Expat Cats –Part 1, Korea

When I moved to South Korea in 1988, the country was recovering from the dictatorships of Park Chung-hee and Chun Doo-hwan. In a week it would host its great coming-out party, the Seoul Olympics, which despite being well organized would be temporarily mired in controversy, with the national inferiority complex exposed.

My first impression of Seoul was that it was as militaristic, as nationalistic,  as drab and as prudish as post-revolutionary China could be. and far more misogynistic.  Pro-democracy student demonstrators battled with riot police, although it was clear from their own organizations that they didn’t know what democracy meant. … Read More

Author Interview: Human Rights Violations in North Korea, Part 1

In 2011, I interviewed my friend Dr. Sandra Fahy on her first book, Marching through Suffering: Loss and Survival in North Korea, (Link) which was based on the testimony she’d gathered from North Korean famine victims who’d defected to Korea or Japan. Her second book is now with the editors at Columbia University Press and will be out soon.

This interview took place just after the Trump-Kim summit in Singapore, when  Sandra was at home in Japan and I was in the Philippines. The next interview, which will appear on December 1, deals with the history of Read More