A Simple First Step to Meaningful Negotiations with North Korea

Refer to the country by the correct name… the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. I can tell you from first-hand experience that they don’t like being called North Korea. Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, DPRK, or Korea were the three choices that were given to me when I visited Pyongyang in 2009.

Here are some other indicators:

Heck, in an article on the China Daily site, they even go so far as to correct the president:

“North Korea (DPRK) will achieve nothing by threats or provocations,” Obama said during a press conference in Seoul after talks with his South Korean counterpart Lee Myung-bak.


Look, we’re talking about a country that has the fifth largest active army, the capacity to launch rockets/long-range missiles, and might be developing nuclear weapons.

If the US is really intent on reaching-out to the people and/or government of the country, they can start by using their chosen name.


Restrictions on US Citizens Traveling to Cuba and North Korea

Compare and contrast…

Travel to Cuba

ENTRY / EXIT REQUIREMENTS, TRAVEL TRANSACTION LIMITATIONS: The Cuban Assets Control Regulations are enforced by the U.S. Department of the Treasury and affect all U.S. citizens and permanent residents wherever they are located, all people and organizations physically located in the United States, and all branches and subsidiaries of U.S. organizations throughout the world. The regulations require that persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction be licensed in order to engage in any travel-related transactions pursuant to travel to, from, and within Cuba. Transactions related to tourist travel are not licensable. This restriction includes tourist travel to Cuba from or through a third country such as Mexico or Canada. U.S. law enforcement authorities enforce these regulations at U.S. airports and pre-clearance facilities in third countries. Travelers who fail to comply with Department of the Treasury regulations could face civil penalties and criminal prosecution upon return to the United States.


Travel to North Korea

SMART TRAVELER ENROLLMENT PROGRAM (STEP) / EMBASSY LOCATION: There is no U.S. embassy or consulate in North Korea. The Department of State warns U.S. citizens against entering North Korea (see Travel Warning ), without first having received explicit official permission and an entry visa from the government of North Korea.