Kim Jong-un

In this June 12, 2018, file photo, US President Donald Trump, right, meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Sentosa Island, in Singapore. 

Political theater: Part II

Critical State

Critical State, a foreign policy newsletter by Inkstick Media, takes a deep dive this week into all the ways in which diplomacy is a kind of performance.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un speaks at the ruling party congress in Pyongyang, North Korea, in this Jan. 8, 2021, photo provided by the North Korean government. 

In crisis, North Korea is turning further inward

Global Politics
South Korea's Moon Jae-in holds an umbrella over his head

Moon bets his legacy on meeting with Trump

Global Politics
US President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un walk together before their working lunch during their summit at the Capella Hotel on the resort island of Sentosa, Singapore.

Trump-Kim summit gave ‘master manipulator’ a global platform, says defector

Global Politics
Police control crowd in protest with signs with Korean letters.

South Korean aid to North Korea could be a game changer — if North Korea accepts it

Global Politics
A group of protesters wear yellow scarves and hold blue signs.

Some South Koreans say Trump-Kim summit is ‘all political theater’

Global Politics

The Vietnam summit on Feb. 27 and 28 is expected to yield key moves regarding denuclearization, international sanctions against Pyongyang and a possible declaration ending the Korean War. Yet, many South Koreans seem apathetic at best.

A building at Kim Chaek University of Technology during the blue hours of pre-dawn

Twitter and Cocoa Puffs: The surprising life of a student at North Korea’s top university

Alek Sigley, 29, studies at Kim Il-sung University — the alma mater of Kim Jong-un. He opened a Twitter account just a few months ago and it’s become a rare keyhole through which to view a fast-changing Pyongyang, North Korea.

A white man with his first raised, with two white men clapping.

Trump gave his first State of the Union a year ago. Where is US foreign policy today?


The State of the Union is the president’s opportunity to lay out his own agenda for the year. Here’s what Trump said last year and what actually happened.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh arrive for a photo opportunity before a meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Hanoi, Vietnam, July 9, 2018.

Trump and Kim will meet again, but why in Vietnam?

The White House says Trump-Kim summit 2.0 is being planned for late February. No official venue has been announced yet. But Vietnam, a communist state that fought America and won, is a choice that both North Korea and the US could agree on.

a bowl of Naengmyeon, cold noodles that originates from North Korea

One winner from the Inter-Korean summits? Cold noodle soup.


North and South Korean leaders dined on a bowl of buckwheat noodles submerged in a chilly, savory broth during their meeting in Pyongyang. Korean restaurant owners say there’s been a resurgence of interest in the soup.