It's been amusing to watch the speculation around Google Chairman Eric Schmidt's visit to North Korea. The question on every writer's mind is, quite simply, what was the purpose of the visit?
(Apologies to Roger Angell and Ian Frazier) Our weary planet's never-ending Trip around the Sun, now trending Toward its yearly consummation Beckons ...
Changing the terms of the debate about North Korea, and the division of the peninsula, will require creativity and imagination in the effort to generate feelings of connection and compassion between ordinary people in North and South Korea.
The idea of a unique set of "Asian values" that argued for compliance and conformity was briefly popular in the 1990s. But that was only a ruse to legitimize authoritarian regimes.
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.
While the Pentagon budget is long overdue for much-needed spending cuts, policy-makers looking for places to trim would be short-sighted if they don't recognize the need for an effective missile defense.
A cosmetic company in Gaza has launched a new perfume named M-75, after the new long-range missile designed by Hamas with Iranian assistance.
Obama is engaged in the latest round of political conflict at home, all too reminiscent of the tiresome campaign just past, while real conflicts brew in global hot spots.
A few weeks ago, I told a friend that I'd bet most North Korean soldiers would probably surrender for a few Big Macs and an iPhone 3GS. That's why the 2012 reboot of the 1984 cult classic Red Dawn strikes me as being so dumb.
The new Red Dawn isn't that much better than the original and doesn't make much more sense. About the only thing it doesn't do is make the imposing of Sharia law part of its package of horrors.
North Korean orphans are among the most vulnerable children in the world, especially those who have become refugees in neighboring countries like China, Mongolia, Thailand and other Southeast Asia, nations where they have no legal status.
If I could retain one image of North Korea, it would not be the tacky décor or the outrageously enjoyable circus or the million and one monuments or the flashing neon everywhere. It would be the shabby apartment buildings with the little flowerpots on each balcony.
Isolated from the locals by our keepers, ferried from one sight to the next, we long for a moment of freedom. Perhaps our handlers, veterans of other tours, are aware of our growing restlessness. After lunch, they take us to a city park. We are meant to keep together, but liberation makes us feral.
"We were victorious," our guide, who wears three stars on his shoulder, says, adding, "We have very powerful weapons. Though you in America are very far away, you are not safe... but don't be nervous."