Donald Kirk

Donald Kirk has covered the Far East since the 1970s for most major American newspapers and is currently based in Seoul, Korea.

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In walkup to G-20, a game of nuclear chess on the Korean peninsula

In walkup to G-20, a game of nuclear chess on the Korean peninsula

By Donald Kirk, East-Asia-Intel.com SEOUL — North and South Korea are playing a dangerous game of nuclear chess in which it’s hard to tell what’s more likely: another nuclear test or fresh talks on North Korea’s nukes. The nuclear give-and-take transpires amid the run-up to about the biggest event that Seoul has staged since the […]

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Could things get any worse for N. Koreans? Introducing the son of 'Dear Leader'

Could things get any worse for N. Koreans? Introducing the son of 'Dear Leader'

By Donald Kirk, East-Asia-Intel.com SEOUL — The face and physique don’t exactly bode well for the future of North Korea’s 24 million people – or for the region. Here is a kid who’s got to have the puffiest cheeks in his father’s fiefdom. He appears to have an incipient double chin and he’s showing signs […]

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Signs of tensions leading up to Pyongyang parley

Signs of tensions leading up to Pyongyang parley

By Donald Kirk SEOUL — Think of any scenario for next week’s conference in Pyongyang of the Workers’ Party of Korea, and you may be right. The ascension of favorite son Kim Jong-Un to a top party position? Certainly a strong possibility. A grand finale complete with declarations of the glorious future of the party, […]

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Young Kim's coming out is prime-time drama, North and South of the DMZ

By Donald Kirk WASHINGTON – The conference of the Korean Workers’ Party in Pyongyang is beginning to look like a non-event and its postponement is raising searching questions as to what’s going on inside the Hermit Kingdom. There’s speculation, fueled by a report on YTN, the South Korean cable news, that Dear Leader Kim Jong-Il […]

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Old Bush hand points new finger of blame on sinking of S. Korean ship

Old Bush hand points new finger of blame on sinking of S. Korean ship

By Donald Kirk QUANTICO, Virginia – North Korea has found an advocate in a most unlikely place for its claim of innocence in the sinking of the South Korean corvette the Cheonan on March 26. How about the former chairman and president of the Korea Society, a forum in New York for cultural events, news […]

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Carter's peace mission rewarded only with hostage release as Kim heads to China

Carter's peace mission rewarded only with hostage release as Kim heads to China

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter shakes hands with North Korea’s Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Kim Kye Gwan, at the airport in Pyongyang on Aug. 25. / Xinhua By Donald Kirk SEOUL – Kim Jong-Il could hardly have come up with a better excuse for snubbing former United States President Jimmy Carter and wife Rosalynn […]

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N. Korea, S. Korean 'Sunshine' leftists join forces against Lee's reunification plan

By Donald Kirk, WorldTribune.com SEOUL — Kim Dae-Jung would have loved it. On the first anniversary of the late South Korean president’s death on August 18, North Korea was denouncing the plan of the present, conservative incumbent Lee Myung-Bak for reunifying North and South as “ridiculous rhetoric”. The North Korean blast coincided with observances here, […]

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