Writer on Korea

Writing is what I do best. While happy too to

my core work is writing: specifically, as an analyst of Korea. (Of course the categories overlap, as lectures and consulting can involve a written paper.) This page gives an overview of the sort of things I do under this heading. For more detail, click samples or employers on this site. Some hyperlinks will take you to my work as published by various outlets.


I can offer several categories: op-eds, backgrounders, and instant comment on events. In recent years I’ve done half a dozen op-eds each for Asiaweek (sadly missed) and the International Herald Tribune. The London parish press rarely bother unless something really big happens, like Kim Il-sung’s death. But I’ve written for the Financial Times, Guardian, Independent, and Evening Standard – and some swift-response pieces at short notice for the Scotsman. I like the adrenalin buzz of that kind of immediacy.

Journals and Magazines

I’m also happy to write for journals and magazines, in greater depth or more particular focus. This occurs less often, and I’d like to do it more. What I have written includes:

  • Far Eastern Economic Review: lengthy cover feature on North Korea
  • Sunday Times magazine: article on NK to go with photos by Hiroji Kubota¬†
  • Marie Claire: bio of Mrs Kim Il-sung for a feature on dictators’ wives

Knowledge purveyors

Nice as it is to see your name in print, my bread and butter writing is anonymous: for firms that sell knowledge to other firms, like the Economist Intelligence Unit and Oxford Analytica. While not short of work (see Employers), new outlets and proposals are always welcome: be it for one-off work, or ongoing contracts. Regulars apart, my past work of this kind includes:

  • Jardine Fleming: a report for clients on scenarios for North Korea.
  • AsiaInt: a detailed analysis of the various threats posed by North Korea
  • Several studies of South Korean prospects since the 1997-8 financial crisis

Policy and public bodies

If you write for a living, it tends to be mainly business that pays. But I also welcome commissions from public service and policy bodies. My writing of this kind includes:

  • UNHCR: a major report and two updates on North Korean refugee flows
  • Several situation updates on the peninsula for various European think-tanks
  • Evaluation of Kim Dae-jung’s first year in office, for an official ROK book

Books, academic journals

No, thanks. I did write a book-length study for EIU, Korea’s Coming Reunification, a decade ago; but have since lost the urge. I’m better built for sprints – or middle distance at a pinch – than marathons. Andrew Holloway’s on this site!)

But bits of books – chapters here and there – are no problem. What I’ve done includes:

  • Children’s Britannica: article on the death of Kim Il-sung
  • A study of Kim DJ’s sunshine policy, published in Seoul and Stockholm
  • A review of North Korean issues, published in Seoul for Rafto in Bergen

Apropos my professional writing activities see <a href=”writing_style.html“>writing: puttin’ on the style</a> for an appreciation, or otherwise, of my approach.