20 Search Results for: rason

Ambassador Liu Makes a Visit to Rason, North Korea

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

The Chinese-North Korean relationship is hardly in full comradely bloom, but neither is it in a state of total breakdown and acrimony. Rason, the port/SEZ in the extreme northeast of the DPRK and a relatively short drive from China and its Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture, is a good case in point. One month ago, Liu Hongcai, the Chinese Ambassador in Pyongyang, made a trip around the Rason Special Economic Zone which went essentially unremarked upon. Xi […]

The Interview: A Rare Glimpse into the Alternate Reality of CNN in North Korea

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North Korea / Propaganda / 新闻自由
Screen shot 2015-05-09 at 12.02.06

CNN’s Will Ripley was recently summoned to Pyongyang, coinciding nicely with North Korea’s announcement that the country had placed yet another American wanderer in custody for crossing the border illegally. Apart from a short interview with the young sufferer (he has been diagnosed with an extreme condition of “North Korean ennui”), Ripley was given access to a real live North Korean official, who delivered the usual talking points: Refugees are scum, the economy is improving, […]

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 […]

Three Questions on Dandong and Chinese-North Korean Economic Relations

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Borderlands / North Korean border region / Sino-North Korean relations
Dandong-railroad-station

As the third China-North Korea Trade Fair continues, a few questions (modified from those posed by a stalwart reporter from a northern European news magazine roaming Liaoning province) and tentative answers seem appropriate. Q.: There is a great deal of new construction in Dandong and Chinese real estate companies are clearly trying to attract buyers — including possibly wealthy North Koreans.  I have been going to the ‘Xinchengqu’ (or New City district) every year since that […]

The Dandong Trade Fair

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Borderlands / North Korean border region / Sino-North Korean relations
Bridge-Sinuiju

As the rest of the world gets accustomed to seeing Kim Jong-un walk with a cane, we might do well to figure out what, if anything, is changing about the way that the broader North Korean state engages with the economic powerhouses that engulf its southern and northern peripheries. KEI’s Director of Research recently assessed the outlook for improved inter-Korean economic relations in the aftermath of the surprising visit of a high-level North Korean troika […]

Americans in Pyongyang: Detainees, Prisoners, Hostages, and Pawns

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Uncategorized

Yesterday, North Korea gave the US media momentary access to three American nationals currently detained in the DPRK. Finding the right terms to capture what function these three unfortunate men are serving at the moment is tricky at the moment. For convenience, let’s just start with nouns: “Detainee” is probably the most neutral designation, though for certain intrepid lawyers even this language has been tainted by post-9/11 practices and the erosion of habeus corpus at home. So we are hamstrung, and […]

Cambridge on the Tumen: A Transnational Workshop

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Borderlands / Korean War / Manchuria / North Korean border region / Sino-North Korean relations / Yanbian

A small group of scholars gathered in Cambridge on Friday, May 23 for a conference centered on the Tumen River and a critical sub- region of Northeast Asia which has seen less critical attention than the issues surrounding it might indicate it deserves. Funded by the Beyond the Korean War Project  and including participants from the North Asian Borders Network, the workshop brought together a number of experts. Among the issues explored at the workshop included […]

Assessing the Jang Song-taek Effect: The View from Yanbian

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Borderlands / Manchuria / North Korea / North Korean border region / Sino-North Korean relations / Yanbian

I spent the month of April in northeast China, and had the opportunity to speak to several knowledgeable interlocutors about Sino-North Korean relations. In particular, the aftereffects of the purge of Jang Song-taek were of interest — at least as much interest as the rare materials I was able to pick up and research in Yanbian. In reviewing my notes for an upcoming talk at the Korea Economic Institute in Washington, D.C., I ran across […]

New Daily NK Essay: On the Emerging Reality of High-Speed Rail in Eastern Jilin

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Borderlands / China / East Asian modernity / North Korean border region / Sino-North Korean relations / Yanbian

Eastern Manchuria, for decades a cold and industrially declining region, is now a site of huge infrastructure development. Time and space between the three northeastern provinces of Liaoning, Jilin, and Heilongjiang provinces are shrinking. Meanwhile, North Hamkyung is whittling away with dysfunctional infrastructure and marginal growth at Rason.  *Read the rest of the essay, co-authored with Steven Denney, at The Daily NK.

Chronicling the History of the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture in the PRC: 1990 Edition

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Borderlands

Ambassador Jim Hoare has written a delightful and very informative essay for SinoNK.com, the website for which I serve as chief editor. When based in Beijing in 1990, Ambassador Hoare took a trip up to Yanji with Warwick Morris (who, unbeknownst to him at the time, was another future UK Ambassador to North Korea). Their photographs and recollections are included in a newly released (and free) e-journal, entitled The Tumen Triangle Documentation Project, Vol. 2, […]