Jenny Town, cofounder and managing editor of 38 North, is one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People of 2019.
When President Trump emerged from his Singapore summit with Kim Jong-un last June and announced that North Korea had offered to dismantle one of its nuclear sites, the website 38 North used satellite imagery to confirm that deconstruction was underway at key facilities at the Sohae launching station. After Trump’s summit with the dictator in Hanoi, Vietnam, seven months later, 38 North was able to document that Kim had begun rebuilding the Sohae site. Managing editor Jenny Town, who was born in South Korea, cofounded 38 North in 2010 at Johns Hopkins with former State Department official Joel Wit to provide accurate, ideologically balanced coverage of North Korea by tapping experts who have real experience working there—former diplomats, NGO workers, businesspeople, military analysts, and foreign scholars. Now part of the nonpartisan Stimson Center and financed through foundation grants and private donors, 38 North‘s five-person staff is expanding coverage of North Korean economic activity, analyzing energy and infrastructure developments, border crossings, and ports.