Recommended Reading

Having slipped Berlin’s affectionate bonds and grappled through Helsinki, I’m now ensconced in Seoul, a city for which it is almost impossible to prepare properly.

And so all my aspirations for blog profundity, bog prolixity, fog of absconding with logic most properly, will  have to wait.

Instead you get some sweet links with a touch of commentary.

1. Le renard et la Chine is a Shanghai blog by a young French fellow which will help to keep your French acuity sharp; he includes a bit of analysis of the Paris Belleville riots here and gives his own assessment of the best French China blogs here.  He’s also got view to some rather fun imagery which makes me wonder if a certain likening of French and American Sinophobia might be tried sometime:

"Today I wish to share with you a phemononen which I have been encountering more and more of late, particularly on alternative media: the radicalization of views of China." Click image for link.

His April 12 entry also caught my eye, being caught as I am in a kind of “long twilight struggle” with Chinese (in a kind of damn-near-arctic-circle Nordic twilight which bleeds imperceptibly into dawn, so that one cannot distinguish if one is at the beginning, or the end):

L’apprentissage du chinois est un chemin long et tortueux, semé d’embûches, sur lequel il est indispensable d’avoir à ses côtés les meilleurs outils pour en voir le bout (ce chemin menant à une montagne, encore plus difficile à gravir, mais nous n’en sommes pas encore là…).   [The aquisition of Chinese is a long and torturous road, full of obstacles, in which it is indespensible to have at one’s side the best tools in order to view the goal, as the road, after all, ascends a mountain…]

Cependant, pourquoi s’encombrer d’une brouette d’outils quand on peut avoir à disposition un couteau-suisse multifonctions? Et dans le domaine de l’apprentissage du chinois, ce couteau suisse est pour moi la méthode d’initiation à la langue et à l’écriture chinoise de Joël Bellassen (prononcez Bel-Lassen).

A la question fatidique « pourquoi? », je répondrai « parce que ».

2. Philippe Grangereau, Liberation’s correspondent in Beijing, made a trip to Urumuqi recently and filed this report about inter-ethnic relations and the sizable police presence on the streets of the city.  At some point I’m hoping to have a full translation prepared, but then again that’s been my ambition since I bought the paper on July 5 in Berlin…

3. NK Leadership Watch tallies the connections between Kim Jong Un and recent leadership visits to the northwestern Korean city of Sinuiju.

4. The excellent German-language site Nordkorea.info has a long and link-rich round up on July 1 of North Korea’s participation in the World Cup.

5. This JoongAng Ilbo article from July 6 about a gentleman in Seoul who was recently arrested for spying for North Korea seems to confirm the idea that Yanbian is indeed a corridor for North Korean intelligence agents to sneak South Koreans in and out of the DPRK.   Not that Euna Lee and Laura Ling, the two Current TV journalists, should know anything about that!

6. Yonhap reports that North Korean-Chinese trade was up about 19% from the previous year, and that North Korea is, no surprise, running a fairly large trade deficit with the PRC.  [Danke Nordkorea.info fuer die Hinweis! Es macht mich ueberhaupt gerne, so eine guter nordkoreanische Blog am Netz zu finden.  Hoeffentlich im Futur kann ich auch etwas darueber diese schwere, kuerioese, auch wichtiger aber kaum im Westen verstehende Staat entwickeln, und auf Deutsch, die echte Sprache wissenschaftliche Sprache fur das nordkoreanische Forschung der Zukunfts. Ja.  Oder?]

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