Author: Adam Cathcart

North Korean Purges and Scuttlebutt

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American Foreign Policy / Sino-North Korean relations / US-North Korea relations
Screen shot 2015-05-29 at 14.53.06

A few days after publishing a 2500-word analysis of the Hyon Yong-chol purge aftermath (an abbreviated version of which was published by the Guardian), I spoke with Steve Miller of the Asia News Weekly podcast about a number of issues relating to North Korea and the situation in northeast Asia. A sound & video recording of our conversation, along with some prefatory text, is available here.

On the PRC Ambassador in Pyongyang, ‘Comfort Women’ Activists, and the Women Cross DMZ Reception

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history and memory / Korean War / North Korea / North Korea and the Third World / North Korea-Japan relations / North Korean border region / 新闻自由
DCF 1.0

This morning I turned on my computer and immediately became wrapped up in a somewhat quixotic quest to find the origins of a rumor. The rumor being that the Chinese Ambassador in Pyongyang ‘had yet to be recognized by the North Korean government.’ A question to that effect had been asked (or should we say planted?) at the 25 May Ministry of Foreign Affairs press conference in Beijing, which had then triggered a bunch of […]

On Memorial Day, and Korea

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history and memory / Korean War / Pensee

One day in May back in the 1990s, an old man stood about ten meters from a small flag on my father’s grave in Minnesota and gave a speech about Korea, the ‘forgotten war.’ For me, the war hadn’t been so much forgotten as learned and immediately neglected. One simple dot-matrix printout had been made (being a hoarder who needs to read everything multiple times before forgetting it, I still have it) which said KOREAN […]

Full Comment on Women Across the DMZ March

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American Foreign Policy / history and memory / North Korea / US-North Korea relations / War Crimes / 新闻自由
Coleen Baik image from Pyongyang, 22 May 2015

As observers of current events on the Korean peninsula will be aware, a group of peace activists is presently in North Korea and will be crossing the DMZ tomorrow, from Kaesong, into the South. Their efforts have been the focus of much conversation.  I was asked to share my views with the Christian Science Monitor, which yesterday published a short extract from the following remarks. 1. Do you see this event having any potential to spark meaningful […]

Unrest in the Southwest: The Linshui Protests in Historical Perspective

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Borderlands / China / Chinese communist party / history and memory / Sichuan

Unrest in the Southwest: The Linshui Protests in Historical Perspective by Adam Cathcart and Li Wankun, University of Leeds for University of Nottingham China Policy Institute Blog Due to the outbreak of social disobedience and subsequent violent confrontation with police, this week the world is focusing on Linshui, a small city in the southwestern province of Sichuan. Since 16 May, tens of thousands of residents of Linshui gathered, demanding that a proposed high-speed railway linking […]

Recent Writings and Commentary on North Korea

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My Publications / North Korea

Essays ‘Purges, Baekdu, and the Moranbong Band: Data Points around General Hyon,’ Sino-NK, 16 May 2015  ‘Kim Jong-un’s vulnerability on display as North Korean rumours abound,’ The Guardian, 15 May 2015  ‘Satellites and State Media: Breaking Down Recent Execution Rumors,’ Sino-NK, 4 May 2015.  ‘Kim Jong-un: purges, paranoia, plots and the beloved leader’s cancelled trip to Moscow,’ The Conversation, 1 May 2015  Media Comment  

Last Call for Abe Shinzo Congressional Speech Op-eds

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history and memory / Japan / US-Japan relations
Abe at Congress

The Stimson Center’s Yuki Tatsumi threw down the gauntlet in The Diplomat on May 7 in a piece pointedly entitled ‘Stop Obsessing over Abe’s Congressional Speech.’ The conclusion read as follows: Continuing to criticize Abe for his congressional speech is futile, even counterproductive. […] Would the audience have rather heard Abe spend most of his speech apologizing for Japan’s past wrongdoings and offer very little on his vision for Japan’s future, and the future of U.S.-Japan alliance? […]