Actions Speak Louder Than Words in Trump’s Foreign Policy Agenda 

Since he famously strolled down the escalator at Trump Tower to announce his unlikely bid for the American Presidency, most foreign capitals have been wondering what to make of Donald Trump.  Is he an isolationist or someone who cavalierly threatens war?  Is he the world-renowned businessman who will make a deal with anyone, or is he someone who underappreciates long-time friends and allies?  The answer, as is typical in foreign affairs, is complicated. As foreign diplomats in Washington, D.C. navigate their relationship with the United States of America, they should keep in mind that America maintains core interests that...


The ‘Wonders’ of North Korea or 15 Things You Did Not Know About the Hermit Kingdom

For the past year or so whenever the subject of North Korea comes up (and it does quite a bit especially when you work on a great program like the U.S. Congress – Republic of Korea National Assembly Exchange Program), folks always ask me what was it like going there, how did I get to go there in the first place and why, and is it that weird as the media portrays it. Aside from the Korean experts I had the privilege of getting to know over the years, most younger folks get their news about North Korea from...


“The Interview” vs. The Real North Korea

After a lot of back and forth and even after President Obama weighed in, Sony decided to release, as scheduled, the movie The Interview. Over the long holiday break, I was able to watch it from the comfort of my own living room! As I mentioned in a previous post, having traveled to North Korea in the summer of 2012, I was curious to see how closely the movie portrayed the reality of the country. I will not comment here about the artistic or the cinematic value of the film. I’m not a movie critic. Plenty others have done it, and I’ll agree with most that it was indeed hilarious. I’ll therefore limit my observations to a comparison of the North Korea I’ve seen on the ground with the one shown in the movie. Continue  

Thoughts on “The Interview” and North Korea

Truth be told, I was looking forward to the premiere of The Interview this Christmas season. And it’s not because the buzz surrounding the hacking of Sony, in what seems to be a direct act of retaliation for financing and producing this movie. It wasn’t even because of all the media attention the movie got as a result of this controversy. And most certainly, it was not because of the artistic value one may find in certain cinematic creations – which was probably not the case here anyway. I simply wanted to see the movie because I was curious to see how realistic the movie portrays the reality of North Korea. Continue