All posts filed under: Far East

Book Review: “Without You There Is No Us: Undercover Among the Sons of North Korea’s Elite,” by Suki Kim

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Author: David Anderson / Far East / Foreign Affairs / Published by: The Moderate Voice

Tourism to North Korea is possible, but as your reviewer wrote in Forbes lately, it’s a hazardous and horribly unethical destination. That said, Ms. Kim’s book is one of the most insightful reads a NK buff can use to explore from an armchair. Published in 2014, it could have been written yesterday: with the exceptions of a little stronger “capitalism” and more cell phones, nothing has changed. Ms. Kim’s year there

Useful Idiots: Tourism In North Korea

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Author: David Anderson / Far East / Foreign Affairs / Published by: Forbes

For many years tourism to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) was almost impossible for Americans. Now it isn’t, but should one go? Stalin called western sympathizers and visitors in the 1950s “useful idiots” who believed Soviet propaganda while he killed tens of millions. A similar dynamic exists in northeast Asia today. Travel agencies profiting from tourism there use the argument that grassroots connections and money in the economy are overall positives. This argument falls flat […]

India Playing With Money, Playing With Lives

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Author: David Anderson / Far East / Published by: Democracy Chronicles

Last week the Indian government suddenly announced holders of 500 and 1,000 Rupee bills ($US 10 and $US 15) would have less than two months to deposit or redeem them for smaller bills at banks, after which time they would be worthless. Many stores aren’t accepting them already. It was intended to fight tax cheating and the “black economy,” some of it criminal. But in a country where one in two people don’t even have […]

Trumpy Thrilla from Manila: President Duterte

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Author: David Anderson / Far East / Foreign Affairs / Published by: Democracy Chronicles

Sometimes blips on the diplomatic radar far away can be prescient of larger things to come, closer to home. In the Philippines, things are happening, and they’re worth taking note of for our alliance, geopolitics, and the psychology of a country’s president. According to Fujisankei Japanese language TV news last week, Philippine President Duterte was welcomed in Tokyo with a Big Show – one better than most heads of state. As