Sources of Information on Korea

With the rise of fake news, it is difficult to find good sources for news and analysis of current events.  Korea is no different.  This page will offer good resources beyond my own blog on information regarding North and South Korea.  The first section is a collection of good online sources that are devoted to Korea, as well as some op-eds and articles from a variety of outlets.  The second section is a compilation of recommended books and scholarly articles on Korea.  Hopefully, all this information useful.  I promise to constantly update this page to ensure it has up-to-date sources.  I constantly read these sources and all links are placed here due to the veracity of source material, any link does not constitute an alignment of opinion or solicitation from the source.



Yonhap News Agency: South Korea’s premiere news agency offering a lot of really good articles and does a very good job updating breaking news.  An amazing first stop for anything Korea–politics, culture, North Korea.  Does a wonderful job at staying relatively neutral and reporting the basic facts.

Korea Times:  A conservative newspaper in South Korea.  Is a very good source of information, but covers the economy and businesses in South Korea very well.  Tends to be my go-to source for economic news out of South Korea.

Korea Herald:  Another more conservative paper in South Korea.  Tends to have good all-around reporting, but really excels with cultural and social reporting.  A good stop for some catching up coverage on Korea.

HanKoryeh:  A liberal Korean paper which really excels at holding the government–especially conservative ones–to account for policy.  Does a very good job covering social issues in Korea.  A very good stop for a more diverse range of opinions on social and political stories.

The Chosun Ilbo:  A more conservative newspaper/agency out of South Korea.  Has some very good coverage on political issues through Korea.  A really good stop for news articles and opinion pieces on a wide variety of issues on the Korean peninsula.

DailyNK:  One of the few news sites with a focus on North Korea.  Part of Unification Media Group, DailyNK is a very good source for news coming out of North Korea that is not North Korean state media.  Also offers wonderful analytic pieces which can help create a fuller image of the news coming from the regime.  Recommended for anyone looking to gain a clear image of what is going on inside of North Korea.

Analysis, Reports, and Source Material

38NorthA site run by the Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies that offer good in-depth analysis of North Korea.  It offers short analysis pieces and even has a few series of papers and publications.  A very good source for military analysis of North Korea.

One Free Korea Blog:  A very good source offering blunt analysis of Korean politics.  This blog is a very informative one yet all posts are written with a flair and authenticity which makes them interesting to read.  If you ever curious about sanctions policy toward North Korea, this is your spot to get in-depth analysis on North Korea sanctions.  Also, its fun to just read the posts because of their writing style.

North Korea Economy Watch:  This blog is a wonderful source for economic policy in and regarding North Korea.  Offers wonderful analysis on the North Korean economy.  Another good source of economic analysis of North Korea is the Peterson Institue for International Economics’ North Korea: Witness to Transformation blog.

North Korea Leadership Watch:  Though not the most user-friendly blog, it is an indispensable source for all things North Korean leadership.  From detailed graphs outlining the structure of North Korea’s government to biographies on many of the North Korean elite–those who are high political positions–and wonderful short analytical pieces, North Korea Leadership Watch is your one stop for anything dealing with the political elite in North Korea.

Willson Center’s North Korea International Documentation Project:  If it is primary source material that you seek, look no further.  This project offers a lot of documents ranging from diplomatic cables to speeches made by Kim Il-sung.  It also offers publications on a wide range of topics on North Korea.  Very good for research into Cold War North Korean politics.

NKNews: This is placed in this section because it offers a lot of really good analytical information and material–even more if you are able to subscribe to NKNews Pro.  NKNews offers a wide range of material from news, to analysis at its basic level, to a very in-depth analytical structure including a North Korean media aggregator called KCNA Watch.  A premium source for those who are interested in delving deep into North Korea.

Sino-NK:  Sino-NK is a wonderful source for all things Sino-North Korean relations.  It offers some good research pieces and short articles including a Tumen Triangle Documentation project which focuses on the Tumen River region which is home to the Rason Special Economic Zone.  A good source to go deeper into Sino-North Korean relations.

Op-eds and Reports from Various Sites (In order of publication date):

Broad, William J., David E. Sanger, and Troy Griggs, “The Nine Steps Required to Really Disarm North Korea,” The New York Times, June 11, 2018

Sanger, David E., and William J Broad, “Verifying the end of a Nuclear North Korea ‘Could Make Iran Look Easy,'” The New York Times, May 6, 2018

Jung H. Park, “The Education of Kim Jung-un,” Brookings Institution, February 2018.

Sanger, David E. and Wiliam J. Broad, “How US Intelligence Agencies Underestimated North Korea,” New York Times, January 6, 2018.

North Korea hails ‘ICBM test’ success,” BBC News, July 4, 2017.

Sergio Pecahna and Jeesia Ma, “North Korea’s Nuclear Push Is Just One Piece of a Nationwide Building Boom,” New York Times, July 5, 2017.

Amanda Erickson, “A Timeline of North Korea’s Five Nuclear Tests and how the U.S. has Responded,” The Washington Post, April 14, 2017.

Willam J. Broad, Kenan Davis, and Jugal K. Patel, “North Korea May Be Prepairing for its 6th Nuclear Test,” New York Times, April 12, 2017.

Ripley, Will.  “Inside North Korea: How Pyongyang is Changing,” CNN, February 26, 2017.

Fischer, Max and Jugal K. Patel.  “What One Photo Tells Us About North Korea’s Nuclear Program,” New York Times, February 24, 2017.

South Korea-Timeline,” BBC News, Last Updated February 3, 2017.

North Korea’s Missile Programmes,” BBC News, Last Updated January 20, 2017.

Macias, Amanda.  “‘Mr. Kim has missile lust, and he’s not giving up’: A timeline of North Korea’s brazen missile tests so far in 2016,” Business Insider, October 24, 2016.

Klinger, Bruce.  “South Korea Needs THAAD Missile Defense,” The Heritage Foundation, June 12, 2015.

Na Young Lee, Andy Lim and Victor Cha.  “Exactly How Provocative are U.S. – ROK Military Exercises.”  Center for Strategic and International Studies, March 24, 2015.

In Focus: North Korea’s Nuclear Threats,” New York Times, Last Updated April 16, 2013.

Some Good Print Material

Albright, David.  “Future Directions in the DPRK’s Nuclear Weapons Program: Three Scenarios for 2020.”  Institute for Science and International Security.  Report, February 26, 2015.

Bermudez, Joseph S.  “North Korea’s Development of a Nuclear Weapons Strategy.” 38North’s North Korea’s Nuclear Futures Series (August 2015).

Cha, Victor.  The Impossible State: North Korea, Past, Present, and Future.  New York: Harpers Collins, 2013.

Cheng Chen and Ji-Young Lee.  “Making Sense of North Korea: ‘National Stalinism’ in Comparative-Historical Perspective.”  Science Direct: Communist and Post-Communist Studies 40 (2007), 459-475.

Chinoy, Mike.  Meltdown: The Inside Story of the North Korean Nuclear Crisis.  New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2008.

Chong-sik Lee.  “Politics in North Korea: Pre-Korean War Stage.”  The China Quaterly no. 14 (April-June 1963), 3-16.

Cummings, Bruce.  Korea’s Place in the Sun: A Modern History.  New York: W. W. Norton Company, 2005.

Dae-Sook Suh.  Kim Il Sung: The North Korean Leader.  New York: Columbia University Press, 1988.

Hyejin Kim.  “A Link to the Authoritarian Past? Old Voters as a Force in the 2012 South Korean Presidential Election.”  Taiwan Journal of Democracy vol. 10 no. 2 (December 2014), 49-71.

Lankov, Andrei.  The Real North Korea: Life and Politics in the Failed Stalinist Utopia.     Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.

Martin, Bradley.  Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader: North Korea and the Kim Dynasty. New York: St. Martins Press, 2006.

Myers, B.R.  The Cleanest Race: How North Koreans See Themselves and Why it Matters.  New York: Melville House, 2011.

Oberdorfer, Don and Robert Carlin.  The Two Koreas: A Contemporary History (Revised and updated).  New York: Basic Books, 2014.

Smith, Hazel.  North Korea: Markets and Military Rule.  Cambridge: University of Cambridge Press, 2015.

Tudor, Daniel.  Korea: The Impossible Country.  North Calrendon: Tuttle Publishing, 2012.

Tudor, Daniel and James Pearson.  North Korea Confidential: Private Markets, Fashion Trends, Dissenters and Defectors.  North Calrendon: Tuttle Publishing, 2015.

Wang Son-taek.  “Legitimacy and Stability of North Korea.”  Korea Economic Institute of America’s Academic Paper Series: On Korea, November 18, 2015.