Tim Beal
Dr. Tim Beal, after completing an MA(Hons) in modern Chinese studies at the University of Edinburgh, went on to do a Diploma in Business Administration followed by a PhD on China's terms of trade. He subsequently studied Japanese at Sheffield University and was Ferranti Research Fellow at the Centre for Japanese Studies at Stirling University. He has taught on subjects ranging from Chinese politics to international marketing at universities in Britain, Japan, China and New Zealand, where he moved in 1987. He is a senior lecturer in the School of Marketing and International Business where he currently teaches mainly international marketing, and Asian business environment.
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Observing Moon Jae-in win the election on 7 May, take up the presidency of the Republic of Korea and move on to a summit with President Trump has been like watching a movie where the action is put into slow motion to emphasize the inevitability of the disaster to come. The hero may gesticulate but […]

Synopsis The end of 2011 saw the death of Kim Jong Il and the succession of his son Kim Jong Un. During 2012 there will be elections in South Korea (for the National Assembly and for the presidency), and in Russia, China, and the United States.  We are embarking on a period of change, perhaps […]

The year is 2045 and the world is celebrated the 100th anniversary of the United Nations.  Of course, some things have changed with the passage of time.  The decline of the United States and the rise of China has led to the UN headquarters being transferred from New York to Shanghai, in recognition of the […]

With the death of Kim Jong Il and the accession to power, nominal and perhaps actual, of Kim Jong Un, many have been asking what change this will make to DPRK policy towards the outside world, and in particular towards foreign business. The short answer is that in the short to medium term, none. More […]

North Korea is seldom in the news but when it is this is usually occasioned by some event, such as a nuclear test, or a rocket launch, that is seen to be portentous and so generates a deluge of articles and interviews.  So it was with the death of Kim Jong Il.  However, this lurch […]

The visit of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il to Russia in August 2011 received little attention in the international media, and most of the articles were uninformed. As is often the case, the South Korean media provided the best coverage. The North Korean and Russian media gave little detail and scant analysis. China was […]

The visit of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il to Russia in August 2011 received little attention in the international media, and most of the articles were uninformed. As is often the case, the South Korean media provided the best coverage. The North Korean and Russian media gave little detail and scant analysis. China was […]

What most journalists and sundry pundits have in common is a lack of examination of the facts of the case – if you write what is essentially ideological polemic, facts can get in the way. On top of that, or perhaps part of it, is a failure to understand and attempt to analyse the context in which the event is embedded. This context has two aspects, the contemporary geopolitical environment, and the historical framework. Once you take an event out of its context it often becomes impossible to comprehend it correctly. Worse still, events and the actors that perform them can have their meaning and significance distorted, often to the point of inversion. Prey become predators, victims become villains, and war becomes peace.

The geopolitical context is tortuous, and often hidden from view by politicians and press, but it is the key to understand what is going on. The situation in Northeast Asia is becoming increasingly tense and dangerous. If real fighting breaks out, rather than the skirmishes of the past, then we might well end up with another war between the United States and China, with incalculable, but surely disastrous, consequences.

The nuclear test by the DPRK has led to a predictable deluge of hype and hypocrisy, amidst a dearth of informed and sensible comment. Politicians, and journalists, have reveled in the situation. North Korea is a convenient whipping boy, with few friends. It tends to be excoriated across the political spectrum. Since it is a […]

The Cheonan incident of March 2010, or more precisely the response to it,  has cast a dreadful pall over the Korean peninsula. The prospect of war engulfing the Koreas, and Northeast Asia, which seemed to have been  banished during the administrations of Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun, has returned.  It has made the subject of […]