43 Search Results for: hyesan

From Hyesan to London: Hyeonseo Lee and the New North Korea Defector Memoir

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EU-East Asia relations / human rights / North Korea / North Korean border region / Yanbian
June 23 Abulouwang Hyeonseo Lee

Hyeonseo Lee has produced an excellent memoir, a text which, along with John Sweeney and Emma Graham-Harrison, I will be discussing with her at an event organized by The Guardian in London tomorrow night. Having worked my way through a review copy of the text this past week, I am happy to convey that the book goes beyond some of the now-stereotypical gestures of the suddenly expanding ‘North Korean defector genre’. Through the book, readers […]

Borderline News from NK: Hyesan and Forest Fires

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North Korean border region / Sino-North Korean relations

Hyesan is getting spruced up with some funds from the center. Meanwhile, the ever-vigilant Juchechosunmanse digs up a real find: Back in October North Korea watchers were perplexed by the fires in the DPRK’s northeast, namely in Ryanggang-do and Hamgyong-bukdo. The Daily NK has just reported [ed. in Chinese] that the forest fires were caused by people burning corn roots to get rid of insects and worms in areas such as Pungseo-gun in Ryanggang-do. Apparently it is part […]

Flower Girls: Prostitution in Hyesan, North Korea

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

A fall 2009 dispatch from the Daily NK in Chinese (and its English translation) indicated that a prostitution scandal was breaking in Hyesan, North Korea’s fourth largest city, a gray metropolis which sprawls along the banks of the shallow Yalu river across from the Chinese city of Changbai. [Google Map of Hyesan/Changbai available here.] I spent a few days in Changbai in July 2009 to gather impressions of North Korean-Chinese interactions. From talking to locals, […]

Prostitution in Hyesan, North Korea

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North Korean border region / Sino-North Korean relations

Snug up against the small but still bustling Chinese city of Changbai (Jilin province), Hyesan lies along the Yalu River, spreading from West to East as the closest urban gateway to sacred Mount Paektu.  According to the country’s Meteorological Administration, Hyesan is the coldest big city in the DPRK.  Cross border-trade is an important part of what goes on in the city, yet, Hyesan is, in some ways more than other cities in North Korea, […]

Survey of Hyesan *North Korea* and Surrounding Border Areas

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

Earlier this summer, 2009, I spent several days each in various sections of the border between North Korea and China.   As the holder of a U.S. passport, I am not allowed into these regions of DPRK territory, but there are still significant phenomenon one can gauge from a trip to various parts of the border. Along with some brief observations, selected photos of North Korea are available on my new photos blog. My apologies for […]

Will China Disintegrate? A British Assessment in 1947

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China / Chinese communist party / Chinese nationalism / EU-East Asia relations
Liberation of Shanghai, 1949

On either side of an energizing North Korea public event I did this past Friday in London, I make two treks out to the UK’s National Archives in Kew Gardens. My goal was explore Foreign Office papers about the U.S. occupation of Japan with a focus on war crimes tribunals and Chinese public opinion, and the Korean War with a focus on atrocities in South Hwanghae province. In the coming weeks, I hope to share a […]

Bubble at the Summit: Insecurities in Kim Jong-un Itineraries

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Borderlands / factionalism in North Korea / Kim Jong-un / Kim Jong-un health / Manchuria / North Korea / North Korean border region / Op-Ed / Sino-North Korean relations / Yanbian
KJU Wonsan

Is Kim Jong-un staggeringly confident, or do his behaviours and travel itineraries betray personal neuroses and structural fears? The short answer is that it depends on the issue under discussion. Let’s take the economy for starters. Like a shrimp rediscovering its appetite after an awful oil spill, the North Korean economy appears to be improving, or so argue a number of indicators. Several smaller dams around the Huichon behemoth are coming online, meaning there is more power […]

Toward understanding North Korean state fears of Dandong

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Borderlands / North Korea / North Korean border region / Sino-North Korean relations
north-korean-spies-comic

On March 26, the Korean Central News Agency reported at length on a truly remarkable press conference. I say “remarkable” because it dealt with a topic that, if even half of the allegations stated were true, contained more than a few bombshells about a cluster of sensitive subjects. This characterization of sensitivity holds — not only because Dandong is the key conduit for Chinese-North Korean trade — ultimately because the narrative tacitly consists of a North Korean […]

Strung Out: Fencing and Security on the Chinese-Korean Frontier

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Borderlands / North Korean border region / Sino-North Korean relations
Adam Cathcart on the Chinese side of the Tumen River south of Hoeryong (North Hamgyong province, DPRK), photo by Chuck Kraus

Q.: Have you heard anything about how extensive the fencing is along the North Korea-China border? A.: Ishimaru Jiro of AsiaPress travels the Tumen Valley extensively. This past summer in a trip there with a Deutsche Welle camera crew, he noted that some additional fencing had gone up along one relatively active crossing point.  However, this is not to be taken as gospel that it’s being done along the length of the Tumen River frontier. The […]

Is China losing faith in North Korea? A Contribution to The Guardian

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Korean War / North Korean border region / Yanbian

Having been asked to put something together for the Guardian‘s new North Korea network, I did, and had the following short essay included as part of a very fine panel: One of the things you quickly realise from travelling along the full length of the Chinese border with North Korea is just how much of North Korea there is. China’s boundary stretches along four northern frontier provinces of the DPRK, stretching for hundreds of kilometres […]