New Focus International is distinctive in two ways:
- it offers North Korea reporting and analysis rooted in first-hand experience of the country’s workings;
- and maintains direct, independent access to sources within the economic and power structures of the DPRK.
We are a distinctively authentic platform. We translate and publish original reporting that begins with North Korean insights, analytical pieces on North Korea’s reality, and features that provide portrayals of what life is really like within the DPRK.
We are the only independent media organization editorially led, shaped and informed by North Korean exiles from many levels of society – including its highest – with reliable contacts in the Sino-DPRK border regions, in Pyongyang itself and among North Korean officials who serve in the diplomatic and business sectors.
Launched in August 2012, we have no political affiliation and have been self-funding from the start.
Our stated aim is to prepare the ground for an authentic discourse on North Korea: it is not only a country with no free press, no freedom of speech, nor access to international media; the outside world continues to interpret North Korea on the basis of fundamental misunderstandings, while the DPRK leadership maintains a disciplined doublespeak and many façades in order to obscure its nature from the world.
We believe that without an understanding of North Korea rooted in North Korean perspectives, there cannot be a sound basis for commentary or proposals regarding the country – now or in the future.
Editorial – Korean
Jang Jin-sung is founder and publisher.
Jang is a former counterintelligence official 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, but left his post to set up in 2011 the first independent news outlet run by and for North Koreans – New Focus.
He keeps in contact with high-level North Korean officials in China, as well as inside North Korea itself. His memoir, Dear Leader, was published by Random House (UK/Worldwide) and Simon & Schuster (US/Canada) in May 2014.
Hyeon Seong-il / Ko Young-hwan / Kim Dong-soo / Kim In-tae / Choe Kun-chol / Choe Ju-hwal are among our disclosed advisors.
These North Korea experts are all former elite officials of the DPRK whose combined first-hand experience spans North Korea’s political, economic and military institutions, foreign policy, and its relations with African, Asian and European countries (including with the UN FAO).
Our reporters are Shin Jun-shik, Park Yeon-mi, and Park Ju-hee.
Editorial – English
Shirley Lee launched New Focus International, New Focus’s English website, in 2012. Trained as a Classicist and Persianist, she translated Jang’s memoir. She is working on a book of non-fiction about North Korea.
Haeryun Kang is managing editor. She is a freelance journalist and translator living in Seoul.
Yongmin Lee, Sinae Hong, Sharon Kim, Max Ernst, and Jumin Kim volunteer with translations.
All material on this website is © New Focus International and may only be used with acknowledgement.
Comments that are abusive will be deleted at the editor’s discretion.