About the author

Ivan Zakharchenko is a journalist and expert with nearly 30 year experience of studying and news coverage of the Korean affairs as well as Asia-Pacific region. He was born in Russia, in the town of Orsk, situated in the Ural Mountains on the border between Europe and Asia. Having graduated from the Institute of Asia-African Studies (faculty of History and Philology) at the Moscow state University in 1985, he was specialized in Korean sociolinquistics with skills in Korean and Japanese. 

He also spent six months is Pyongyang, studying at the foreign student department of Kim Il Sung State University. 

The author started his career in 1985 at TASS News Agency which was employing people with a country knowledge and foreign language skills to become journalists. Two years of training led to the first assignment of the author as a correspondent in Pyongyang in 1987. 

The author had spent 4 years in Pyongyang before being assigned as the first Russian journalist in Seoul in 1991, after the relations was established between the former USSR and the Republic of Korea. Three years of work in South Korea was followed by another temporary assignment to Pyongyang for a period of more than one year. 

At that time, after covering a tragic incident in the Russian Embassy when a North Korean soldier which intruded the mission building and took hostages among diplomats, demanding political asylum in Russia, the author was called to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of DPRK. The North Korean officials verbally demanded the author to leave the country as soon as possible. News agencies Associated Press and Reuters covered this conflict between the author and the North Korean authorities. 

At the period of eight years spent in both North and South Korea, the author witnessed and covered all events of South - North dialogue and confrontation, transition from the military regime in South Korea, changes in North Korea after the death of Kim Il Sung. 

In 2008-2000 the author was a correspondent of ITAR-TASS in Sydney. After that period he quit the agency and joined RIA Novosti that assigned him to the post of deputy bureau chief in Tokyo, Japan. 

The author has a lots of publications, analysis works on Korean affairs. He participated in conferences and TV discussions, interviews in the foreign press. Outside Korea the author continued closely watching events in Korea. Particularly, he covered all meetings of the six party talks in Beijing, excluding the first round in 2003. 

Ivan Zakharchenko is a co-author of Special Report "The Korean Peninsula: Challenges and Opportunities for Russia"  for The Northeast Asia Peace and Security Network  (October 7th, 2010).

Since 2011, the author is based in New York, mostly dealing with the agenda of the United Nations, including the Korean affairs.