South Korea’s Unification Ministry has requested funds to beef up its resettlement facilities for defectors from the North -- as the number of refugees arriving from its destitute neighbor keeps climbing. A Worldfocus contributing blogger discusses the chronic unemployment among 16,000 North Koreans now living in the South.
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
Part 1 of 6 in our Inside the Hermit Kingdom multimedia series. In August, Worldfocus web producer Ben Piven traveled to the 2009 Arirang Games in Pyongyang, North Korea. The socialist mass games performance features 100,000 performers and runs six nights a week for over two months.
China has a close trading relationship with Iran, and its support will be key in any effort to impose new sanctions against the country. John Delury of the Asia Society's Center on U.S.-China Relations discusses China's willingness -- or lack thereof -- to go along with sanctions.
Nikhil Deogun of The Wall Street Journal and David Andelman of the World Policy Journal discuss the week's top stories: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's tour of Africa and her husband's mission to North Korea to secure the release of two American journalists.
American journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee are finally back on American soil, freed after a surprise visit to North Korea by former President Bill Clinton. Charles Armstrong of Columbia University discusses North Korea's motives in releasing the two Americans.
Two American journalists, Euna Lee and Laura Ling, have been pardoned by North Korea after former President Bill Clinton made an unannounced visit to the country and held a series of high-level talks. Thomas Whalen of Boston University discusses Clinton's mission.
Worldfocus blogger Nina Hachigian argues that the decision to send former President Bill Clinton to North Korea to negotiate the release of the two Americans held there, Euna Lee and Laura Ling, was a smart move. The two have reportedly been pardoned.
While nothing much came from the Strategic & Economic Dialogue between the U.S. and China, writes Worldfocus blogger Nina Hachigian, perhaps it's not a coincidence that the very first time China has publically enforced sanctions against North Korea was happening at the same time.