New Focus is distinctive in the combination of the following:
- it offers North Korea insights, reports and analysis rooted in an empirical understanding of the country’s workings;
- and holds 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 outside continue to interpret and report about North Korea within a framework of speculative or false assumptions, while the current system enforces a disciplined doublespeak and tactical façades in order to obscure its working rationale from those born and bred outside of it.
New Focus is based on the premise that a shared foundational understanding of North Korea rooted in, shaped by and vetted through those with relevant empirical understanding, must begin to serve as the basis for commentary or proposals regarding the country – now or in its future.
Jang Jin-sung is founder and publisher.
Jang is a former UFD officer charged with inter-Korean psychological warfare and counterintelligence 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.
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 is founding editor, and launched the English website in 2012.
Shin Jun-shik and Park Ju-hee 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.