About Us

New Focus is distinctive in the combination of the following:

    • it offers North Korea insights, reports and analysis rooted in firsthand experiences and understandings;
    • and maintains access potential into the economic and power nexus of North Korea.

This website is an informal and independent platform editorially rooted in, shaped by and informed through North Korean perspectives – including those from the highest levels of its socio-political system – with networks in the border regions, in Pyongyang itself and among North Korean officials who serve abroad.

Launched in 2011, New Focus has no political or governmental affiliation and was self-funded from the very start.

The stated aim is to prepare the ground for an authentically informed discourse on North Korea: those inside not only have no free press, no freedom of speech, nor access to international media; many continue to interpret and report about North Korea and its people within a framework of speculative or false assumptions, while the current system enforces a doublespeak and tactical façades in order to obscure the regime’s working rationale from those born and bred outside of it.

New Focus is based on the premise that a shared understanding of North Korea from the inside-out should serve as a foundation for commentary or proposals regarding the country – now and for the future.



Jang Jin-sung is founder and publisher.

Jang is a former psychological warfare officer and poet laureate under North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il. Post-exile, he worked as a senior research fellow at the Institute for National Security Strategy in Seoul. He left his post and in 2011 set up New Focus using the entirety of his severance pay.

His memoir, Dear Leader, was published by Random House (UK/Worldwide) and Simon & Schuster (US/Canada).

Hyeon Seong-il / Ko Young-hwan / Kim Dong-soo / Kim In-tae / Choe Kun-chol / Choe Ju-hwal are among our disclosed advisors.

They are former elite officials of the DPRK whose combined first-hand experience spans North Korea’s core dynastic businesses, political, economic and military institutions, foreign policy, and its relations with African, Asian and European countries.

Shirley Lee launched the English website in 2012.

Joyce Williams is managing editor.

Shin Junshik, Park Ju-hee and Lee Cheol-mu are reporters.

Yongmin Lee, Sinae Hong, Sharon Kim, Max Ernst, and Jumin Kim volunteer with Korean to English translations.

All material on this website is © New Focus and may only be used with acknowledgement.