North Korea-China-Successor Buzz

I normally don’t do hit and run/wholly derivative posts, but Mike Madden has two excellent new essays up on his North Korea Leadership Watch blog which are worth scouring. The first surveys the diplomatic scuttlebutt that Kim Jong Il may soon be riding the rails to Beijing; the second is a detailed look at the latest information on the politics of succession in the DPRK. Plenty of virtuosic wordplay is present in both posts!

Great writers extend one's thought to new areas -- image courtesy Lost City Books, Akron, Ohio, via the book Lateral Thinking: Art of the 1990s

Meanwhile Joshua Stanton Dan B at One Free Korea reports on 1) demonstrating efforts to marshal South Korean opprobrium at the PRC on the refugee issue and, via Dong-A Ilbo 2) the complicity of the South Korean consulate in Shenyang in repatriating refugees to North Korea. Nice photographs here as well, along with, more recently, revelations of various North Korean gulags with the help of Google Earth.

Note: DanB has a tremendous archive of photographs of anti-Chinese protests in Seoul during the Olympic Torch run in April 2008, including images of Norbert Vollertson.

Justice for North Korea via One Free Korea Oct 2009
Mobilizing South Koreans to Pressure China on the North Korean Refugee issue -- via One Free Korea


  1. First, congrats on being linked to by the Economist.

    I’ve been enjoying your comments at OFK, and sometimes make it over here to enjoy your posts, too.

    No worries or anything, but it was I who wrote the OFK post about Justice for North Korea. Josh has powers most of us don’t, but he doesn’t actually live in Seoul and DC at the same time! (not saying he couldn’t, just that I haven’t seen it) Btw, if you’re ever south of NK, as opposed to hanging out just north of NK, let me know.

    1. Thanks DanB, and apologies for taking more than a few days to line myself up on this post. I appreciate your work in Seoul and will be doing my best to keep my attributions correct. One Free Korea is a tremendous resource and I frequently recommend it to colleagues and my students. And perhaps my study of Marxist-Leninist centralization and cults of personality leads me to believe that on One Free Korea, all roads necessarily lead to Stanton’s bronzed feet! Nice to see a bit of US-style decentralization at work.

      By the way, your photojournal for the April 2008 protests in Seoul is completely stunning. Thanks for putting those out there.

      And I would be most happy to meet up any time in Seoul, Seattle, Beijing, Yanbian, whereever our paths may cross. Let’s hope, anyway, that the place has ample kalbi and barley tea no matter what. If you’re in Beijing and not opposed, there are always the North Korean places in Wangjing, or, if you are opposed (!), the South Korean places near Beijing University have got a mean lineup.

      Thanks again for the comment — hope to see you back here when the spirit moves you!

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