[KS] RE: ABC and Pyongyang

Rüdiger Frank rfrank at koreanstudies.de
Thu Jun 9 03:10:48 EDT 2005


concerning real, concrete change/reform: this is what I and a growing 
number of colleagues keep emphasizing since at least autumn 2002 (after the 
7.1 reforms and the Kim-Koizumi summit). Some more knowledgeable analysts 
started pointing at the changes already in 1998 (new constitution, 
restructuring of governmental organization and functions). In South Korea, 
this optimistic (and, as I would argue, realistic) view now seems to be the 
mainstream opinion and the reason why surveys in the ROK indicate a reduced 
NK threat perception - despite the of course remaining serious concerns 
about a number of issues, including security and the humanitarian question. 
Please take a look at some of my writings on that matter (list and links 

As for media reports, I am not sure about live coverage. However, also 
since 2002, it appears to be increasingly easier to report from NK. There 
is a plethora of often quite interesting documentaries made/commissioned by 
European companies such as ARTE. As a matter of fact, North Korea still 
perceives Western journalists as having kind of official status, even if 
they work for a private media company, so their treatment is part of the 
overall diplomatic approach towards their respective home country. My 
impression is that you have to be in the right place at the right time, 
i.e., there are times when the leadership tends to be more open to requests 
my (certain) foreign media, and sometimes they simply refuse everything. 
The level of receptiveness seems to differ according to country of origin. 
Europeans had it quite easy in autumn 2002, and now - who knows - there 
seems to be a positive attitude towards teams from the U.S. The latter 
would be nice. Many people are working hard for this. It's also great that 
finally, a broader audience in the U.S. might get a chance to understand 
that there are promising non-military options to resolve the tense 
situation on the Korean peninsula. In this context, since you are based in 
the States, you might want to get in touch with my friends and colleagues 
from the Alliance of Scholars Concerned about Korea (ASCK, see 


Ruediger Frank

Pukhanùi Pyònsin: Kyòngje Pyònhwawa Sasangjòk Twit’patch’im (North Korean 
Transition: Economic Changes and Ideological Backup)

North Korea: Gigantic Change and a Gigantic Chance,
Nautilus Institute Policy Forum Online 03-31, May 09, 2003, 

The End of Socialism and a Wedding Gift for the Groom? The True Meaning of 
the Military First Policy,
NAPSNET Special Report and DPRK Briefing Book (Transition), Dec. 11th, 

The New Image of Kim Jong-il: The First Step towards a New Leadership Model,
Nautilus Institute Policy Forum Online 04-49 B, Nov. 19th, 2004, 

Failure or Success of a Hybrid System? Nautilus Institute Policy Forum 
Online 05-11a, Feb. 10, 2005, 

A New Foreign Policy Paradigm: Perspectives on the Role of South Korea as a 
Nautilus Institute Policy Forum Online 03-35 A, April 25th, 2005,

Pukhanùi Kyòngjejòk, Inyòmjòk Chònhwan: Pop’yònjògin Wòllidùlgwa 
Kuch’ejògin T’ùkchingdùl (Economic and Ideological Transition in North 
Korea: Universal Principles and Specific Features), in: Korea National 
Strategy Institute Hyònanjindan (Diagnosis of Pending Problems) No. 6, May 
2005, pp. 1-16, see http://knsi.org/bbs/view.php?id=politics&no=108

At 08:56 08.06.2005 -0700, you wrote:
Dear List Members:
This morning on ABC news, world correspondant Bob Woodruff reported "LIVE 
from the Secret Kingdom" in Pyongyang.
  See Link: http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/International/story?id=828300

Has this ever happened before?  I don't recall reading or witnessing a live 
report by an American news company.  What does this symbolize?
Could there be real, concrete change/reform going on in North Korea?

Tracy Stober
MA-International Studies-Korea
Univ. of Washington-Seattle

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Ruediger Frank
East Asian Political Economy
University of Vienna, East Asian Institute
AAKH Campus, Hof 5.4, Spitalgasse 2-4
1090 Vienna, Austria
Phone: 	+43-(0)1-4277 43822
Fax: 		+43-(0)1-4277 9438
Cell phone:	+43-(0)699-19229 802
email:		ruediger.frank at univie.ac.at

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