Musan, North Hamgyong province, DPRK, seen from above the upper Tumen River and the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture -- photo by Adam Cathcart

Musan, North Hamgyong province, DPRK, seen from above the upper Tumen River and the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture — photo by Adam Cathcart

Adam Cathcart is a historian based at the University of Leeds. His programme of research embraces the Sino-Korean borderlands along the Yalu and Tumen Rivers, the international history of the Korean War, the construction of the North Korean state in the late 1940s, political art and music in China and North Korea, and Chinese Koreans in Yanbian.

He serves as the founder and editor-in-chief of, a scholarly website dedicated to the historical and contemporary documentation and analysis of the relationship between North Korea (the DPRK) and China (the PRC), and is the editor of the Papers of the British Association for Korean Studies.


[Under construction]


(2014). “Nation, Ethnicity, and the Post-Manchukuo Order in the Sino-Korean Border Region,” with Charles Kraus, in Key Papers on Korea: Papers Celebrating 25 Years of the Centre of Korean Studies, SOAS, University of London, Andrew D. Jackson, ed. (Brill) 79-99.

(2014). “In the Shadow of Jang Song-taek: Pyongyang’s Evolving Strategy with the Hwanggumpyeong and Wihua Islands,” Korea Economic Institute of America Academic Paper Series, Vol. 8 (June), 8 pp.

(2013).“North Korea’s Cultural Diplomacy in the Early Kim Jong-un Era,” with Steven Denney, North Korean Review, Vol, 9, No. 2 (Autumn) 29-42.

(2012). “Musical Diplomacy in the Nixon-Kissinger China Visits, 1971-1973,” Yonsei Journal of International Studies, Vol. 4, No. 1 (Spring/Summer) 31-38.

(2011). “The Bonds of Brotherhood: New Evidence of Sino-North Korean Exchanges, 1950-1954,” with Charles Kraus, Journal of Cold War Studies, Vol. 13, No. 3, 27-51.

(2010). “Nationalism and Ethnic Identity in the Sino-Korean Border Region of Yanbian, 1945-1950,” Korean Studies, Vol. 34 (December) 25-53.

(2010). “Japanese Devils and American Wolves: Chinese Communist Songs from the War of Liberation and the Korean War ,” Popular Music and Society, Vol. 33, No. 2 (May): 203-218.

(2009).  “North Korean Hip Hop? Reflections on Musical Diplomacy and the DPRK,” Acta Koreana, Vol. 12, No. 2 (December): 1-19.

(2009). “Transnational Voyages: Reflections on Teaching Exodus to North Korea,” ASIANetwork Exchange Vol. 17, No. 1 (Fall).

(2008).  “Peripheral Influence: The Sinuiju Student Incident and the Soviet Occupation of North Korea, 1945-1947,” with Charles Kraus, Journal of Korean Studies Vol. 13, No. 1 (Fall), 1-28.

(2008). “Internationalist Culture in North Korea, 1945-1950,” with Charles Kraus, Review of Korean Studies Vol. 11, No. 3 (September), 123-148.

(2008).  “Song of Youth: North Korean Music from Liberation to War,” North Korean Review, Vol. 4, No. 1 (Fall), 93-104.

(2004). “Cruel Resurrection: Chinese Political Cartoons from the Korean War,” International Journal of Comic Art Vol. VI, No. 1 (Winter), 37-55.


(2013-2014). Academy of Korean Studies Research Fellowship. // £9600 for “Diplomatic and Political Communication Strategies on the Korean Peninsula.” Principal investigator.

(2008). Forest-Severetson Student-Faculty Research Award, Pacific Lutheran University, Work in Berlin archives on North Korean-East German Relations in the Cold War.

(2007-2008). Student-Faculty Research Award, Freeman Foundation Award via ASIANetwork // $17,684 for summer research in Beijing and Northeast China






(2010). Review of Jae Ho Chang, Between Ally and Partner: China-South Korea Relations, in Korean Studies Vol. 34 (December), 151-154.

(2009). “Tonghak Rebellion,” Encyclopedia of World History (Oxford University Press).

(2009). “Sui Dynasty,” Encyclopedia of World Empires (Facts on File).

(2009).  Review of Hyun Ok Park, Two Dreams in One Bed: Empire, Social Life, and the Origins of the North Korean Revolution in Manchuria in Journal of Asian Studies Vol. 55, No. 1 (February): 313-314.

(2008).  Review of Adrian Buzo, The Making of Modern Korea in Acta Koreana Vol. 11, No. 3 (December): 265-269.

(2008).  Review of David I. Steinberg, ed., Korean Attitudes toward the United States: Changing Dynamics, in Acta Koreana Vol. 11, No. 1 (January): 150-154.

(2007). Review of Allan R. Millett, The War for Korea, 1945-1950, in Korean Studies Vol. 31 (December): 91-95.

(2007). Review of Ha Jin, War Trash, in International Institute for Asian Studies Newsletter No. 42 (Spring): 43.


[Under Construction]

(2014). “Xi Jinping’s diplomatic goals in the South Korean capital do not perturb the North Korean regime in the least,” The Guardian, 3 July <;

(2014). “Is China Losing Faith in North Korea?,” The Guardian, 9 May 2014. <;

(2013). “’Thrice Cursed Acts of Treachery’? Parsing North Korea’s Report on the Execution of Kim Jong Un’s Uncle,” The Atlantic, December 13. <;

(2013). “The Fall of Jang Song-taek,” The National Interest, December 11. <;

(2013). “Pyongyang Machiavelli: All of Kim’s Men,” The Diplomat, April 17. <;

(2013). “Dr. Strangelove and the Special Economic Zone: Balance and Imbalance in China’s Long-Term North Korea Strategy.” With Roger Cavazos and Nathan Beauchamp-Mustafaga. KEI Peninsula [Korea Economic Institute website], January 7.

(2012). “Beijing’s new Politburo may deal more firmly with North Korea,” with Roger Cavazos and Nathan Beauchamp-Mustafaga, South China Morning Post, December 29.

(2012). “Seven Fingers: China’s New Leadership and North Korea Policy,” Pacific Forum (No. #87), with Roger Cavazos and Nathan Beauchamp-Mustafaga. Center for Strategic and International Studies, Hawaii, December. 26.

(2012). “North Korea Does Not Believe in Unicorns,” Foreign Policy, December 27. <;

(2012). “Oprah vs. Juche: Reviewing the North Korean Border Capture, Captivity and Trial of Laura Ling and Euna Lee,” with Brian Gleason, Korean Quarterly, Vol. 15, No. 2.

(2012). “The Slick Propaganda Stylings of Kim Jong Un,” with Isaac Stone Fish, Foreign Policy [online]July 13.

(2012). “Not-So-Great Expectations: On North Korea’s Promises of Prosperity.” Foreign Policy, April 15 [online].

(2012). “The Sea of Blood Opera Show: A History of North Korean Musical Diplomacy,” The Atlantic, March 19 [online].

(2012). “How Weibo ‘Killed’ Kim Jong-Un,” The Diplomat, February 11 [online].

(2012). “I Watched North Korea’s Propaganda Film So You Don’t Have To,” Foreign Policy, January 13 [online].

(2011). “A Tale of Two North Koreas: China Can’t Decide if it Wants to Praise Kim Jong Il or Bury Him,” Foreign Policy, December 30 [online].

(2011). “Bow Before the Portrait: Sino-North Korean Relations in the Kim Jong Un Era,” China Beat, December 23, [online]; syndicated by History News Network, December 23, 2011.

(2011).  “Lux Sinica: China’s ‘Civilizing Influence’ in North Korea,” Korean Quarterly, Vol. 14, No. 2 (Summer), 43-44.

(2010). “Chinese Capitalism Floods North Korea,” Duluth News-Tribune (Minnesota), September 27, p. A15.

(2010). “Respect-worthy Friends or Duplicitous Snakes? Chinese Views of North Korea,” Korean Quarterly, Vol. 13, No. 4 (Winter), 11-12.

(2006). “The Chinese Frontier: Window Into North Korea,” Korean Quarterly Vol. 10, No. 1 (Fall): 61, 78-79.

(2006). “North Korea: The Lonely Nuclear Power,” Akron [Ohio] Beacon Journal, October 12, p. B2.


(2012).”China-North Korea Dossier No. 3: North Korea’s Relations with China at the End of the Kim Jong-il Era, SinoNK

(2012). “China-North Korea Dossier No. 2: “China’s ‘Measure of Reserve’ toward Succession”, SinoNK

(2012). “China-North Korea Dossier No. 1: “China and the North Korean Succession”, SinoNK

DAILY NK (Seoul)

(2014). “Orchestrating a Limited Musical Cosmopolitanism,” Daily NK, May 30. <;

(2014). “Bullet Trains and Wood-Burning Trucks,” with Steven Denney, Daily NK, April 29. <;.

(2014). “Dennis No Solution to Cultural Chill of Youth,” Daily NK, January 21. <;.

(2013). “North Korea’s Invisible Bridge,” Daily NK, November 8. <;

(2013). “Sweet American Liquor over Bitter Chinese Tea,” Daily NK, September 10. <;

(2013). “North Korean Cultural Politics in Reverse Gear,” Daily NK, April 11. <;

(2013). “Smoke with Chasms for China and North Korea,” Daily NK, February 11. <;

(2012). “Boom or Bust? North Korea and Changes in Liaoning,” DailyNK [online], August 31.

(2012). “Cracking Down and Opening Up: China’s Defector Discourse,” The Daily NK [online], May 29.

(2011). “Deaths Leave More Questions than Answers,” Daily NK, December 19 [online].


(2014). “Abusive Convenience: Recent Chinese-North Korean Relations,” CPI Blog, University of Nottingham, June 26 <;

(2014). “Tuning Out Beijing’s Six-Party Drumbeat,” CPI Blog, University of Nottingham, April 1. <;

(2014). “Red Lines and Correct Roads: Recent Chinese Policy Discourse on North Korea,” CPI Blog, University of Nottingham, March 10. <;

(2014). “Limited Soft Power: Zhang Guozuo’s View of Culture, Propaganda, and North Korea,” CPI Blog, University of Nottingham, January 23. <;


(2014). “Southern Weekend Analyzes Kim Jong-un’s Diplomacy with Japan, SinoNK

(2014). “Tuning out Beijing’s Six-Party Drumbeat: Wu Dawei in Pyongyang, SinoNK

(2014). ““Tag X” and the German Leg of the Park-Kim Summit Question, SinoNK

(2014).”North Korean Missiles and Chinese Passenger Aircraft, SinoNK

(2014).”“Red Lines” and North Korean Metaphors at the National People’s Conference in Beijing, SinoNK

(2014).”Justifying Hereditary Succession in North Korea, SinoNK

(2014).”North Korea’s Berlin File, SinoNK

(2014).”China’s Soft-Power Strategy and the DPRK, SinoNK

(2014).”Lexicon of Conspiracy: Jang Sung-taek’s Chinese Execution Document, SinoNK

(2013).”Chinese Anxieties and Korean War Commemorations, SinoNK

(2013).”Huanqiu on Kim Jong-un’s “Hammer Blow”, SinoNK

(2013).”Parsing Those Thrice-Cursed Acts of Treachery, SinoNK

(2013).”Slogans, Portraits and Patterns in Kimist Purges, SinoNK

(2013).”Blind Legacy: Jang Sung-taek and North Korea’s Invisible Cross-Border Bridge, SinoNK

(2013).”Ambassador Liu Hongcai visits Sepho Grassland Reclamation Project, SinoNK

(2013).”“Unification Aesthetics”: A Review of Lee Si-Woo’s Life on the Edge of the DMZ, SinoNK

(2013).”Diplomatic Churning between Berlin and Pyongyang, SinoNK

(2013).”PRC Media Wastes No Time Calling North Korea’s Six-Party Bluff, SinoNK

(2013).”A Tale of Two and a Half Visits: Wu Dawei, and Rodman vs. The King, SinoNK

(2013).”Museum Pieces: Kim Jong-un, the Korean War, and the Shadow of Maoism, SinoNK

(2013).”Parallel Visions: On the Origins of the Byungjin Line and the Persistence of Richard Nixon, SinoNK

(2013).”Eternal Recurrence: North Korean Iconography, SinoNK

(2013).”A Soupçon of Anger: KNCA-China File No. 23, SinoNK

(2013).”In Need of An Icon: Interview with Blaine Harden“, SinoNK

(2013).”Premier Pak Pong-ju: The Helmsman Looks North, SinoNK

(2013).”Through the DPRK Information Membrane: Interview with Blaine Harden, SinoNK

(2013).”Mobilizing Human Rights Infrastructure in 24 Languages: Interview with Blaine Harden, SinoNK

(2013).”The Golden Age is Over: Stacking Up Borderlands Sources in Dandong, SinoNK

(2013).”“Chaos for Selfish Gains:” North Korea in East Asia, SinoNK

(2013).”The Art of Narrative Propulsion: North Korea’s “State of War,” and Conjuring Chinese Troops on the North Korean Frontier, SinoNK

(2013).”Counterpoint to Basketball Diplomacy: Beuys in Beijing, Beethoven in Pongyang, SinoNK

(2013).”Hauling in the U.S.-DPRK Rebound: Two Opposing Chinese Perspectives, SinoNK

(2013).”Atomic Aftermath: An Op-Ed Glossary, SinoNK

(2013).”No More Firewall: Qiao Xinsheng on the DPRK’s Militant Isolationism, SinoNK

(2013).”Incinerated Fantasy: Kim Jong-un, Zhu Feng, and a Censored Article in Beijing, SinoNK

(2013).”The View from Beijing: North Korea as a Path for U.S.-China Cooperation, SinoNK

(2013).”Forecasting Breakthrough in DPRK-Japan Relations: Zhang Liangui, SinoNK

(2013).”Cooling the Nuclear Hotspot: Advocating a PRC Nuclear Umbrella for North Korea, SinoNK

(2012).”Seven Fingers: China’s New Leadership and North Korea Policy, SinoNK

(2012).”Red Glare: Chinese Responses to the DPRK’s Launch, SinoNK

(2012).”Don’t Fear the Tiger: Huanqiu Shibao, Chinese Delegations, and Netizen reaction to the North Korean Rocket, SinoNK

(2012).”Red State, Blue State, Slave State: Reviewing Melanie Kirkpatrick’s  “Escape from North Korea”, SinoNK

(2012).”Kim Il-Song as Logocentric Fundament: Ideology as Written Inheritance in the DPRK, SinoNK

(2012). “Tango in Dandong, Liaoning Dirge: Dualities of Sino-North Korean Trade“, SinoNK

(2012).”Juche Pop: New Assessments of the Moranbong Band, SinoNK

(2012).”Reviewing “The Flower Girl”: DPRK Sea of Blood Opera Troupe on Tour in China, SinoNK

(2012).”The Plot Thickens: Documenting the DPRK-Xiyang Spat, SinoNK

(2012).”Empty Beat: On the Relative Worth of North Korean Revolutionary Music Ensembles, SinoNK

(2012).”Reading North Korean “Reform” in Shenyang: Reportage, SinoNK

(2012).”The Liaoning Fulcrum: Dandong in Pictures, SinoNK

(2012).”Translating Jang Song Taek in Beijing: A Communique Troika, SinoNK

(2012).”“Nightmare Investment”:  Documenting North Korea’s Abuse of the Haicheng Group, SinoNK

(2012).”North Korean Claims of ‘Terrorism’ from Inside Chinese Territory: An Annotated Analysis, SinoNK

(2012)”Songun Mini-Skirt: Ri Sol-ju, the Moranbong Band, and North Korean Fashion Norms, SinoNK

(2012)”Korean Revivalism in DPRK: Historical Consolidation and Personality Cults, SinoNK

(2012)”Red August: New Posters from DPRK, via Uriminzokkiri, SinoNK

(2012)”Let Them Eat Concerts, II: Musical Diplomacy, the Ri Sol-ju Rollout, and Kim Ki-Nam, SinoNK

(2012)”Soft Power on a Hardened Path: On DPRK Musical Performance, SinoNK

(2012)”Prostitution, Abortion, and ‘Flower Girls': Women in Hyesan, SinoNK

(2012)”SinoNK Dukes of Hazzard Edition: Chasing the General Ri, SinoNK

(2012). “The Beijing Party Secretary and Crowd: Incident at Mt. Paektu, SinoNK

(2012). “Sino-North Korean Friendship as the “Last Instructions of General Secretary Kim Jong Il”: KCNA China File No. 18, SinoNK

(2012). “Let Them Eat Concerts: Music, the Moranbong Band, and Cultural Turns in Kim Jong Un’s Korea, SinoNK

(2012). “Insidious Songbun: Roundup of Recent HRNK Panel, SinoNK

(2012). “Oprah vs. Juche: Reviewing the Ling/Lee Memoirs, SinoNK

(2012)”Light In The Tunnel: Weekly Digest, SinoNK

(2012)”Hwanggumpyong, Thy Name is Mud, SinoNK

(2012)”Keeping Up with 38 North, SinoNK

(2012)”Romney’s Dog, Campaign Finance, and Guns: American Culture Through the Rodong Sinmun Lens, SinoNK

(2012)”Grey Area: Southern Weekend Tales on the PRC-DPRK Sea Dispute, SinoNK

(2012)”Crouching Hostage, Hidden Tiger, SinoNK

(2012)”Porous Net: 28 Questions on the “Chinese Fisherman Held Hostage by North Korea” Narrative, SinoNK

(2012)”China’s ‘Soft Power’ Goes Global: Li Keqiang, S.B. Cohen, and North Korea, SinoNK

(2012)”Stable Transition or Fumbling Majesty?: When Kim Jong Un Met the Chinese VP, SinoNK

(2012)”In My Father’s House There Are Many Bunkers: Assessing the Kim Jong Un Speech, SinoNK

(2012)”“Hire A North Korean”: Chinese Economic Magazine, SinoNK

(2012)”Trope Deconstruction 101: “Iranian Scientists May Attend North Korean Nuclear Test”, SinoNK

(2012)”Angry Birds in Pyongyang: Dutch Reportage from North Korea, SinoNK

(2012). “Kim Jong Suk and the Search for a Usable Past, SinoNK

(2012).”Jersey on the Taedong: Pedagogial Resources for Robert Egan’s “Eating With the Enemy”, SinoNK

(2012).”Opening Questions in the Aftermath of April 15, SinoNK

(2012).”Chinese Responses to North Korea’s “Muddle-Headed Move”, SinoNK

(2012).”Media Fugue: Rounding Up the Rocket Op-Eds, SinoNK

(2012).”The Cruellest Month: Chinese Media Commentary on the Missile Launch Preparations, SinoNK

(2012).”Reading the ‘Riot Act': North Korea Themes in the Chinese Media, March 2012, SinoNK

(2012).”Patterns of Absence in Sino-North Korean Mutual Media Coverage, SinoNK

(2012).”Happy Birthday, Dear Leader: KCNA File No. 10, SinoNK

(2012).”Turn You Loose: Five Refractions at the DMZ, SinoNK

(2012).”Rehearsal, Propaganda, Unity: Documenting the DPRK Unhasu Orchestra’s Performance in Paris, SinoNK

(2012).”Tracking Responses to the DPRK’s Planned Missile Launch: Scholars, Propagandists, and Chinese, SinoNK

(2012).”The North Korea Lobby: French Edition, SinoNK

(2012).”Before Unhasu Encores, a Memoir, SinoNK

(2012)”Information Fallout: Tracing Implications that North Korea Tested Nuclear Weapons for Iran, SinoNK

(2012). “‘True to the Instructions of the Great General': Political Stability and Youth Work in Post-Kim Jong Il North Korea, SinoNK

(2012). “Refoulement et l’Espionnage: Recent European Reportage and Analysis on the Refugee Issue, SinoNK

(2012). “Conflicting Signals on the Refugee Issue, and an KNCA-Xinhua Pastiche, SinoNK

(2012). “Blockages and Breakthroughs: Cultural Diplomacy and North Korea, SinoNK

(2012). “China’s Rise and Its Effect on North Korea: Snyder, Byun, Economy, Moon, SinoNK

(2012). “The Pibada (Sea of Blood) Opera Troupe Goes to China, SinoNK

(2012). “Statues and Empty Bowls: Notes on North Korean Iconography and Prospects for European and Chinese Aid, SinoNK

(2012). “Defusing Rumours, Defending Tibet, and the Reemergence of Wen Jiabao: KNCA’s China Coverage, SinoNK

(2012). ““A Litmus Test for Separating Patriots from Traitors”: Rodong Sinmun in Translation, SinoNK

(2012). “Thick Black Lines: On Chongjin, 1947, SinoNK

(2012). “Strange Occurrences on the Border: Reviewing the Ling/Lee North Korea Episode, SinoNK

(2012).”Maid of the Right Wing Hack Media Shock Brigade: The Rodong Sinmun Counterattacks, SinoNK

(2012).””What are the Implications of the Collapse of America?”: Rodong Sinmun vs Brzezinski, SinoNK

(2012). “Anchorwomen, Tanks, and Other Symbols, SinoNK

(2012). “North Korea’s Troll Army? The Sinophone Internet Debate Over Kim Jong Un’s On-Site Inspection, SinoNK

(2012). “Catch and Release: Journalists on the North Korean-Chinese Border, SinoNK

(2012). “Liaoning Expressways, the Global Times, and China as a Great Power in the North Korean Media: KCNA File No. 5, SinoNK

(2012). “Distorting and Speaking Ill of the Reality of the DPRK': KCNA China File No. 4, SinoNK

(2012). “Hostage Princes and Shadow Reformers: Kim Jong Nam, SinoNK

(2012). “Historical Allegories and Revolutionary Credentials: Jang Song Taek, SinoNK

(2012). “Ambassador Liu Reappears, or, Why Opera Matters, SinoNK

(2012). “Poetry from Pyongyang: 平壤诗歌, SinoNK

(2012). “Revisiting Wen Jiabao in Pongyang, October 2009, SinoNK

(2012). “Songun, Tangun, Son of Paektu, etc.: Kim Jong Un Documentary, SinoNK

(2012). “This Is Nothing Compared to the 1990s: Lv  Chao on Sino-DPRK Relations, SinoNK

(2012). “Foundations (2): Kim Jong Il on Inheritance, SinoNK

(2012) “”We Neither Glorify nor Vilify North Korea”: Assorted Reads and Multimedia, SinoNK

(2012). “Foundations (1): Quotations from Chairman Kim Il Sung, SinoNK

(2012). “KCNA’s China Prism: Analyzing North Korean Media, SinoNK

(2012). “Gen. Guo Boxiong at the DPRK Embassy, Dec. 20, SinoNK

(2012). “Breaking Down Signals in North Korean New Years Editorials: Tweet Barrage, SinoNK

(2011). “China’s Great Power Strategy Can Help North Korea to Demilitarize: Chinese Scholar, SinoNK

(2011). “Two Chinese Versions of Post-Kim Jong Il North Korea: Translations, SinoNK

(2011). “A Yanji Sketch, and Notes of the Dandong Leadership, SinoNK

(2011). “Assessing China’s Outlook on Kim Jong Eun: New Essay, SinoNK

(2011). “Is this a Cult of Personality? KCNA Documents, SinoNK

(2011). “Dai Bingguo Manages Not to Cry, and Other Details from the NK Diplomatic Quarter of Beijing, SinoNK

(2011). “Beijing-Pyongyang: Developments in and Around North Korea from the Chinese Media, SinoNK

(2011). “Surveying the Security Environment on China’s North Korean Frontier, SinoNK

(2011). “Via China, a Capitalist Restoration in the DPRK? A Marxist Perspective, SinoNK

(2011). “Kim Jong Il Supine, the Opining Commences: Two Doomsday Op-Eds, SinoNK

(2011). “”Protecting North Korea’s Freedom of Choice”:  Huanqiu Shibao Lead Editorial, SinoNK

(2011). “Surveying the Post-Kim Jong Il Landscape from Beijing: Sources, SinoNK


1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Yongusil 45: PRC Power Consolidation, the Korean War, and the “Cold Front” of Historical Research in Hong Kong | Sino-NK

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