5 Aug 2019

American reporting from Pyongyang

From Nine To Noon, 10:06 am on 5 August 2019

Jean Lee is the Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist and commentator on North Korea, who became the first U.S. journalist to be based on the ground in Pyongyang in the era of Kim Jong-un.

PYONGYANG, North Korea -- Jean H. Lee stands on Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, North Korea. (Photo courtesy Jean H. Lee. All Rights Reserved)2

Photo: Jean H. Lee All Rights Reserved

Jean was born in the US to parents who were themselves born in Korea when it was still one country.  In 2012 Jean opened the first international news bureau in North Korea's capital Pyongyang, for AP.

  It involved delicate negotiations with Pyongyang, at a time when North Korea saw diplomatic benefit in allowing it. Jean is Director of the Korea Center at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and, as an expert on North Korea, often appears on CNN, NPR, BBC, CBS News, PBS Newshour. 

She talks with Kathryn about her time in Pyongyang, life for the average North Korean, and the likelihood of any kind of diplomatic breakthrough.