Proof Day

You know the adage, “the proof is in the pudding?” Well, that’s how I felt when I received my proof of Bureau 39 in the mail today. It’s a big day when you see the physical copy of your book for the first time. It’s a thrill that never gets old. Even though I had […]

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What is Bureau 39?

What exactly is the infamous Bureau 39? This is what Wikipedia says: “Room 39 (officially Central Committee Bureau 39 of the Korean Workers’ Party, also referred to as Bureau 39, Division 39, or Office 39) is a secretive North Korean party organization that seeks ways to maintain the foreign currency slush fund for the country’s […]

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CIA Creates Mission Center on North Korean Threat

I couldn’t ask for better publicity for my new novel, Bureau 39. Every time there’s a story about North Korea these days means more exposure for my novel. In this case, a mission center in Seoul to assess the North Korean threat. “Creating the Korea Mission Center allows us to more purposefully integrate and direct […]

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Bureau 39: The Beginning

Many people have asked me how did I come up with the story for my latest novel, Bureau 39. The story of Frank Mitchum chasing down an old Army buddy in Korea while trying to cut-off North Korea’s funding for its WMDs started out as a story about a murder in Itaewon, which was based […]

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Bureau 39 — An Excerpt

WRAPPED IN LAYERS of threadbare rayon and vinylon, Kim Min-hee shivered on the shore of the frozen river and hoped she wouldn’t have to wait too long. After traveling for almost two days to get there, she had lain low for another day to watch for military patrols, and had been unable to light a […]

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Book Review: Bangkok Belle

Bangkok Belle is not your ordinary, run-of-the-mill hardboiled detective story. Indeed, what makes this novel fascinating and engaging is its exotic location and colorful characters. The author, Ron McMillan, who has knocked around Asia for a couple decades, offers much more than a “travel guide” story by dropping in a steady flow of Asian references, […]

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National Geographic — December 1979

One of my prized possessions is a 1979 issue of National Geographic that I bought on eBay to remind me of what it was like to come to Korea in 1990. It was late summer 1990. Iraq had invaded Kuwait, Die Hard 2 and Ghost were two of the summer’s hottest movies, and I had […]

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Book Review: An Unknown Shore

One of the joys of discovering a new author is coming to the table without any expectations of the author’s previous work (if any). It’s all about what’s in front of you now and the literary journey the author will take you on. At the same time, it’s also, “Okay, buddy, I took a chance […]

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Book Review: Dear Petrov

Early in Susan Tepper’s brilliant collection of short fiction, Dear Petrov, her unnamed narrator asks, “Dear Petrov. Can you not take in, just out of range, a lady of wistful yearning. Who, by her own submission, adores you out of reach.” And so begins a mesmerizing and poignant spiritual journey into the heart and soul […]

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Book Review: Dust

It’s been a long time that a book of poetry moved me as much as Brady Peterson’s Dust did. A lot had to do with the topics, which reminds me of many of the things I like to write about, and the reasons why I write. Reading Dust reminded me of the important role we […]

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