn about the regime and what’s happening in the country. A former analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency, Soo Kim has been working […]…
 
Growing up in an elite DPRK family, Seohyun Lee enjoyed privileges available to few other North Koreans. But that all changed during a study abroad trip to China, when she says a seemingly innocuous question from a taxi driver led to her “waking up from the matrix.” Then when a close friend of hers disappeared, […]…
 
Growing up in an elite DPRK family, Seohyun Lee enjoyed privileges available to few other North Koreans. But that all changed during a study abroad trip to China, when she says a seemingly innocuous question from a taxi driver led to her “waking up from the matrix.” Then when a close friend of hers disappeared, […]…
 
Growing up in an elite DPRK family, Seohyun Lee enjoyed privileges available to few other North Koreans. But that all changed during a study abroad trip to China, when she says a seemingly innocuous question from a taxi driver led to her “waking up from the matrix.” Then when a close friend of hers disappeared, she and her family were forced to esc…
 
North Korea is a small country, with a tiny economy and rigid political system, squeezed between much larger, richer nations. And yet its nuclear weapons allow it to dominate discourse about the region, give it a seat at the table with the U.S. and propel leader Kim Jong Un to front-page headlines. To Dr. Sung-Yoon […]…
 
North Korea is a small country, with a tiny economy and rigid political system, squeezed between much larger, richer nations. And yet its nuclear weapons allow it to dominate discourse about the region, give it a seat at the table with the U.S. and propel leader Kim Jong Un to front-page headlines. To Dr. Sung-Yoon […]…
 
North Korea is a small country, with a tiny economy and rigid political system, squeezed between much larger, richer nations. And yet its nuclear weapons allow it to dominate discourse about the region, give it a seat at the table with the U.S. and propel leader Kim Jong Un to front-page headlines. To Dr. Sung-Yoon Lee, assistant professor at the F…
 
In August, the U.S. and South Korea carried out large-scale field training exercises for the first time since 2018, while North Korea conducted a missile test for the first time in months. The DPRK declared “victory” over COVID-19 less than three months after reporting its first outbreak. And a South Korean man attacked the high-profile […]…
 
In August, the U.S. and South Korea carried out large-scale field training exercises for the first time since 2018, while North Korea conducted a missile test for the first time in months. The DPRK declared “victory” over COVID-19 less than three months after reporting its first outbreak. And a South Korean man attacked the high-profile activist an…
 
In August, the U.S. and South Korea carried out large-scale field training exercises for the first time since 2018, while North Korea conducted a missile test for the first time in months. The DPRK declared “victory” over COVID-19 less than three months after reporting its first outbreak. And a South Korean man attacked the high-profile […]…
 
How far should the U.S. go to protect its allies, and can South Korea do more to protect itself without outside help? Doug Bandow (@Doug_Bandow), a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, has spent decades considering this equation and has come to believe the U.S.-ROK alliance needs serious reimagination, starting with the withdrawal of U.S. […]…
 
How far should the U.S. go to protect its allies, and can South Korea do more to protect itself without outside help?Doug Bandow (@Doug_Bandow), a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, has spent decades considering this equation and has come to believe the U.S.-ROK alliance needs serious reimagination, starting with the withdrawal of U.S. troops fro…
 
How far should the U.S. go to protect its allies, and can South Korea do more to protect itself without outside help? Doug Bandow (@Doug_Bandow), a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, has spent decades considering this equation and has come to believe the U.S.-ROK alliance needs serious reimagination, starting with the withdrawal of U.S. […]…
 
Over the last four years, Jacco Zwetsloot has hosted 249 episodes of the NK News podcast, interviewing everyone from longtime Korea watchers and prominent defectors to Donald Trump’s point man for negotiations with Pyongyang. But the podcast’s 250th episode features a particularly special guest — the host himself. This week, Zwetsloot talks with NK…
 
Over the last four years, Jacco Zwetsloot has hosted 249 episodes of the NK News podcast, interviewing everyone from longtime Korea watchers and prominent defectors to Donald Trump’s point man for negotiations with Pyongyang. But the podcast’s 250th episode features a particularly special guest — the host himself.This week, Zwetsloot talks with NK …
 
Over the last four years, Jacco Zwetsloot has hosted 249 episodes of the NK News podcast, interviewing everyone from longtime Korea watchers and prominent defectors to Donald Trump’s point man for negotiations with Pyongyang. But the podcast’s 250th episode features a particularly special guest — the host himself. This week, Zwetsloot talks with NK…
 
Before the mid-1980s, North Korea and East Germany did not have the most robust relationship despite both being allies of the Soviet Union and their similar situations as the communist half of a divided country. That all changed when founding leader Kim Il Sung decided to host one of the largest events in North Korean history.In this episode of the…
 
Before the mid-1980s, North Korea and East Germany did not have the most robust relationship despite both being allies of the Soviet Union and their similar situations as the communist half of a divided country. That all changed when founding leader Kim Il Sung decided to host one of the largest events in North Korean […]…
 
Before the mid-1980s, North Korea and East Germany did not have the most robust relationship despite both being allies of the Soviet Union and their similar situations as the communist half of a divided country. That all changed when founding leader Kim Il Sung decided to host one of the largest events in North Korean […]…
 
July was a busy month on the Korean Peninsula. The South Korean government launched an investigation into the 2019 forced repatriation of two North Koreans. DPRK leader Kim Jong Un slammed ROK President Yoon Suk-yeol as a “military gangster.” And Pyongyang expressed willingness to send laborers to breakaway Ukrainian regions.This week, the NK News …
 
July was a busy month on the Korean Peninsula. The South Korean government launched an investigation into the 2019 forced repatriation of two North Koreans. DPRK leader Kim Jong Un slammed ROK President Yoon Suk-yeol as a “military gangster.” And Pyongyang expressed willingness to send laborers to breakaway Ukrainian regions. This week, the NK News…
 
July was a busy month on the Korean Peninsula. The South Korean government launched an investigation into the 2019 forced repatriation of two North Koreans. DPRK leader Kim Jong Un slammed ROK President Yoon Suk-yeol as a “military gangster.” And Pyongyang expressed willingness to send laborers to breakaway Ukrainian regions. This week, the NK News…
 
This week, NK News podcast host Jacco Zwetsloot returns to what some call “freedom’s frontier,” better known as the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating the two Koreas, for a special travelogue episode.Ret. U.S. Lt. Col. Steve Tharp. Ret. ROK Col. Jee Hong-ki, NK News founder and CEO Chad O’Carroll join the tour of the less-visited central border re…
 
This week, NK News podcast host Jacco Zwetsloot returns to what some call “freedom’s frontier,” better known as the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating the two Koreas, for a special travelogue episode. Ret. U.S. Lt. Col. Steve Tharp. Ret. ROK Col. Jee Hong-ki, NK News founder and CEO Chad O’Carroll join the tour of the less-visited […]…
 
This week, NK News podcast host Jacco Zwetsloot returns to what some call “freedom’s frontier,” better known as the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating the two Koreas, for a special travelogue episode. Ret. U.S. Lt. Col. Steve Tharp. Ret. ROK Col. Jee Hong-ki, NK News founder and CEO Chad O’Carroll join the tour of the less-visited […]…
 
Threat dynamics on the Korean Peninsula are rapidly evolving. North Korea has proven extremely capable in cyberspace, compromising sensitive systems around the world and stealing hundreds of millions of dollars in cryptocurrency. The DPRK’s armed forces are also adopting unmanned aerial vehicles and developing hypersonic missiles that present new c…
 
Threat dynamics on the Korean Peninsula are rapidly evolving. North Korea has proven extremely capable in cyberspace, compromising sensitive systems around the world and stealing hundreds of millions of dollars in cryptocurrency. The DPRK’s armed forces are also adopting unmanned aerial vehicles and developing hypersonic missiles that present new c…
 
Threat dynamics on the Korean Peninsula are rapidly evolving. North Korea has proven extremely capable in cyberspace, compromising sensitive systems around the world and stealing hundreds of millions of dollars in cryptocurrency. The DPRK’s armed forces are also adopting unmanned aerial vehicles and developing hypersonic missiles that present new c…
 
As Sweden’s ambassador to South Korea from 2018 to 2021, Jakob Hallgren saw firsthand as the pendulum shifted from hope and optimism about the future of inter-Korean relations to pessimism and doubt about whether Seoul and Pyongyang could ever reconcile. This week, Hallgren joins the NK News podcast to discuss his country’s role in diplomacy […]…
 
As Sweden’s ambassador to South Korea from 2018 to 2021, Jakob Hallgren saw firsthand as the pendulum shifted from hope and optimism about the future of inter-Korean relations to pessimism and doubt about whether Seoul and Pyongyang could ever reconcile.This week, Hallgren joins the NK News podcast to discuss his country’s role in diplomacy on the …
 
June was a busy month on the Korean Peninsula. The leaders of the U.S., Japan and South Korea met for the first time in nearly five years as Tokyo and Seoul began to repair ties. North Korea blamed ‘alien things’ like anti-regime balloons for spreading COVID-19 into the country. And top DPRK military officials adopted […]…
 
June was a busy month on the Korean Peninsula. The leaders of the U.S., Japan and South Korea met for the first time in nearly five years as Tokyo and Seoul began to repair ties. North Korea blamed ‘alien things’ like anti-regime balloons for spreading COVID-19 into the country. And top DPRK military officials adopted a major military action plan t…
 
Growing up in Kobe, Park Hyangsu lived in a world apart from most of the Japanese people around her. At school, her teachers spoke Korean. In the classroom, portraits of North Korean leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il hung on the walls. For educational field trips, students traveled to the DPRK. This week, […]…
 
Growing up in Kobe, Park Hyangsu lived in a world apart from most of the Japanese people around her. At school, her teachers spoke Korean. In the classroom, portraits of North Korean leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il hung on the walls. For educational field trips, students traveled to the DPRK.This week, Park joins the NK News podcast to discuss …
 
When the war in Ukraine broke out earlier this year, Russian leader Vladimir Putin justified his country’s invasion as an effort to “denazify” its smaller neighbor, a striking claim given that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is Jewish. Moscow has also compared its “special military operation” to the fight against Nazi Germany in World War I…
 
The assassination of Kim Jong Nam, Kim Jong Un’s older half-brother who was at one time believed to be in line to succeed their father, stands among the most shocking episodes of the current leader’s decade in power — all the more so for the manner in which it was done. According to reports, DPRK agents tricked two women into smearing VX nerve agen…
 
From 1959 to 1984, some 93,000 ethnic Koreans voluntarily left Japan to go live in the DPRK. Driven away by discrimination in Japan, and lured by promises of free housing and health care in socialist North Korea, these migrants would arrive in a country far different from the “Workers’ Paradise” that they had been promised. And once there, it wasn’…
 
In late May, Korea Risk Group hosted a special three-day conference on South Korea’s east coast for NK Pro subscribers and other North Korea watchers. Called the East Coast Exchange, the event featured expert presentations, vibrant discussions and ample time for networking, as well as a unique opportunity to view the DPRK’s Mount Kumgang from South…
 
North Korea has rapidly expanded its cyber capabilities over the last decade, from marginal operations focused on distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks to large-scale cyberwarfare capable of compromising hardened networks and stealing hundreds of millions in cash and cryptocurrency. Perhaps the most widely known of the DPRK’s cybercrime orga…
 
When North Korea imposed strict pandemic border controls in Jan. 2020, the country simultaneously closed its door to international tourists and suspended a growing industry that brought in hundreds of thousands of travelers in 2019 alone. Yet while it’s unclear when the country will reopen, there’s still one way to explore North Korea as a tourist …
 
Two and a half years into the global COVID-19 pandemic, North Korea reported its first outbreak on May 12, with cases of “fever” quickly surpassing a million. How prepared is the DPRK to fight the spread of the virus and will the country finally accept foreign aid?This week, NK News and NK PRO founder and CEO Chad O’Carroll (@chadocl), lead corresp…
 
Several North Korean statues and other works of art are scattered across the African continent, a persistent presence that demonstrates North Korean influence in the region. While these works are often narrowly interpreted by the outside world as illicit revenue streams for Pyongyang, researcher OneJoon Che says North Korean art and sculptures cann…
 
A four-hour ferry ride from South Korea’s west coast takes one to a remote island so far north that it seems like it would be in North Korea. Yet Baengnyeong Island remains, improbably, a part of the South, and this far-flung location on the country’s frontier has been at the center of several important events in inter-Korean history — including th…
 
The U.S. and South Korea have been trying to solve the North Korea nuclear issue for decades, yet Pyongyang continues to advance its weapons programs. This week, Christopher Green joins the podcast to talk about the past few years of diplomacy, missile tests and how to analyze the goings-on in the DPRK with a critical eye.Christopher Green (@Dest_P…
 
North Korea celebrated the 110th birthday of Kim Il Sung in grand fashion last week, with thousands of pom-pom-waving citizens spelling out the founding leader’s name in massive characters, as a large float bearing a bronze statue of his likeness paraded across the square in central Pyongyang now named for him. It was a testament to the longevity o…
 
The Yongbyon complex located some 60 miles north of Pyongyang has been the center of North Korea’s nuclear program for decades, producing fissile material for multiple nuclear weapons tests. As the DPRK has not allowed independent experts to visit the site for years, analysts now pore over satellite imagery to divine the status of enrichment activi…
 
A unique characteristic of North Korean life is that almost all citizens must be a member of an organization. This begins at a young age, when kindergarten students learn to bow in unison to portraits of the country’s leaders. It ramps up in adolescence through participation in the Boy and Girl Scout-like Korean Children’s Union. And it continues i…
 
North Korea tested one of its biggest weapons for the first time in years last week, launching a long-range missile that soared 15 times higher than the international space station before splashing down in waters west of Japan. The DPRK soon claimed that it fired a Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), with state media airing a dram…
 
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