It’s got to be either one of the stupidest acts that I can recall or a very wicked plan by Washington neocons to sabotage Korean peace talks. How else to describe the decision by Big Brother USA and junior sidekick South Korea to stage major air force exercises on North Korea’s border. The prickly North... Read More
Considering that a nuclear conflict over North Korea appeared imminent in recent weeks, the winter Olympics at Pyeongchang, South Korea, is a most welcome distraction – and might even deter a major war on the peninsula. The highlight of the games was the arrival of Kim Yo-jong, the younger sister of North Korea’s ruler, Kim... Read More
Merry Christmas to one and all from North Korea. Glorious Leader Kim Jong-un unwrapped a wonderful new intercontinental missile, the Hwasong-15, which experts believe might be capable of reaching Los Angeles, New York and Washington, depending on the weight of its nuclear warhead. This was the big, earth-shaking story until Gen. Michael Flynn’s guilty plea... Read More
NEW YORK – Not since Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev banged his fists and waved his shoe at the UN in 1960 has a world leader made such a spectacle of himself as President Donald Trump did this past week at the world organization. Trump vowed to ‘totally destroy’ North Korea, a nation of 25 million,... Read More
Old Chinese saying: ‘when elephants battle, ants get crushed.’ Think of the current crisis on the Korean Peninsula in which the government in Seoul has been all but ignored. South Korea’s newly elected president, Moon Jae-in, keeps insisting that the US must not launch war against North Korea without South Korea’s agreement. President Donald Trump... Read More
President Trump’s ability to trigger a nuclear war is "pretty damn scary" said former US intelligence director James Clapper this week. Remember when Trump vowed to "bomb the shit" out of his enemies? I don’t have much respect for Clapper, who brazenly lied to Congress and is a ringleader of the deep government’s efforts to... Read More
“I have some pretty severe things we’re thinking about,” Trump said of North Korea at a news conference in Warsaw. “Doesn’t mean we’re going to do them.” What President Trump really meant is that he has painted the US into a corner with all his threats of war and really does not know what to... Read More
“If China is not going to solve North Korea, we will.” So thundered President Donald Trump last week. Unfortunately, neither China nor North Korea appeared intimidated by this presidential bombast or Trump’s Tweets. What would ‘we will’ actually entail? This clear threat makes us think seriously about what a second Korean War would be like.... Read More
Panmunjom, the ‘peace village’ on the incredibly tense demilitarized zone (aka DMZ) between North and South Korea, is one of the weirdest places I’ve ever visited. Tough North Korean soldiers lurk about, watched by equally tough South Korean troops in one-way sunglasses and an aggressive judo ‘warrior’ stance. When I was filming at Panmunjom, we... Read More
Palm Beach – A serious curse on the Democratic Republic of Korea (North Korea or the DPRK) for apparently murdering one of my schoolmates. Very bad form, Pyongyang! My old high school, the Ecole International of Geneva, Switzerland had a zany and interesting collection of cosmopolitan students from everywhere. We had lots of children of... Read More
North Korea has ‘entered the final stage of preparation for the test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile(ICBM)’. So crowed North Korea’s young leader, Kim Jong-un, in his New Year’s Day message aimed at tough-talking US president-elect, Donald Trump. In case there was any doubt about Pyongyang’s meaning, Kim warned his nation would continue to... Read More
North Korea’s fifth nuclear test produced an explosion fury and hysteria around the world, more empty threats against the Hermit Kingdom, and a giant sell-off in stock markets by foolish investors. No wonder gleeful North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was having such a big laugh. It’s not often that a small nation of only 24.8... Read More
Should Japan and South Korea be permitted to develop nuclear weapons? That was the very good question posed last week by candidate Donald Trump. Washington’s elite and neocon war party threw up their hands in horror at Trump’s heretical question. The media, heavily influenced by neocons who hate Trump’s call for even-handed US policy in... Read More
Happiness is having your very own atomic bomb. This week we saw pictures of beaming North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, examining either a nuclear model or maybe even the real warhead of a miniaturized nuclear weapon. Having a nuclear warhead is not, however, enough to scare your enemies and neighbors. You’ve got to have a... Read More
“Let’s begin 2016…with the thrilling explosion of our first hydrogen bomb, so that the whole world will look up to our socialist, nuclear-armed republic and the great Workers’ Party of Korea!” Kim Jong-un North Koreans may be happy, but the rest of the world certainly is not. Predictably, the US, Japan, China, Australia and South... Read More
Happiness is having your very own Submarine-launched ballistic missile. This week, North Korea’s dynastic leader, Kim Jong-un, was beaming from ear to ear as a Pukgeukseong-1 missile shot out of the water, apparently launched by a new “Sinpo” class strategic submarine. For Kim, Christmas arrived early. The United States and South Korea publicly sneered at... Read More
What’s going on in murky North Korea? I’ll bet even the US National Security Agency doesn’t know. The world was shocked last week to learn that North Korea’s boyish dynastic leader, Kim Jong-un, has ordered the public arrest, then swift execution of his uncle by marriage, Jang Song-thaek. Jang was viewed as the North’s second... Read More
Korea, wrote the famed German expert on geopolitics Baron Haushofer a century ago, was one of the world’s five most strategic areas. So it remains today, as China, Russia, Japan and the United States vie for influence on the peninsula and the waters around it. The latest crisis over Korea began in March with an... Read More
The intensifying war of words between North Korea, the United States and ally South Korea could ignite a major conflict. The likely trigger would be a small clash at sea, in the air, or along the Demilitarized Zone dividing the two Koreas. What would a war in Korea look like? First, nuclear conflict is unlikely.... Read More
The United States and the two feuding Koreas could blunder into a real war unless both Pyongyang and Washington cease provoking one another. Last week, two nuclear-capable US B-2 stealth bombers flew non-stop from America to South Korea, and then home. These ‘invisible’ aircraft can carry the GBU-43/B MOAB 13,600kg bomb that is said to... Read More
Are we about to be vaporized by North Korea’s nuclear weapons? Given all the hysteria this week over its third underground nuclear test, one would certainly think so. In reality, we are not about to be nuked by the North’s new boyish leader, Kim Jong-un. But, like many heads of small nations, he really does... Read More
The death last weekend of North Korea’s `Dear Leader’ Kim Jong-il presents many dangers, but also some hopes for lower tensions on the strategic peninsula. Kim’s death was not unexpected. He had been seriously ill with diabetes and cardiac problems that led to a stroke in 2008. His youngest son, 26 or 27-year old Kim... Read More
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA — This vast, pulsating city of ten million seems to have doubled in size since my last visit ten years ago. In spite of its gigantic scale and increasingly modernistic image, Seoul remains far calmer and better ordered than most of Asia's frenetic cities. Dynamic, optimistic, high-tech South Korea is flying at... Read More
The Korean Peninsula is boiling once again, with threats flying thicker than the winter snow along North Korea’s icy Yalu River. North Korea has threatened a nuclear “holy war” against South Korea. In the South, there is open talk of “liberating” the North. Military forces in Korea, China, Japan, and Russia are on high alert.... Read More
Those wacky, dangerous North Koreans are at it again, but not without some help from their "brotherly" South Korean neighbors. After South Korea staged provocative live fire exercises in coastal waters claimed by North Korea last Tuesday, the North’s heavy guns pounded a small South Korean island, killing four and sparking worldwide alarm. South Korean... Read More
The two Koreas are once again in a dangerous confrontation after the sinking on 26 March of a South Korean Navy corvette that killed 46 sailors. Korea is traditionally known as the “Land of the Morning Calm.” This week, as so often, there is nothing calm about the Korean Peninsula. South Korea insists it has... Read More
It's hard to think of Bill Clinton as a white knight, but last week he rescued two damsels in distress in a brilliant "coup de theatre." North Korea's jailing of the two American female journalists who had foolishly entered their forbidden nation last March set off a remarkable chain of diplomatic events, culminating in President... Read More
PARIS — One of the first things you learn in diplomacy 101 is not to make threats you can't back up. But that is just what US Defense Secretary Robert Gates did last week by thundering the US "would not accept," and "would not stand idly by" while North Korea continued to develop nuclear weapons.... Read More
North Korea's "Dear Leader," Kim Jong-il has long supported the desperately poor nation he inherited from his father by playing a game in which he truly excels, Pyongyang Bluff Poker. Kim long ago learned that frightening his neighbors and the United States with nuclear weapons and truculent behavior was the best way to get food... Read More
North Korea's “Dear Leader” must be sipping a glass of his favorite French wine and having a good laugh as he observes the worldwide hysteria he created by shooting off a tiny nuclear device. For a dictator who loves international attention and movie-making with equal passion, what could be more satisfying than playing arch villains... Read More
North Korea's apparent test of a nuclear device has provoked the anticipated 10-megaton explosion of international anger and threats against the isolated Stalinist regime. A senior US State Department official warned, “we are not going to accept a nuclear North Korea.” But that, of course, is just what Washington has been doing ever since CIA... Read More
President George W. Bush looks like a man who is so obsessed with hunting a pesky but elusive mouse in his basement that he fails to notice that the top floor of his house is on fire. Two recent events capture the bizarre, almost surreal nature of the twin crises over Iraq and North Korea... Read More
Never trust an axis of evil. That is what President Bush recently learned to his chagrin when North Korea stunned the world by admitting it possessed nuclear arms and other weapons of mass destruction. This bombshell from normally secretive Pyongyang enormously embarrassed the Bush administration just as it was gearing up for war against Iraq... Read More
Eric S. Margolis is an award-winning, internationally syndicated columnist. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune the Los Angeles Times, Times of London, the Gulf Times, the Khaleej Times, Nation – Pakistan, Hurriyet, – Turkey, Sun Times Malaysia and other news sites in Asia.
He is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post, Lew Rockwell. He appears as an expert on foreign affairs on CNN, BBC, France 2, France 24, Fox News, CTV and CBC.
His internet column www.ericmargolis.com reaches global readers on a daily basis.
As a war correspondent Margolis has covered conflicts in Angola, Namibia, South Africa, Mozambique, Sinai, Afghanistan, Kashmir, India, Pakistan, El Salvador and Nicaragua. He was among the first journalists to ever interview Libya’s Muammar Khadaffi and was among the first to be allowed access to KGB headquarters in Moscow.
A veteran of many conflicts in the Middle East, Margolis recently was featured in a special appearance on Britain’s Sky News TV as “the man who got it right” in his predictions about the dangerous risks and entanglements the US would face in Iraq.
A native New Yorker, he maintains residences in Toronto and New York, with frequent visits to Paris.