north korea

While tensions remain high between the United States and North Korea, the relationship is more cordial between their scientists....Scientists from both nations are collaborating via nongovernmental organizations and universities on projects ranging from tuberculosis research and deforestation issues to digital information technology.

North Korea's cultural diplomacy started during the Korean War and has not changed a great deal since that time. The mission has always combined a Stalinist style ruler-worship with, more practically, a way to press for foreign donations for the impoverished county.

Can North Korea capitalize on this with a new push of cultural diplomacy fronted by its musicians? Its Unhasu Orchestra are wrapping up their high-profile visit to Paris and they performed Wednesday last week. The eventwas unique in many ways; it is the first time this orchestra and most of it’s members have played abroad...

A North Korean and a French orchestra performed a landmark concert on Wednesday, adding a note of harmony to long-standing tensions between the isolated nation and the West. Most of the 90 North Koreans musicians — many under age 30 — were performing with a Western ensemble for the first time.

For all the American fascination with Asia, for all the media focus and the political emphasis on its rising powers, most of us still don't really understand how its societies work, how they're different from us and from one another. As long as we're willing to believe rumors like this one and spread them so widely, there's going to be a lot more that's lost in translation.

January 29, 2012

Flashy pop culture figures and sports icons may not negotiate an armistice or prevent war, but they could be valuable levers to get top diplomats into the right place at the right time while lowering the stress of high-stakes diplomacy.

With the vast majority of North Koreans not having access to the Internet, such initiatives are aimed solely at an international audience. Those who have do have Internet access connect through the “Kwangmyong,” essentially an isolated national Intranet...

Fresh economic initiatives, supplemented by cultural, educational and humanitarian exchanges, could encourage restraint by North Korea. Despite gunfire and nuclear construction, Pyongyang has continued to support North-South commercial cooperation through the free trade zone...