38 North – Bias and Credibility

38 North - Least Biased - Credible - Reliable - North KoreaFactual Reporting: High - Credible - Reliable


These sources have minimal bias and use very few loaded words (wording that attempts to influence an audience by appeals to emotion or stereotypes).  The reporting is factual and usually sourced.  These are the most credible media sources. See all Least Biased Sources.

  • Overall, we rate 38 North Least Biased based on minimally loaded words and straightforward reporting. We also rate them High for factual reporting due to proper sourcing and a clean fact-check record.

Detailed Report

Factual Reporting: HIGH
Country: USA
MBFC’s Country Freedom Rating: MOSTLY FREE
Media Type: Organization/Foundation
Traffic/Popularity: Medium Traffic



38 North was launched in 2010 by Joel Wit and Jenny Town. 38 North’s objective is to provide” research, analysis, and commentary on topics such as military, economic and political issues related to North Korea.” 38 North is based in Washington, D.C.

Read our profile on the United States government and media.

Funded by / Ownership

On June 1, 2018, 38 North joined the Henry L. Stimson Center’s East Asia Program. The South Korean Government initially funded it through the U.S. John Hopkins University’s Korea Institute for International Economic Policy, or KIEP. According to a Business Insider article, “The institute USKI had received about $1.8 million annually from the South Korean government”. 38 North was an adjunct of the U.S.-Korea Institute (USKI). Boston.com reports that the South Korean government has terminated the U.S.-Korea Institute (USKI) funding through KIEP. South Korea’s reason for the closure has been stated as a “lack of transparency and sloppy management,” as reported in South Korean papers. Further, the USKI director Jae H. Ku, Ph.D., is known for conservative views, which may have been a factor. This lack of transparency prompted the South Korean Government to cut its funding.

According to a Business Insider article, this lack of funding will not affect the website as 38 North has “alternative sources of funding.” On April 11, 2018, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) announced that “In May, the U.S.-Korea Institute (USKI) at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) will no longer be in operation and SAIS also stated the reason for the closure of the U.S.-Korea Institute(USKI) is due to the loss of funding from a major supporter.” The Washington Post reports The South Korean government has funded the U.S. Korea Institute (USKI) with about $19 million over 12 years through the state-run KIEP. At present, we do not have information regarding the “alternative sources of funding” that 38 North claims.

Analysis / Bias

In review, 38 North frequently publishes satellite imagery of North Korea to show the locations and development of secret facilities and North Korean military actions. They also publish analysis of North Korea’s Kim Jong Un’s messages: “Kim Jong Un’s 2019 New Year’s Address: Dropping a Strategic Bombshell” and another article, “Way Too Much to Do About Nothing,” which contains the quote “I thus interpret Kim’s threat of “finding a new way” not as a hint at more nuclear tests, but rather as a message to Donald Trump: You are not our only option for security and economic development. If you refuse to cooperate, we will ignore you and turn to China. Oh, and we will take South Korea along.” They usually utilize credible sources such as the New York Times, CNN, and the Center for a New American Security when it comes to sourcing. 

38 North uses minimally loaded language in their headlines and within articles such as this: Parade Drills Continue, No Signs of Missile Launchers Yet. This article is sourced from current satellite images of the parade staging areas. In general, 38 North reports news and analysis with minimal bias.

Failed Fact Checks

  • None in the Last 5 years. Fact-checkers use them for expert analysis and data regarding North Korea.

Overall, we rate 38 North Least Biased based on minimally loaded words and straightforward reporting. We also rate them High for factual reporting due to proper sourcing and a clean fact-check record. (M. Huitsing 1/4/2019) Updated (09/29/2023)

Source: https://www.38north.org

Last Updated on September 29, 2023 by Media Bias Fact Check

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