Vietnamese watch men wrestle for a ball during the traditional “Vat Cau” or ball wrestling festival on the fifth day of Tet, Vietnam’s Lunar New Year celebration. On his trip to Hanoi, Kim Jong-un may be shocked to discover just how capitalist Vietnam has become. Photo: AFP
Donald Kirk
Opinion

Opinion

Donald Kirk

If communist Vietnam can thrive on capitalist enterprise, why not North Korea?

  • Donald Kirk says aside from a meeting with Donald Trump, Kim Jong-un’s trip to Hanoi may open his eyes to the possibility of unleashing the entrepreneurial spirit in a tightly controlled society, at no risk to his grip on power

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Vietnamese watch men wrestle for a ball during the traditional “Vat Cau” or ball wrestling festival on the fifth day of Tet, Vietnam’s Lunar New Year celebration. On his trip to Hanoi, Kim Jong-un may be shocked to discover just how capitalist Vietnam has become. Photo: AFP
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Donald Kirk

Donald Kirk

Donald Kirk is an author and journalist from Washington, D.C., and travels to South Korea, with stops in London, India, Pakistan, the Middle East, Japan, Hong Kong and the Philippines, among other places, writing on the confrontation of forces in the post-September 11 era. He was the Seoul correspondent for the International Herald Tribune from 1997 to 2003. Before gravitating to Northeast Asia, he covered much of the Vietnam War for the Chicago Tribune and the Washington Star. He has also written books on Korea, notably Korea Betrayed: Kim Dae Jung and Sunshine and Korean Dynasty: Hyundai and Chung Ju Yung.