• Thu
  • Nov 27, 2014
  • Updated: 9:01pm


Kitschy kitschy coup

THINK NORTH KOREAN art and you might imagine towering statues of the country's 'eternal president', Kim Il-sung, who died in 1994. Or perhaps social-realist murals urging workers to achieve ever greater feats of Stakhanovite-like industrial output.

Sunday, 5 September, 2004, 12:00am

Thanks, but no thanks

Being visually challenged, I look at the world much as North Korea's leader Kim Jong-il undoubtedly does - with a quizzical frown of confusion. Is that fast-moving red and white blur coming in my direction an exocet missile or merely the pizza delivery guy?

20 Aug 2004 - 12:00am

Credibility test

It is doubtful that anything will be achieved from the six-nation conference on North Korea's nuclear ambitions that ran from Wednesday to yesterday in Beijing.

Belligerent sabre-rattling by the communist regime in Pyongyang has shown its leaders for what they are, a bunch of ego-centric nutters who do not really give a damn about the world.

30 Aug 2003 - 12:00am

Pyongyang's puzzle

If North Korea's plan this weekend was to sow confusion through the world's media, it succeeded.

19 Nov 2002 - 12:00am

A time for level heads

North Korean watchers will tell you that theirs is the most inexact of crafts. The hermit state that is the world's last Stalinist regime defies accurate scrutiny, clouded by rumour and propaganda on all sides.

20 Oct 2002 - 12:00am

Yang Bin's arrest threatens $19b project

In a painting on the ceiling, angels and dancers frolic before a Roman villa beneath a deep-blue sky.

Below stands a grand piano surrounded by tableaux of Amsterdam's canal-lined streets, the water clear and sparkling.

6 Oct 2002 - 12:00am

Mobile phones the enemy in North's battle to keep control

THE SCENE IS a smoke-filled room in the Yalu River Hotel, a dingy hostel in Sinuiju, North Korea, across the river from the Chinese city of Dandong.

Several foreign journalists have invited their government minders to a game of pool, washed down by sweet local beer, the only entertainment left at 10 o'clock in the evening, to wash away the mutual irritations of the day.

30 Sep 2002 - 12:00am

Politics condemn Pyongyang to 'dirty seven' list

Normalisation of ties between the US and North Korea could prove to be one of the long-term victims of President George W. Bush's war on terrorism.

31 Oct 2001 - 12:00am

Ray of sunshine

North Korea's plea to reopen talks with Seoul 'as soon as possible' is welcome news, though a note of caution is wise when considering the latest Pyongyang statement about anything. But it appears the north has heeded advice from its best foreign friends and is replacing recent bluster with a more diplomatic attitude towards its next-door neighbour.

3 Sep 2001 - 12:00am

Caution required

SLOWLY but not yet surely, the enigmatic regime of North Korea is joining the real world.

23 Jul 2000 - 12:00am

Old habits die hard

North Korea's approach to the outside world - following decades of self-imposed isolation - is undergoing some remarkable changes. But so far its autocratic regime is not ready to reverse one policy which has paid off handsomely in recent times, that of blackmail diplomacy.

13 Jul 2000 - 12:00am

Ray of sunshine

It would be premature to assume that the governments of North and South Korea will soon resolve their many differences, despite the historic meeting set for June. But their planned summit is remarkable, perhaps the most significant political development on the peninsula since the Korean War ended in 1953.

11 Apr 2000 - 12:00am


North Korea has decided to open its controversial consulate in a Wan Chai tower with harbour views and near offices of mainland organisations.

A Japanese legislator has raised fears the Hong Kong authorities might turn a blind eye to illegal activities at the consulate to avoid upsetting China's close ties with North Korea.

27 Dec 1999 - 12:00am

Frozen North

The best thing that can be said about North Korea's supposed agreement with the US to freeze a threatened missile test is that it may mark a useful first step towards a more lasting accord.

The US says Pyongyang has promised not to conduct any tests so long as negotiations continue. Since no deadline has been set, these could drag on for years.

15 Sep 1999 - 12:00am

Envoys to be kept apart

OFFICIALS hope to keep North and South Korean diplomats from meeting at government-hosted cocktail parties and dinners to avoid tension between the envoys whose nations remain technically at war.

The arrival of four diplomats from Pyongyang on August 31 has prompted SAR officials to draw up guidelines for handling the representatives.

12 Sep 1999 - 12:00am