Donald Kirk is a veteran newspaper correspondent who has worked throughout East Asia and in the Middle East.
A Seoul- and Washington-based columnist for Free Press International, he has also written for the International Herald Tribune, the New York Times, USA Today, Christian Science Monitor, CBS, Asian Wall Street Journal, National Review, Chicago Sun Times, South China Morning Post and other publications.
A graduate of Princeton University, he was a Fulbright Scholar and winner of the Overseas Press Club’s George Polk Award.
FPI / June 3, 2019 By Donald Kirk WASHINGTON ― President Trump’s visit to Japan carries a message for South Korea as much as anywhere else. It’s time to call a halt to outpourings of anti-Japanese sentiment. That’s not to say South Koreans should bury their bitterness over the decades of Japanese rule, the slaughter […]Read More
FPI / January 24, 2019 By Donald Kirk VIRGINIA BEACH ― Memorial Day holiday crowds soak up the surf and sun while sailors and marines train for war in distant countries about which they know very little. A young Marine, bored with the routine at one of the dozen or so facilities between this sprawling […]Read More
FPI / May 1, 2019 By Donald Kirk It’s easy to overlook the Russian stake in the Korean Peninsula. We hear so much about China’s pivotal role, its influence over North Korea and its enormous trade with South Korea that we tend to forget the Soviet Union shared responsibility with the U.S. for the artificial […]Read More
FPI / April 20, 2019 By Donald Kirk SEOUL — The sinking of the Sewol ferry five years ago was one of the greatest tragedies in Korean history. The memory for me, along with many others, is especially poignant since I spent hours in the great school gymnasium where families of the 304 victims, most […]Read More
FPI / January 24, 2019 By Donald Kirk President Moon Jae-In almost accidentally stepped into a battle that did not have to happen with journalists for foreign news organizations. The ruckus was all about a Korean reporter for Bloomberg who wrote in September that Moon sounded like a spokesman for Kim Jong-Un by singing the […]Read More
FPI / March 15, 2019 By Donald Kirk SEOUL — The Demilitarized Zone that’s divided North from South Korea since the Korean War evokes images of the Berlin Wall that divided East from West Berlin from 1961 to 1991 but shows no signs of going down after the second summit between President Donald Trump and […]Read More
FPI / February 24, 2019 By Donald Kirk Thae Yong-Ho, the former North Korean deputy chief of mission at their embassy in London, has come up with the term “doctrine” to describe Trump’s policy toward North Korea. He even compares the nascent “Trump doctrine” with the “Nixon doctrine.” That’s bad news. I was following President […]Read More
FPI / February 18, 2019 By Donald Kirk SEOUL — The ongoing scandal, in which the governor of South Gyeongsang Province, Kim Kyung-Soo — a top ally of President Moon Jae-In, was involved in a computer program that automatically generated millions of “likes” or “dislikes” for polls and postings on individuals and vital topics, may […]Read More
FPI / February 10, 2019 By Donald Kirk NEW DELHI ― The prospect of President Trump abandoning friends and allies resonates here for reasons that have nothing to do with North or South Korea. While focusing on whatever deal he is likely to cook up with Kim Jong-Un, let us not forget the priorities in […]Read More
FPI / January 24, 2019 By Donald Kirk The revelation of another “undeclared” North Korean missile base should send shock waves through all those concerned about the safety and security of the region, notably South Korea. Actually, however, it’s hard to find ordinary people too worried about the latest report by esteemed experts at the […]Read More