north korea

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A key pillar of President Barack Obama's foreign policy has been the attempted "pivot to Asia."

The idea was that under President Bush, the U.S. expended enormous resources fighting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. That focus was a detriment to American relationships with the surging economies of the Asia-Pacific region - an area expected to account for half of the world economy by the middle of this century.

Obama’s goal was to put new heft to the political, economic and military relations in places like China, Indonesia and Thailand – and avoid getting pulled into more conflicts in the Middle East or problems in Europe. As Obama prepares to leave office, this edition of Global Journalist examines whether this policy has succeeded – or amounted to little more than talk. 


For more than two decades, China has moved from strength to strength. Its economic miracle has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty and dramatically increased the nation's global influence.

But recently China's growth has hit a major speed bump, weakening the Communist Party's major rationale for one-party rule . Meanwhile China faces new challenges in Hong Kong, Taiwan and the South China Sea. 

On this week's Global Journalist, a look at the leadership of President Xi Jinping and how China's greater place in the world has led to greater domestic and international challenges.

Jon Chol Jin / AP

North Korea has long been a forbidden land for journalists, human rights advocates, and pretty much anyone who publicly disagrees with the regime’s philosophies and practices. But there have been more and more cracks in the facade, and people are beginning to share their stories with the rest of the world.

Updated at 1:25 p.m. ET

North Korea is calling an attack on U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert by a knife-wielding political activist "deserved punishment" for America's joint military exercises with Seoul. Meanwhile, Lippert, who has received stitches to his face and undergone surgery on his arm after the assault, says he is "doing well."

Updated at 6:00 p.m. ET

President Obama called Sony's decision to pull its film The Interview, following threats to movie theaters, a "mistake."

"We cannot have a society in which some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship here in the United States," the president said in his year-end news conference.

He added that he was "sympathetic" to Sony's concerns, but, "I wish they would have spoken to me first."

In June, Global Journalist producer and MU graduate student David Cawthon traveled to Seoul where media professionals gave a glimpse of it’s like to report within the shrouded borders of North Korea. He joined Global Journalist to discuss what journalists revealed about one of the world’s most secretive nations.

Earlier this year, The Associated Press announced it would be opening a permanent comprehensive bureau in the capital city, Pyongyang.