North Korea News Podcast by NK News

News & Politics Podcasts

A weekly podcast discussing all things North Korea, produced by NK News


United States


A weekly podcast discussing all things North Korea, produced by NK News






Imagining worst case scenarios on the Korean Peninsula – Ep. 273

The Seoul metropolitan area is only around 30 miles from North Korea and would be a major attack point in most any conflict scenario. This puts some 25 million people — about half of South Korea’s entire population — at considerable risk. David Walsh and Andrew Gilholm have thought about risk scenarios and damage mitigation […]


Distinguishing between North Korea humanitarianism and human rights – Ep. 272

Improving the lives of the North Korean people and ensuring they can exercise universal rights and liberties are among the most important tasks for international actors working in and with the country. But digging beneath the surface quickly reveals that humanitarianism and human rights are different spheres with significantly different approaches to the problems facing […]


The defector who snuck into North Korea to save his mother – Ep. 271

Kim Kang-woo escaped North Korea in 2016, promising his widowed mother that he would raise the money needed to get her out too. But after brokers were unable to arrange her escape, he decided to take matters into his own hands, crossing the border back into North Korea to attempt a dramatic rescue that reads […]


How North Korea’s drones increase risk of inter-Korean conflict – Ep. 270

Multiple North Korean drones entered ROK airspace and even breached a no-fly zone near the presidential office late last year, prompting Seoul to order its own unmanned aerial vehicle to cross the border and photograph a DPRK military facility. The Yoon administration’s stated eagerness to “punish” what it considers North Korean provocations has significantly upped […]


What the blob really thinks about North Korea in 2023 – Ep. 269

The NK News Podcast wants to hear from you! Fill out the listener survey at the following link for a chance to win a free 12-month subscription to NK News: CLICK HERE FOR SURVEY U.S.-North Korea relations have been stuck in place for the last two years, as other geopolitical developments seem to dominate Washington’s […]


The best and worst books on North Korea in 2022 — Ep. 268

The number of North Korea books to choose from gets bigger every year, and it can be challenging to figure out where best to start. That’s where David Tizzard comes in. The Seoul-based university lecturer has reviewed several books for NK News and joins the podcast to share his favorites from the past year — […]


What drives North Korean missile testing — Ep. 267

Throughout this year, North Korea has repeatedly framed its weapons tests as simple reactions to U.S.-ROK efforts to restart military exercises and boost deterrence. It claims its long-range missile launches, sortie flybys, artillery drills and other military activities are necessary defensive moves against U.S. “hostile policy.” But Gordon Flake, CEO of the Perth USAsia Center […]


One man’s project to overthrow the Kim regime — Ep. 266

In 2019, the activist Adrian Hong led a daring raid on North Korea’s Embassy in Madrid, stealing hard drives and documents and apparently assaulting embassy staff. Initial news reports suggested that Free Joseon, Hong’s human rights activist group that advocates for overthrowing the Kim regime in Pyongyang, was behind the raid. But it soon became […]


Kim Jong Un’s daughter steals spotlight from DPRK’s biggest missile – Ep. 265

Tension remained elevated on the peninsula in November as North Korea continued an array of weapons tests, including its first successful launch of its largest nuclear-capable missile and dozens of other ballistic and artillery tests. But another development arguably garnered more attention than even the massive Hwasong-17: North Korean state media revealed Kim Jong Un’s […]


Deconstructing the US’ ‘hostile policy’ toward North Korea – Ep. 264

The U.S. and North Korea seem incapable of moving past the status quo, with neither side willing to concede to the other’s demands of either complete denuclearization, complete sanctions relief, or some combination of the two. The two countries haven’t spoken in years and appear no closer to a breakthrough despite several summits and other […]


A deep dive into the delicate ceasefire agreement with North Korea – Ep. 263

For nearly 70 years, a delicate ceasefire has prevailed between the two Koreas through cycle after cycle of tensions. But the Korean War Armistice Agreement was never meant to last so long, nor did its architects envision it would ever be so widely applicable across the land, air and sea domains. John Burzynski spent 20 […]


The fuzzy, contentious division of the Koreas at sea — Ep. 262

North Korea’s launch of a surface-to-air missile into waters south of the inter-Korean maritime border this month marked a major escalation in its recent missile testing campaign, inviting a tit-for-tat response from South Korea. The incident also raised a number of questions about the countries’ sea boundaries, from how far they extend into the ocean […]


What to make of North Korea’s historic week of missile tests – Ep. 261

North Korea set a new record last week when it launched at least 23 missiles in one day, including a short-range projectile that splashed down into waters south of the inter-Korean maritime border, and also sent an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) careening toward Japan. Pyongyang’s attempts to frame these escalations as purely defensive mechanisms against […]


What North Korea can learn from Southeast Asia – Ep. 260

While officially communist, North Korea’s economy has been a strange hybrid of socialist and capitalist elements for decades now. Millions in the country rely on markets outside the state-planned economy for necessities and to make a living, and this has raised questions about how the DPRK could make the transition to a more capitalist economy […]


Africa to North Korea: Growing up under Kim Il Sung’s fatherly care – Ep. 259

At the age of 6, Monique Macias fled political turmoil in Equatorial Guinea and found refuge in Pyongyang, becoming not only one of the few foreigners to grow up there but doing so under the guardianship of founding leader Kim Il Sung. This week, Macias joins the NK News podcast to talk about her unique […]


Rollerblading through Kim Il Sung Square – Ep. 258

At the turn of the century, the markets were betting big on North Korea. The last holdout of the Cold War seemed to be on its last legs, and South Korea secured its first-ever summit in Pyongyang. Businessman Charles Thirlwall was part of the explosion of interest, representing a French company that probed business operations […]


Are North Korea’s missile tests building up to something big? – Ep. 257

North Korea has resumed missile testing at a rapid pace in recent weeks, at times launching one or more ballistic missiles every other day. Leader Kim Jong Un even ordered the launch of a new type of intermediate-range ballistic missile over Japan, according to state media, while sending out hundreds of fighters and bomber jets […]


A peace-first, pro-diplomacy approach to North Korea – Ep. 256

Talks between the U.S. and North Korea have been stalled for years. During that time, Pyongyang has resumed ballistic missile testing and Seoul and Washington have restarted large-scale joint military drills. DPRK leader Kim Jong Un himself said he would never again participate in denuclearization talks. To Christine Ahn and Colleen Moore of Women Cross […]


What the CIA knows (and doesn’t know) about North Korea – Ep. 255

North Korea is one of the hardest targets for U.S. intelligence, and the country’s border closure since 2020 has only increased the difficulty. State propaganda remains one of the only ways to learn about the regime and what’s happening in the country. A former analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency, Soo Kim has been working […]


Unplugging from the North Korean matrix – Ep. 254

Growing up in an elite DPRK family, Seohyun Lee enjoyed privileges available to few other North Koreans. But that all changed during a study abroad trip to China, when she says a seemingly innocuous question from a taxi driver led to her “waking up from the matrix.” Then when a close friend of hers disappeared, […]