August 1, 2016
It is with regret that Hay, Kalb & Associates (HK&A), announces its decision to suspend all of its activities inside the DPRK, more commonly known as North Korea. This suspension (not closure), as a practical matter, takes immediate effect as of midnight, Monday, August 1, 2016, Pyongyang Standard Time (PST). Officially, however, the suspension operates as of August 14, 2016, marking 12 years exactly since HK&A was established.
This decision has been taken only after lengthy and thorough deliberation and an examination of the continuing deterioration of inter-regional relations pertaining to the Korean Peninsula. Specifically, this involved examination of developments over the past 5-6 years, notably, and various events occurring in the first several months of this year.
This decision is by no means taken lightly, as HK&A has so far maintained a positive view of the overall Korean situation, despite the numerous challenges. The decision is made on a hard assessment of both business and geopolitical principles. It is not unreasonable to assume that no meaningful change or indicator of change in relations shall occur, if at all, until well after the United States Presidential Inauguration, on January 20, 2017.
In the absence of any unexpected breakthrough - however defined -- HK&A shall therefore not resume full operations until after that date. Should there be a material breakthrough, then HK&A will re-examine the situation.
HK&A does not here, and shall not make any comment on the foreign policy decisions taken by the various countries and entities directly involved in the Korean issue.
Clients with cases still to be completed may contact HK&A at the separate email address provided to them when they first became clients. Other, new inquiries (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com) remain welcome
Although operations are suspended, HKA is not, contrary to some media reports, shutting down its Pyongyang offices, and remains staffed, supervised on site by Michael Hay.
International/foreign activities (notably open/closed-door private sector/public sector briefings or seminars by Michael Hay) remain unaffected.
HK&A sincerely thanks all its clients, friends and contacts for their continued support and encouragement, ever since 2004.
Michael A. Hay, Ph.D.
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