Torture: An All-American Nightmare

Torture: An All-American Nightmare

If you look backward you see a nightmare. If you look forward you become the nightmare. There’s one particular nightmare that Americans need to face: in the first decade of the twenty-first century we tortured people as national policy. One day, we’re...
Marching Orders for Japan’s Reactionaries

Marching Orders for Japan’s Reactionaries

This article is part of a weekly FPIF series on the Obama administration’s “Pacific Pivot,” which examines the implications of the U.S. military buildup in the Asia-Pacific—both for regional politics and for the so-called “host”...
Baby Scooping “Stateless” Children

Baby Scooping “Stateless” Children

Actress Sandra Oh has taken on a new starring role: North Korean adoption activist. In a public service announcement for the Korean American Coalition’s Topple Hunger in North Korea (THINK) program, Oh pulls heartstrings for the rescue of North Korean children...
Reinforcing Washington’s Asia-Pacific Hegemony

Reinforcing Washington’s Asia-Pacific Hegemony

In the coming weeks and months, Foreign Policy in Focus will run weekly features on the Obama administration’s military “pivot” to the Asia-Pacific region, examining both its geopolitical impacts and the response from regional civil society groups....
Environmentalists Stifled in Jeju

Environmentalists Stifled in Jeju

On September 2, Dr. Imok Cha, a 51-year old San Francisco-based pathologist boarded a plane headed to Jeju Island, South Korea, where she was to present new findings at the World Conservation Congress of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the...
Korea and the U.S. Elections

Korea and the U.S. Elections

It’s election time in the United States, and once again Washington doesn’t care about Korea. I realize that this is a difficult pill for Koreans to swallow. Koreans naturally believe that, since Korea is at the heart of East Asia and East Asia is at the...
Environmentalists Miss Chance to Protest Base

Environmentalists Miss Chance to Protest Base

On July 5, South Korea’s Supreme Court overturned lower court rulings against the Ministry of National Defense for proceeding with construction of a naval base on Jeju Island without an environmental impact assessment (EIA). It also ruled that the governor of...
South Korea: Stuck in the 20th Century?

South Korea: Stuck in the 20th Century?

South Korea is at the cutting edge of global technology. It is one of the most wired countries, and its biggest cities have the fastest Internet connections in the world. Whether it’s cell phones or genetic engineering, Korean scientists and companies set the...
Tall Tale about Special Forces in North Korea?

Tall Tale about Special Forces in North Korea?

A classified Pentagon document leaked to me in 1984 may shed some light on a U.S. general’s outlandish claim last week that U.S. Special Forces, along with their South Korean counterparts, have parachuted into North Korea in search of human intelligence on the...
The Accidental Experts

The Accidental Experts

Scattered across the globe, far from the staid conference rooms and policy salons of Washington, are some of the world’s premier experts on U.S. militarism. But they are neither the warzone refugees who have most borne its brunt nor the polished think tank...
Iraq and the Limits of U.S. Power

Iraq and the Limits of U.S. Power

“Washington has lost a valuable opportunity to nurture and support a key counterweight to Iranian influence among Shiites in the Arab world,” lament Danielle Pletka and Gary Schmitt of the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute in an op-ed for the...
Raw Trade Deals

Raw Trade Deals

My good job Has flown away; Lost it to N- A-F-T-A. After years of debate and delay, Congress finally passed those free-trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama. There go 159,000 more jobs that we’re likely to lose to Seoul after the Korean deal...
Resuming Contact with North Korea

Resuming Contact with North Korea

On February 24, representatives from the United States and North Korea will meet for the first time since talks halted following the death of Kim Jong-il in December. Shortly after talks broke off, the two sides were reportedly close to brokering a deal that would...
South Korea Cracks Down on Dissent

South Korea Cracks Down on Dissent

On February 8, the South Korean National Intelligence Service (NIS) raided the Seoul and Incheon offices of the South Korean NGO, Solidarity for Peace and Reunification in Korea (SPARK) for violating the National Security Law (NSL). The NIS also searched the homes of...
A Korean Spring?

A Korean Spring?

As 2011 came to a close, the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il took the world by surprise (including the CIA which, like the rest of us, only learned of his passing 48 hours later). Given the dearth of understanding about North Korea in the West, the media...