Day: January 19, 2010

All Roads Lead to Chongjin

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North Korea / North Korean border region / Sino-North Korean relations

Back in October 2009 I wrote about new tourism agreements put into place between North Korea’s North Hamgyong province and Chinese counterparts in Tumen city.  In spite of North Korea putting the brakes on foreign travel in North Korea last December, the trend toward cooperation resumes.  Today North Korea Economy Watch conveys news that Tumen-Chongjin rail travel will soon be possible. Here is the Korea Herald report: China to renew border rail link with N.K. […]

“We Are the Better West”:German Architecture Critic on Dubai’s New Tower of Babel

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Art / Chinese Avant-Garde / East Asian modernity

The other night I encountered a stupendous, if somewhat Chicken-Little-esque, review by Hanno Rauterberg in Die Zeit about the Burj Khalifa, the world’s new tallest building. Of interest here is the kind of recognition of the foot-dragging of Western democracies in producing such feats, and the sense of the global future tacking to the East.  And the fact that the review stems from a German critic who sees echoes of the Weimar period utopianism in […]

PRC Media on Inter-Korean Talks / Huanqiu Netizens vs. Human Rights Street Performance

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Chinese nationalism / Cultural Politics / North Korea / Sino-North Korean relations

China is sometimes accused of desiring something less than success for South Korean ventures in North Korea.   From such a perspective, industrial zones like Kaesong portend a South Korean takeover of North Korean industry (presupposing Korean unification) or imply that eastern Jilin province would lose every bit of South Korean won.   (The latter course presupposes that South Koreans could go to Paektusan via Ryanggang province, a la Kumgangsan, as North Korea has flirted […]