Korea Snapshot — 27MAR2018

Mike Bassett
Mar 27, 2018 · 5 min read
North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, left, and U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton, right. (Getty/Fox)


- US, South Korea may cut exercises short for Trump — Kim summit: Report | Military

- U.S. military plans evacuation drill at same time as war games with S. Korea | Stars and Stripes

- Retired U.S. Army general, foreign affairs chair eyed for U.S. envoy to South Korea | Korea Times


- North Korean media calls on U.S. to abandon ‘futile’ unilateral sanctions | NK News

- Interview with John Bolton: Trump-Kim talks to be ‘a very short meeting’ if Pyongyang won’t discuss denuclearization | RFA

- Human rights should be on the agenda for a possible Trump-Kim Jong-un meeting | KEI

- Fox News Poll: Voters approve of Trump meeting with North Korea | Fox News

- North Korea ‘in talks to free U.S. detainees’ as diplomacy escalates | Gulf Times


- The Blue House says it has the right to shut down critical media outlets, such as Ilbe, for libel | Choson (Korean)

- ‘No need to be thankful’ (the making of an attitude that’s creeping through South Korea) | NewDaily (Korean)

- Analysis: Pres. Moon stresses need for denuclearization, establishment of peace on the peninsula | Hankyoreh

- Moon proposes extending term limits | WSJ

- Lee becomes fourth ex-president to be arrested for corruption | Yonhap

- Moon shines over Asia — and far beyond | Korea Times


- North Korean defector: If you have money, you can do anything | Al Jazeera

- North Korean authorities sell restricted TV channel to residents for cash | DailyNK

- Lectures urge North Koreans to remain firm in resolve to possess nuclear weapons | DailyNK

- Chinese man accused of espionage dies in North Korean labor camp | DailyNK

- Prominent building in Pyongyang defaced with anti-regime graffiti | DailyNK

- Inspections tighten on Moscow-Pyongyang rail line after weapon found in bag | RFA

- Vietnam halts trade with North Korea and refuses work permits to N. Korean laborers | VOA (Korean)

- ‘We are ready to die’: Five North Korean defectors who never made it | NYT

- [VIDEO] North Korean trader drowns in icy Yalu River during crackdown on private smuggling | DailyNK

- Singapore cancels all NK work permits | VOA (KOREAN)

- ‘Paranoid’ Kim Jong-un orders North Korea citizens to take handwriting tests to find graffiti vandal | Mirror


- 1,000,000 people died during the Korean War. This is the forgotten story of how it started | National Interest

- Summit announcements encourage cautious optimism among South Koreans | KEI

- New pro-North Korean leaflets praising nuclear program appear in Seoul | NK News

- South Korean song becomes hit in North Korea after Samjiyon Orchestra Olympic performance | Daily NK

U.S., ROK and JAPAN:

- Japan’s security alliance dilemma | Diplomat

- S. Korea, U.S. and Japan vow unrelenting fight against N. Korea’s illicit trade | Yonhap

The CJKR (China, Japan, Korea and Russia):

- Japan will also have a chance to normalize relations with North Korea | Dong-a Ilbo

- How Beijing weaponizes ‘comfort women’ as propaganda tool | Asia Times

- Chinese customs confiscate North Korean shipment of metal wire deemed ‘dual-use material’ | DailyNK

- Moscow’s mixed response to U.S. arms in Asia | EAF

- How North Korea’s Russian citizens voted in Sunday’s Presidential elections | NK News

- Russia wants to build a bridge to North Korea | WaPo

Expert Commentary:

- Mike Bassett argues that Bolton’s selection as National Security Advisor will force the North Koreans to take negotiations seriously | Asia Times

- Dr. Andrei Lankov argues that Trump’s military threats and Maximum Pressure campaign has worked | RT YouTube

- Renewed economic ‘self reliance’ goals in NK insufficient to overcome sanctions, say experts | DailyNK

- Michael Singh offers advice to Trump for a summit with Kim Jong-un | Foreign Policy

- Bradley Martin argues that North Korea’s diplomatic efforts are just another con job | Asia Times

- Lankov: Denuclearization would be mass suicide | Blue Today (Korean)

- Hong Seok-hyun: Can North Korea become pro-American? | JoongAng

- B.R. Myers: Portrait of an ally as an intermediary | Sthele

- Tim Shorrock: Moon’s peace gamble has paid off | Nation

- Fyodr Tertitskiy: ‘A big gap between what Pyongyang wants and what Beijing is willing to give’ | NK News Pro

Security & Intelligence:

- The dirty secret of American nuclear arms in Korea | NYT

- Russian perspective on Korean denuclearization | LobeLog

- If Kim Jong-un gets rid of his nukes, he’s basically signing his own death warrant | Business Insider

- European Parliament in ‘secret’ talks with NK | Telegraph

- Kim Jong-un signals commitment to nuclear development, orders tight lid on activities at Yongbyon | DailyNK

- North Korea’s Pyunggyi-ri Nuclear Test Site: Significant Slowdown in Tunneling | 38North

- NADA General Satellite Control Building | 38North

- Quick Takes: Sohae Satellite Launching Station Remains Quiet | 38North

- Ships owned by sanctioned company still visiting South Korea | NK News

- How NK is run: the Supreme People’s Assembly | NK News

- Why we must break the Syria-North Korea WMD trade, and how we can | Free Korea

- New U.S. fighter jets offer a message to North Korea and China | NBC

- Bolton: The legal case for striking N. Korea first | WSJ

- North Korea and the problem of managing emerging nuclear powers | Lawfare

- N. Korea’s cyber troops hack the world for cash | Nikkei

- Why the U.S. might accept a nuclear N. Korea | WaPo

- N. Korean sanctions evasions reveal Hong Kong’s middle man role | NYT

- John Bolton: Surrender is Not and Option | PIIE

- How inter-Korean rapprochement affect information dissemination efforts | NK News

Geopolitical Shifts:

- How John Bolton’s appointment could shape U.S. North Korea policy | NK News Pro

- S. Korea could hold trilateral talks with N. Korea and U.S., Moon suggests | NK News

- Trump sticks two thumbs in China’s eye | CNN

- Kim Jong-un visit’s Beijing ahead of Trump summit | FT

Policy, Research & Think Tanks:

- Special Report: North Korea’s Shackled Economy | NCNK

- Sanctions and the Summit: Coordination Challenges for the Trump Administration | 38 North

- North Korea and The Art of the Deal | Asia Society

- General Brooks testimony before the Armed Services Committee | U.S. Senate

- Finding a diplomatic solution to the N. Korean crisis | Aspen Institute, Stanford

- Intelligence Beyond 2018: A conversation with CIA Director Mike Pompeo | AEI

Save the Date:

- Association for Asian Studies 2018, Washington, D.C., March 22–25 | AAS

- Artists of two Koreas to perform together April 3 in North Korea | Yonhap

- SPA will meet on April 11 | NKLW

- Songs for the ‘Great Leaders’: Ideology and Political Agitation in the Music of North Korea April 19 | Korea Institute, Harvard University


- Fake North Korean beer brewed in China to evade sanctions | Telegraph

- Chinese traders hope for a return to North Korea | RFA

- North Korean solar imports drop to lowest level in years | NK News Pro

- North Korea’s new east coast tourist resort: who is it really being built for? | NK News Pro

- The perils and pitfalls of NK opinion polls | NK News

- ‘The Great Transformation’: Snapshots of North Korean life in the 1970s | NK News

- Interactive data-driven infographic website shows North Korea’s bilateral diplomatic, economic, multilateral, humanitarian etc. relations with the rest of the world | NorthKoreaInTheWorld.org

- North Korea digital atlas | 38 North

Mike Bassett

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Mike Bassett served his country honorably as a soldier, contractor and civil servant from 1998–2018 in many Inside-the-Beltway and overseas positions.