- By Colum Lynch
Colum Lynch is Foreign Policy's award-winning U.N.-based senior diplomatic reporter. Lynch previously wrote Foreign Policy's Turtle Bay blog, for which he was awarded the 2011 National Magazine Award for best reporting in digital media. He is also a recipient of the 2013 Elizabeth Neuffer Memorial Silver Prize for his coverage of the United Nations.
Before moving to Foreign Policy, Lynch reported on diplomacy and national security for the Washington Post for more than a decade. As the Washington Post's United Nations reporter, Lynch had been involved in the paper's diplomatic coverage of crises in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Sudan, and Somalia, as well as the nuclear standoffs with Iran and North Korea. He also played a key part in the Post's diplomatic reporting on the Iraq war, the International Criminal Court, the spread of weapons of mass destruction, and U.S. counterterrorism strategy. Lynch's enterprise reporting has explored the underside of international diplomacy. His investigations have uncovered a U.S. spying operation in Iraq, Dick Cheney's former company's financial links to Saddam Hussein, and documented numerous sexual misconduct and corruption scandals.
Lynch has appeared frequently on the Lehrer News Hour, MSNBC, NPR radio, and the BBC. He has also moderated public discussions on foreign policy, including interviews with Susan E. Rice, the U.S. national security advisor, Gerard Araud, France's U.N. ambassador, and other senior diplomatic leaders.
Born in Los Angeles, California, Lynch received a bachelor's degree from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1985 and a master's degree from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism in 1987. He previously worked for the Boston Globe.
South Korea’s election to the U.N. Security Council may or may not make a difference in easing the nuclear standoff with North Korea.
But it is likely to lead to the proliferation of even more corny jokes about the Korean pop sensation, Psy, and his "Gangnam Style" music video sensation.
Korean diplomats, international civil servants, and American diplomats posted in Korea have been milking the dance craze, promoting the new South Korean flair in contrast to the dour image projected by North Korea’s nuclear-armed dynasty.
U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the former Korean foreign minister, will actually begin a speech today decrying the end of his status as the best-known South Korean in the world. (Ban once told an aide that he had been mistaken for Kim Jong Il during one of his first U.S. tours as secretary general).
"The other day I was introduced by a journalist as the most famous Korean on the planet,"says Ban, according to a prepared speech he will deliver to students at Drake University. "But I had to relinquish that title to Psy, the singer of Gangnam Style!"
Earlier this week, the Korean president of the International Criminal Court, Sang-Hyun Song, worked a Gangnam line into his address to the U.N. Security Council.
"Let me apologize in advance if I slightly overstep the conventional time limit allocated to speakers," he said. "I am afraid I could not stay within say, 10 minutes even if I were to speak in Gangnam Style."
Sadly, the jokes aren’t even restricted to Korean leaders. The U.S. ambassador to Korea, Sung Kim, got a group of interns to perform the Gangnam Style dance at the embassy.
"I wish I could do the dance for you, but I can’t. I’m just a horrible dancer," he said on his online "Ask the Ambassador" series. "But, I have very talented interns at the embassy who are willing to do the dance for you."
Ban meanwhile told the Agence France Presse that he is big fan of Psy, and has seen the video "several times."
"I’m very proud that his performance has been loved and enjoyed by more than 400 million people," Ban said. "It is amazing."
Ban apparently has not, however, instructed his own staff to perform it. "I haven’t seen anyone around doing the dance," said a U.N. official. "But he is happy that everyone else seems to be doing it."
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