TOM PLATE WRITES – Thanks to an inspiring visit by the National Committee on North Korea, a handful of staffers – not to mention their prof – may have learned more about the intricacies of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea and its regional relationships in two hours than in the length of a semester.

Visiting Loyola Marymount University for its annual Board Members confab, NCNK ( put in a full day of decision meetings in a specially reserved room on the LMU campus, then around 5pm (Friday 8 June) adjourned for a party-reception hosted by LMU’s Asia Media International ( at the famed Del Rey Yacht Club (

Led by Executive Director Keith Luse, the board members offered an amazing kaleidoscope of penetrating views on the impending summit on North Korea, the key role of Singapore, the deeply influential but cleverly quiet background role of China, and the roiling role of President Donald Trump – whose very roiling, ironically, helped create the overnight chemistry to bring the various parties and factors together for the summit.

Taking all this in were Asia Media international’s (picture) Tom Plate, LMU’s distinguished scholar of Asian and Pacific Studies, AMI staffer and LMU undergraduate Yawen (Evan) Sun, AM staffer and recent graduate Hiromi Ochi, and AM staffer currently heading for graduate school (USC – policy studies) Alexis Cruz.

Afterwards, the NCNK graciously sent out a tweet of appreciation for the reception, which this little story seeks to reciprocate in spirit. AMI hopes NCNK – an alliance partner with the deeply influential Pacific Century Institute – will visit LMU again for its annual business meeting, perhaps even next June.

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