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Josh Smith
For Josh Smith's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Japan Times
ASIA PACIFIC / Politics
Jun 22, 2021
North Korea ridicules U.S. hopes for talks as allies rethink approach
Kim Yo Jong, the sister of leader Kim Jong Un, said the United States appears to be interpreting signals from Pyongyang in a way that would lead to disappointment.
Japan Times
ASIA PACIFIC / Crime & Legal
Jun 16, 2021
Fear of 'pervasive' digital sex crime affecting life for South Korean women
Many victims have said they have considered suicide or leaving the country, Human Rights Watch said in a report.
Japan Times
ASIA PACIFIC
Apr 20, 2021
For South Korea's youngest 'sea women,' warming seas mean smaller catches
Every year the waters are a little less icy — warming as much as 2.6 times more than the world average — changing the undersea habitat and casting doubt on the future of the 'sea women.'
Japan Times
ASIA PACIFIC / ANALYSIS
Mar 31, 2021
Inter-Korean missile race may leave North Korea with tactical nuclear weapons
North Korea's yearslong quest to develop precision missiles capable of evading detection and striking targets in South Korea has accelerated.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Mar 25, 2021
Japan prods U.S. to fix 'East Sea' reference over North Korea launches
Japan and South Korea have long been at odds over the name of the body of water between Japan and the Korean Peninsula.
Japan Times
ASIA PACIFIC / ANALYSIS
Mar 4, 2021
Biden faces calls to adopt more pragmatic approach on North Korea
No significant breakthroughs were made with Pyongyang under former U.S. President Donald Trump, and a growing number of observers say it's time to try something new.
Japan Times
ASIA PACIFIC
Dec 19, 2020
Mysterious North Korea site may be building nuclear components, report says
A mysterious North Korean facility may be producing components for building nuclear bombs, a new report suggests, offering clues to understanding the site near the capital that has perplexed experts and policymakers.
Japan Times
ASIA PACIFIC / ANALYSIS
Oct 13, 2020
'I have failed': North Korea's Kim shows tearful side in confronting hardships
North Korea watchers say Kim has also sought to portray himself as a more traditional political leader than his eccentric father, Kim Jong Il.
Japan Times
ASIA PACIFIC / FOCUS
Mar 26, 2020
North Korea shows confidence in face of coronavirus outbreak
With international focus on the coronavirus, North Korea has doubled down on its missile development and military exercises in recent weeks while signaling new confidence that it has dodged an outbreak of its own.
Japan Times
ASIA PACIFIC / ANALYSIS
Jan 27, 2020
North Korea urges citizens to 'break through barriers' as nuclear standoff continues
While a North Korean deadline for the United States to soften its stand on denuclearization talks passed uneventfully over the New Year, state media and propaganda efforts have been focusing on the prospect of a long confrontation with the United States.
Japan Times
ASIA PACIFIC / ANALYSIS
Sep 11, 2019
South Korea surges ahead of North in building up military
South Korea and North Korea have continued to pour resources into modernizing their militaries despite a frenzy of diplomacy since 2018, creating tension that has sharpened as talks have stalled.
Japan Times
ASIA PACIFIC
Jun 18, 2019
Chinese raids target 'Underground Railroad' of North Korean defectors
A decade after leaving her family behind to flee North Korea, the defector was overwhelmed with excitement when she spoke to her 22-year-old son on the phone for the first time in May after he too escaped into China.
Japan Times
ASIA PACIFIC / ANALYSIS
May 11, 2019
'Missiles like these will start the war': North Korean tests showcase growing capability
North Korea's second missile test on Thursday signals it is serious about developing new, short-range weapons that could be used early and effectively in any war with South Korea and the United States, analysts studying images of the latest launches say.
Japan Times
ASIA PACIFIC / Politics / ANALYSIS
Apr 24, 2019
Putin-Kim summit sends message to U.S. but sanctions relief elusive for North Korea
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is set to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin for the first time this week at a symbolic summit hoping to project himself as a serious world player but likely to come away without a relief from crushing sanctions he seeks.
Japan Times
ASIA PACIFIC / FOCUS
Mar 7, 2019
Secret science of 'Lenin lab' keeps dead communist leaders looking fresh in North Korea and Vietnam
Perhaps none of the communist legacies shared by Vietnam and North Korea highlighted during Kim Jong Un's "goodwill visit" to Hanoi is stranger than the embalmed leaders on display in their capitals — and the secretive team of Russian technicians who keep the bodies looking ageless.
Japan Times
ASIA PACIFIC / ANALYSIS
Mar 1, 2019
Burden falls back on diplomats after Trump and Kim fail to reach deal on North Korea nuclear arms
The failure of U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to secure even a limited deal at their second nuclear summit means any breakthrough now depends on working-level talks that have made little progress since last year.
Japan Times
ASIA PACIFIC
Oct 21, 2018
North Korea's box of bones: A mythical king and the dream of Korean unification
It's the stuff of an Indiana Jones movie: supernatural kings, ancient tombs, and government-backed archaeologists striving to harness the power of legend for a greater cause.
ASIA PACIFIC
May 15, 2018
Safety and verification questions hang over North Korea's plan to close nuclear site
Shutting down North Korea's nuclear test site is trickier than it might seem.
Japan Times
ASIA PACIFIC
May 8, 2018
Focus on human rights fades as U.S. and South Korea pursue North Korea deal
Absent from the recent summit between the leaders of North and South Korea was Pyongyang's human rights record, and the issue appears to have faded from U.S. President Donald Trump's public agenda as he prepares for his own meeting with Kim Jong Un.
ASIA PACIFIC / FOCUS
Mar 29, 2018
How will Kim tell his country he's ready to give up nuclear arms?
State media calls North Korea's nuclear weapons a "treasured sword of justice."

Longform

Historically, kabuki was considered the entertainment of the merchant and peasant classes, a far cry from how it is regarded today.
For Japan's oldest kabuki theater, the show must go on