After more than 30 years of humanitarian aid operations in some of the world's most dangerous and/or autocratically-run places, I felt that it was at least worth a try to see what access an international NGO could have to people in need.
It would be prudent for those who assert that Kim Jong-Un is merely spreading his military wings in a peacock-like manifestation of fancy to realize that that responding to his rhetorical and comical displays is counterproductive.
North Korea, which has always been a place of equality and freedom, fears all may be lost, thanks to a new sketch comedy video that has surfaced early this week.
The North Korean leadership has used its nuclear program for theatrical purposes from the very beginning. It has relied on the spectacle of rocket launches and covert nuclear facilities to keep the attention of its foreign and domestic audiences.
In North Korea, the images of the Great Leader Kim il Sung and the Great General Kim Jong il are everywhere. This is not a Soviet-style cult of personality. Leader-worship here is a full-fledged religion.
The comedic gags with spilled ashes and a dancing corpse are one thing. They are meant to be humorous. However, we should remember the ethic of respecting the dead.
The death of North Korean leader, Kim Jong-il, who died a month ago, interestingly looks like a continuation of what has swept many countries who are ...
If anything has become clear in the weeks following Kim Jong Il's passing, it is that regime collapse is not in the cards for North Korea.
As North Koreans mourn the death of Kim Jong Il, and the world wonders what the future holds with his 20-something untested youngest son set to take control of a nuclear nation, my thoughts return to a somewhat unlikely visit to a country like no other.
Let's face it. While the deaths of Hussein, bin Laden, Gaddafi, and the recent passing of Kim Jong Il have been good news for democracy they have really been terrible blows to the echelons of theatrical world leaders.
South Korea toiled its way out of dire poverty four decades ago, creating an economic miracle. Equally industrious, determined North Koreans could do the same today, if given half a chance.
As long as Kim Jong Il's policies remain in force, the North's future remains dismal. The U.S. should watch for glimmers of reform while backing away, allowing South Korea to deal with whatever emerges in Pyongyang.
The death of Kim Jong-il and the installation of his son Kim Jong-un as North Korea's new "Supreme Leader" has the internet abuzz with speculation as to why Jong-il's other sons were passed over for the position.
The big photo of Kim Jong Il reminds me of the Chinese funeral processions I witnessed as a child, weaving slowly down Powell Street. There would be a fancy hearse carrying the recently deceased, and the blown-up portrait would be propped on top of the car.
The decision by the United Nations to lower its flags to half-mast for the death of Kim Jong Il is a vulgar and all-too-predictable display of that global body's immorality.
One of the least understood aspects of network interaction concerns negative social capital and links between dictators -- what I would call "dirty networks."