Political Tours: Visit North Korea with Professor Rudiger Frank

[How will North Korea change after Kim Jong Il’s death and the rise of his son Kim Jong Un? Will changes become visible to the casual observer traveling to Pyongyang during celebration of the 100th anniversary of DPRK founder Kim Il Sung this coming April? The British organizers of  Political Tours will take a group of not-so-casual tourists to see for themselves. They will be accompanied by CanKor Brain Trust member and economist Rudiger Frank in what is sure to be a fascinating educational experience. Although exact details are still being worked out, CanKor encourages its readers to consider joining this unique opportunity at an especially critical period of North Korean history. To do so, please get in touch with us, or register through the Political Tours website. Make sure you let them know you heard about it from us. –CanKor]

Political Tours – North Korea Tour – April 2012

In the wake of Kim Jung Il’s death, and questions hanging over the country’s future direction, Political Tours is organizing a tour to North Korea this April. The visit is being led Professor Rudiger Frank, head of Korean studies at the University of Vienna, and one of the world’s leading experts on North Korea.

It also coincides with the 100th anniversary celebrations of the birth of the country’s founder Kim Il Sung, an event that will have added importance following the death of his son at the end of December. Read the rest of this entry »

Kim Jong Il Dies…now what? by Chris Nelson

[The following is taken from the 19 December 2011 edition of The Nelson Report, with kind permission by the author. –CanKor.]

The body of DPRK leader Kim Jong-il lies in state at the Kumsusan Memorial Palace (Photo Reuters)

Our personal take is that uncertainty, and N. Korea, unfortunately always belong in the same sentence.

The Obama Administration must focus on two immediate problems: first, the obvious strategic risks created by the uncertainties… until it’s known if designated successor Kim Jong-on will be accepted by the power elites… the US, the ROK, Japan and China need to be ready for almost anything, so they need to be talking with each other;

Second, the Administration faces the problem of putting on hold, pending clarification of the obvious questions, what had increasingly started to look like a possible resumption of bilateral negotiations as a lead-in to possible resumption of the 6 Party nuclear talks.

It HAD been planned today to announce a massive food aid deal explicitly linked to nuclear/6PT issues, not humanitarian, so look to see if that goes ahead. The explicit strategic link to food, long overdue, is significant and bears scrutiny, if it takes place, since it heralds apparent White House acceptance of the link between weapons-related promises and benefits which it had been firmly resisting to this point, based on the DPRK’s record since the Bush Administration (Syria, HEU, nuke tests, Cheonan, etc.). Read the rest of this entry »

Alliance Politics: Legislating Hunger by Morton Abramowitz

[Another article on US food aid to the DPRK to be found on our Partner website 38North is authored by The Century Foundation’s senior fellow Morton Abramowitz, who is on the boards of the International Rescue Committee, the International Crisis Group, and Human Rights in North Korea. He was president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and has held numerous positions in the US Department of State, was ambassador to Turkey and Thailand, and served as assistant secretary of state for intelligence and research, and political adviser to the commander-in-chief, Pacific. Abramowitz argues that this is one issue on which the U.S. cannot afford to simply follow Seoul’s lead. Following are two excerpts from his article, which is worth reading in full. Link supplied below. –CanKor.]

The South Korean government should stop blocking American food aid to large numbers of their brethren in the North facing starvation. Read the rest of this entry »

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