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behind the korean curtain

North Korea has made the news frequently during the past year, first with missile tests and then with a charm offensive. Some commentators doubt the sincerity of this upsurge in diplomatic gestures that the hermit kingdom recently extended to both South Korea and the United States.

After a failed April 5th satellite launch, a May 25th underground nuclear detonation, and July 4th ballistic missile tests, North Korea claims peaceful motives.

Having detained Asian-American journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee in March and then sentencing them to 12 years of hard labor, Kim Jong-il waited for Bill Clinton's 20-hour August 4th visit to free the captive reporters.

Northeast Asia moves ever-so-slowly towards a conclusive end to the Korean War, which concluded with a mere armistice agreement in 1953. But North Korea refuses to resume six-party talks that could facilitate a viable peace treaty. Will South Korea, along with Russia, China, and Japan, move towards full reunification of the Koreas? And will the U.S. pursue better relations with the world's most isolated country?

Worldfocus explores the geopolitics of a Communist regime that exercises near total control over its population of 23 million. Multimedia producer Ben Piven recently visited North Korea, and he reports on the situation inside for the Worldfocus six-part multimedia series Inside the Hermit Kingdom

Behind the Korean Curtain

North Korea suspected in cyber attack on U.S., South Korea

Interview (video)

North Korea suspected in cyber attack on U.S., South Korea

North Korea is being implicated in a cyber attack over the July 4 weekend. The attack brought down several major American and South Korean Web sites at least temporarily. Keith Epstein of BusinessWeek discusses who is behind the cyber attacks and what the consequences will be.

Posted: July 8, 2009 12:40   Comments: 1
North Korean defectors face grueling journey to escape

Video

North Korean defectors face grueling journey to escape

PBS Wide Angle takes a look at North Korean defectors' perilous trek to freedom, a grueling 3,000-mile journey through China and into southeast Asia.

Posted: July 1, 2009 10:28   Comments: 0
Iran v. North Korea, on and off the field

Pivotal Power (blog)

Iran v. North Korea, on and off the field

After North Korea recently beat Iran in a World Cup soccer match, Worldfocus blogger Nina Hachigian describes how the two countries match up in terms of censorship and subjugation.

Posted: June 22, 2009 09:45   Comments: 1
Week in review: Iranian election and N. Korean leadership

Week in Review

Week in review: Iranian election and N. Korean leadership

Carol Giacomo of The New York Times and Gideon Rose of Foreign Affairs magazine discuss the top stories of the week. They look at the election in Iran and changing leadership in North Korea, where two American journalists were also sentenced to 12 years of hard labor earlier this week.

Posted: June 12, 2009 18:11   Comments: 4
U.S. in a game of carrots and sticks with North Korea

In the Newsroom

U.S. in a game of carrots and sticks with North Korea

North Korea's capture and conviction of two American journalists couldn't have come at a worse time, writes Worldfocus anchor Martin Savidge, as the U.S. tries to ensure their safe return while simultaneously pressing North Korea on nuclear containment.

Posted: June 11, 2009 10:42   Comments: 1
North Korea sentences U.S. journalists to 12 years

Interview (video)

North Korea sentences U.S. journalists to 12 years

North Korea has convicted two U.S. journalists of illegal entry and crimes against the nation, sentencing them to 12 years in a labor camp. Leon Sigal of the Social Science Research Council discusses the Obama administration's approach to North Korea and how the journalists factor into the equation.

Posted: June 8, 2009 11:13   Comments: 1
Just when you hoped North Korea would be reasonable…

Pivotal Power (blog)

Just when you hoped North Korea would be reasonable…

After North Korea sentenced two American journalists to 12 years of hard labor, Worldfocus blogger Nina Hachigian writes that the confrontation between the U.S. and North Korea is going to get worse before it gets better.

Posted: June 8, 2009 10:30   Comments: 3
North Korea’s frail leader chooses a successor

Interview (video)

North Korea’s frail leader chooses a successor

South Korea's national intelligence service reports that North Korean leader Kim Jung-il has chosen a possible successor -- his third son, Kim Jong-un. John Park of the United States Institute of Peace discusses the significance of the announcement.

Posted: June 2, 2009 16:04   Comments: 3
Camouflaged and silent, my patrol in the DMZ

In the Newsroom

Camouflaged and silent, my patrol in the DMZ

As North Korea continues to test the resolve of the international community by conducting weapons tests, Worldfocus anchor Martin Savidge writes about going on patrol with U.S. troops in 2006 while reporting from the demilitarized zone separating North and South Korea.

Posted: May 29, 2009 14:38   Comments: 6
Week in review: North Korea tests and the Middle East

Week in Review (video)

Week in review: North Korea tests and the Middle East

Leslie Gelb of the Council on Foreign Relations and Warren Hoge of the International Peace Institute discuss the week's top stories: North Korea's nuclear testing and the Middle East peace process.

Posted: May 29, 2009 12:18   Comments: 1
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