Author: Adam Cathcart

Youth Work and Class Education under Kim Jong-un

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Chinese communist party / North Korea / Propaganda / Sino-North Korean relations

The following is my original intro to a piece I just published in Seoul after some substantial carving down. In other words, the intro was cut, but I think it still stands up, so now you can read that particular argumentative flourish here on SinoMondiale with no paywall, and accompanied by my preferred images and links. Youth Work and Class Education under Kim Jong-un Certain messages in English get repeated so often with respect to North Korea that to write […]

Recent Histories of (Local) Violence in the Korean War

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American Foreign Policy / Korean War / North Korea / War Crimes

Today I received a stunning new text: Su-kyoung Hwang’s monograph Korea’s Grievous War (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016). A link to the publisher’s description of the book is here. Dr. Hwang received her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, teaches at the University of Sydney, and has put together a very impressive work. She appears to go well beyond the issues laid out in Kim Dong-choon’s book from 2000/2009, and possibly even Kim Dong-choon’s new c0-authored book  (In the 2009 […]

Corruption, Sanctions, Dandong

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Chinese communist party / Chinese foreign policy / North Korean border region / People's Republic of China / Sino-North Korean relations

In two essays which I anticipate publishing this week (in NK News and CPI Analysis, respectively), I question the connection between Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption activity and the implementation of sanctions on North Korea. Here are some of the data points I’m dealing with, in no particular order. Sadly, in pulling my research materials together, I found that the Hongxiang firm appears to have wiped its website of most of the good stuff. Likewise, a handful […]

The Fifth North Korean Nuclear Test: Impacts on the US and China

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Sino-North Korean relations

On 9 September, North Korea (the DPRK) set off a nuclear test, its fifth. I was in London for an academic conference, but managed to write an op-ed for CNN international. I also shared some thoughts with AFP on the China angle which had overlooked by others, namely, that the Chinese Foreign Ministry had probably been forewarned by the North Korean side of the test. Tom Phillips, the Guardian reporter in Beijing, asked me for […]

Why the Sky is Not Falling for Koryo Airlines

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Kim Jong-un / Sino-North Korean relations
Kim Jong-un at Air Show on 9 May 2014, image via KCTV, Adam Cathcart

    A recent UPI headline found a form of success with a big claim: “North Korea’s Air Koryo suspended operations again.” Good heavens! I thought. This could be a major blow to Kim Jong-un, who has taken a real personal interest in both the North Korean fleet and the operations of Air Koryo, no doubt with an augmented revenue stream in mind! Having then read the piece, my bothersome inner editor insisted on a […]

Questioning North Korea’s Narrative of the London Diplomat Defection

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EU-East Asia relations / human rights
Thae Yong-ho in London 2015

It took about three days for the North Korean state to put together the opening salvo to its official public response to the stunning defection of Thae Yong-ho from its Embassy in London, but it has now arrived. As I predicted in a Bloomberg interview on 17 August, the response has been quite nasty. There are several other aspects to the response that bear noting, and which give us more information than we have previously, […]