Full Comment on the Latest American Detention in Pyongyang

I was interviewed for a story in TIME magazine [full citation: Charlie Campbell, “The Detention of a U.S. Student in North Korea Underscores the Risks of Travelling There,” TIME Asia, 25 January 2016]. The following is my full comment: While the post-detention treatment of such individuals is always political and used for domestic and international propaganda effect by the regime, the arrests themselves are usually … Continue reading Full Comment on the Latest American Detention in Pyongyang

Awful Art, Torn Visas, and Reality: Comment on the Matthew Miller Affair

With respect to Matthew Miller, the American tourist who tore up his visa upon arrival in Pyongyang in April, was promptly arrested, paraded out as an effective hostage, and recently tried in a North Korean court: One part of me wants to seize pen and paper for earnest memos to John Kerry or vocal engagement innovators like John Delury, saying of Miller: ‘Sure he’s more … Continue reading Awful Art, Torn Visas, and Reality: Comment on the Matthew Miller Affair

Americans in Pyongyang: Detainees, Prisoners, Hostages, and Pawns

Yesterday, North Korea gave the US media momentary access to three American nationals currently detained in the DPRK. Finding the right terms to capture what function these three unfortunate men are serving at the moment is tricky at the moment. For convenience, let’s just start with nouns: “Detainee” is probably the most neutral designation, though for certain intrepid lawyers even this language has been tainted by post-9/11 practices and the erosion … Continue reading Americans in Pyongyang: Detainees, Prisoners, Hostages, and Pawns