Pyongyang Report

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The first issue of this newsletter was issued April 1999. It is published as frequently as time permits and is available on free email notification from

Following my retirement from university my website has been moved, and re-named as ‘Asia Geopolitics’. It is now at

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Vol 14, N2, 22 February 2012

2012: Turning point for the Korean peninsula?


Text only version

Illustrated version


Vol 14 N1, 24 January 2012

Delving deeper: Reflections on the response to the death of Kim Jong Il


Vol 13 N 2, 6 December 2011

Theatre of War: Smoke and mirrors on the Korean peninsula on the anniversary of the Yeonpyeong Incident


Vol 13 No 1 August 2011

Russian chess: Russia moves to use economics to promote peace in Northeast Asia (pdf)



Vol 12 No 1 December 2010

Fire fight at Yeonpyeong: the manufacturing of crisis (docx)

Fire fight at Yeonpyeong: the manufacturing of crisis (odt)

Fire fight at Yeonpyeong: the manufacturing of crisis (pdf)

Fire fight at Yeonpyeong; the manufacturing of crisis (html)



Vol 11 No 1 June 2009

Unravelling the geopolitics of the US-DPRK standoff (pdf)


Vol 10 No 1 May 2008


n  Pyongyang Report enters tenth year

n  Commentary: On the brink - Prospects for US-DPRK settlement dim, yet again

n  News Reports

n  US-DPRK negotiations and the curious Syrian affair

n  IT outsourcing in DPRK

n  NZ teacher returns to Pyongyang


Word version





Vol 9 No 4 October 2007


n  Invisible WMD – the effect of sanctions

n  2nd North-South summit; hopes and issues

n  Six party Talks re-open in Beijing

n  ‘Floods and the NZ response; donations to NZ Friendship Farm


Word version



Vol 9 No 3 July 2007


n  The February agreement – prospects and problems

n  Case of terror bombing of South Korean plane reopened

n  Bolton’s ghost haunts UN – vexatious charges against UNDP

n  ‘Swinging from the chandeliers - NZ-style teaching in Pyongyang


Word version



Vol 9 No 2 April 2007


n  The mysteries of US foreign policy, if there is one

n  The Banco Delta Asia affair – another case of fabricated charges?

n  Joint venture pharmaceutical company seeks aid business

n  More revelations about US Korean War massacres


Word version


Vol 9 No 1 March 2007

n  The Agreement to implement the Joint Statement – a search for quiet on the East Asian Front?

n  Text of the Agreement; reactions and analyses

n  Wolfgang Rosenberg dies

n  The gifting of a tractor to the Korea-NZ Friendship Farm


Word version


Vol 8 Nos 4&5

n  DPRK nuclear test – Bush’s godchild?

n  China brokers resumption of Six Party Talks

n  Japan moves further toward remilitarisation; nuclear weapons feared

n  Software outsourcing possibilities in North Korea


Word version


Vol 8 Nos2&3 July 2006

n  Reactions to DPRK missile tests

n  More doubts about counterfeiting allegations

n  Collapse of Pong Su case undercuts US narcotics claims

n  Investment and trade move ahead


Word version


Vol 8 No 1 January 2006

n  Counterfeiting concern over counterfeiting?

n  Friction builds between Washington and Seoul

n  North sends rice to South; first since aid in 1984

n  Inter-Korean trade hits $1billion in 2005


Word version


Vol 7 No 3 December 2005

n  Six Party Talks: from Breakthrough to Breakdown

n  Growing ROK exasperation with US policy over DPRK and talks

n  Anti-Avian Flu campaign in DPRK

n  Practical measures to help: The NZ-Korea Friendship Farm

Word version



Vol 7 No 2 August 2005

n  The Logic of Empire and the deadlock in the Six Party Talks

n  Bush Korea policy criticised at home and abroad

n  Nuclear dangers: US bombing of nuclear plant, Japanese remilitarisation

n  Disinformation from Washington and Tokyo

n  North-South software cooperation

Word version



Vol 7 No 1  March 2005

n  A new cold War in East Asia?

n  Echoes of Iraq: US ‘distorted’ uranium evidence

n  Chinese Foreign Minister, South Korean opposition leader call for US to negotiate with DPRK

n  Many refugees lured by money and false hopes

Word version



Vol 6 No 4  November 2004

n  The American election – what now?

n  Seoul tries to push US to talk, Pyongyang offers olive branch

n  US practised strikes, had secret nuclear weapons in SK in late ‘90s

n  More doubts on terrorism charge; was KAL flight blown up by SK agents?

Word version



Vol 6 No 3  June 2004

n  American impasse continues

n  Germany opens reading room in Pyongyang

n  Korean Civil Society groups attack US human rights bill

n  NZ and DPRK – a developing relationship

Word version


Vol 6 No 2  April 2004

n  Six Party Talks and US policy

n  Drug allegations looking increasingly dubious

n  NZ and DPRK – farm, festival and tourism study

n  Word version


Vol 6 No 1  January 2004

n  Doubts mount about enriched uranium allegation

n  Bush’s former North Korea envoy attacks administration’s NK policies

n  WFP calls for continued aid, rebuts charges of diversion


Vol 5 No 3  July 2003

n  The Washington-Pyongyang impasse continues

n  US war plans violate international law, armistice

n  Perry, Harrison, Weldon, scholars and religious leaders call for negotiations


Vol 5 No 2  May 2003

n  Fallout from the invasion of Iraq

n  US-DPRK relations – Agreed Framework to Beijing talks


Vol 5 No 1 March 2003

n  Bush under increasing pressure to negotiate

n  Roh Moo-hyun’s ‘Peace and Prosperity’ policy

n  Child malnutrition falls

n  DPRK ‘making mark in animation’

n  Not only reactors and rockets: Internet and cell phones in DPRK



Vol 4 No 5 December 2002

n  Roh Moo-hyun’s victory offers opportunities and challenges

n  Roh may pose dilemma to Bush

n  Experts call on US to negotiate with Pyongyang

n  Inter-Korea trade, software exports  up, banking strengthened

n  New DPRK ambassador to NZ



Vol 4 No 4 October 2002

n  Kelly visits Pyongyang – beginnings of a thaw?

n  Millions face food aid cut-off, WFP warns

n  Special zone established in Sinuiju; Kaesong next?

n  Japan moving to normalize relations, pay reparations

n  North-South relations warmed by sports ties


Vol 4 No 3 August 2002

n  Pyongyang defuses West Sea incident crisis, reinvigorates dialogue

n  Two Koreas celebrate Liberation Day together

n  Constructive engagement builds trust

n  Economic reform – learning from abroad

n  NZ-DPRK relations move forward



n  Vol 4 No 2 June 2002

n  Aid programme in danger

n  Washington frustrates Seoul, vexes Pyongyang

n  Refugees – Pawns in a wider game?



n  Vol 4 No 1 February 2002

n  Worldwide reaction to ‘Axis of  Evil’ speech

n  Seoul awaits Bush visit with apprehension and determination


n  Vol 3 No 5 December 2001

n  UN Appeal: Need for environment enabling transition to rehabilitation

n  Harvest up 38% but aid still required

n  Seoul rebuts US claims; Pyongyang signs anti-terrorism pacts

n  Afghanistan, Iraq…Next target Pyongyang?

n  NZ Ambassador to DPRK; Presbyterian invitation to Pyongyang



n  Vol 3 No 4 October 2001

n  N-S talks resume with renewed momentum

n  ROK Defence Ministry: No military build-up in North

n  DPRK condemns terrorism; calls for US to drop its hostile attitude

n  Selig Harrison and Joe Biden on NMD and Bush Korea policy

n  NZ Delegation to DPRK; Ambassadors appointed



n  Vol 3 No 3 June 2001


n  South Koreans urge Bush to contribute to Korean peace

n  ROK government pressures US with fighter deal

n  US resumes negotiations with DPRK

n  US university programme in Pyongyang

n  NGOs call for increased aid

n  NZ Delegation to DPRK

n  Vol 3 No 2 April 2001

n  US-Korean relations worsen; inter-Korean relations on hold

n  NZ and DPRK establish diplomatic relations

n  DPRK Foreign Minister to visit Australia

n  SPA signals conditional opening up


n  Vol 3 No 1 February 2001

n  Bush victory casts pall on Korean peace efforts

n  Kim Jong Il visits China – are new economic policies imminent?

n  Food situation worsens – WFP

n  British aid worker on working in DPRK


n  Vol 2 No 5 December 2000

n  Inter-Korean relations–second family reunions

n  US: Albright visit; Condoleezza Rice; Nogun Ri massacre

n  Food situation worsens: Congressman Hall; World Food Programme

n  Pyongyang: Computer expo, exam fever

n  Australian FM Downer visits Pyongyang

·         Vol 2 No 4 October 2000

n  Inter-Korean relations post Summit – family reunions lead the way

n  Kim Jong Il’s dialogue with South Korean media heads

n  DPRK buffeted by drought, typhoon: food situation difficult

n  DPRK foreign relations: NZ team in Pyongyang discussing recognition


·         Vol 2 No 3 August 2000

n  The Inter-Korean Summit

n  ASEAN Regional Forum; DPRK to establish relations with Canada, NZ

n  World Food Programme food supply report 24 July: Position still precarious


·         Vol 2, No 2 May 2000

o    Inter-Korean Summit

§  Overview

§  ROK announcement

§  DPRK announcement

§  Netizens send ideas to Kim for summit

§  NK to Step Up Presence in Int'l Bodies Via ARF Entry

§  Majority of S. Koreans Sees NK as Partner of Cooperation

§  May to bring about rapid political changes on Korean Peninsula

§  Summit success could be too much for US, Japan

§  Entrepreneurs Rush to Visit N. Korea

o    Australia, DPRK re-establish relations

o    Minister urges NZ link with N Korea

o    NZ Journal of Asian Studies special supplement


·         Vol 2, No 1 March 2000

o    Pyongyang's 'Diplomatic Offensive'

o    Other news: KEDO, Korean War, satellite TV, missile threat debunked


Eased U.S. sanctions makes North Korea confident: Japanese professor



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