Author: Adam Cathcart

China and the North Korean Workers’ Party Congress

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Chinese communist party / Chinese foreign policy / North Korea / North Korea foreign relations / Sino-North Korean relations / Uncategorized
Cathcart in Pyongyang, March 2016

The following is the full text of an interview I recently gave, excerpts from which will be appearing in Liberation, the quintessential Parisian daily.  Q. Do we expect any senior CCP official from Beijing to attend the May 6th Party Congress in Pyongyang ? Did any CCP official attend the last one in 1980 ? What would such a presence signal ? How do you think China will look at this Party congress ? What does this Congress mean […]

Pre-emptive strike plans in Korea

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Huanqiu Shibao / Kim Jong-un / Korean War / North Korea / North Korea foreign relations / Propaganda / US-North Korea relations
PRC ready for war

In response to a question from a reporter about Operational Plan 5015: In a certain sense, the North Koreans are the victims of their own inflated rhetoric and propaganda about their missile & nuclear programs, as well as their aggressive sea border defence. And, from the standpoint of Seoul, here have been an unending stream of threats and local provocations since Kim Jong-un arrived on the scene in 2009, attempts to change the tactics and […]

Bypassing Beijing? North Korean Foreign Relations in April and May

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Beijing / Chinese communist party / Chinese foreign policy / Kim Jong-un / Kim Jong-un health / North Korea / North Korea foreign relations / Sino-North Korean relations / US Department of State / US-North Korea relations

Responding with appropriately prepared shock to the 15 April rocket launch, assessing the crescendo to the big Party Congress in early May in Pyongyang, adding to the noise over the defection of “the Ningbo 13,” and spreading rumours of a fifth nuclear test: all of these activities take time and effort. Get ready for North Korea's counterpropaganda offensive about the #Ningbo13. It starts w/ CNN interviews — Adam Cathcart (@adamcathcart) April 21, 2016 Even […]

Notes on the Music Scene in Pyongyang

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Art / Uncategorized
Cathcart at Mansudae Art Studio, musican w cattle 복사본

I was in North Korea for several days in the middle of March 2016. While my main purpose was to visit the Sinchon Massacre Museum for a Korean War research project in which I am engaged, I was also quite interested in the performing arts and arts scenes, since those are areas which are relatively more permeable to foreign researchers and ones in which the North Korean officials feel confident that they excel. Naturally having […]

Recent Media Commentary on North Korea, and Chinese-North Korean Relations

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My Publications / Uncategorized
Rodong Sinmun 2012-02-13-02-01 Kim Jong Il on Kumgang-san

With the apparent breakdown of Chinese-North Korean cultural diplomacy in December, North Korea’s testing of a purported hydrogen bomb in January, and a missile test and sanctions debate in February, the past three months have seen much media interest in Sino-North Korean relations, and of course North Korea generally. The following citation information, and, in some cases, full quotes in context of my interviews with media outlets over the past few months. Apart from a single half-hour telephone conversation […]

Hyun Ok Park’s History of the Cultural Revolution in Yanbian

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Borderlands / Chinese communist party / Yanbian

This review was originally published at, as part of a roundtable including contributions from Andre Schmid (University of Toronto) and Robert Winstanley-Chesters (Australian National University).  Paradoxically, scholarship that attempts to explode the frame of the nation-state can be most useful for scholars concerned precisely with what occurs within state boundaries. In the case of The Capitalist Unconscious: From Korean Unification to Transnational Korea, the ardent drive to reframe the nation results in an exquisitely useful chapter for scholars concerned […]

Comrades in Crisis: Chinese-North Korean Relations in War, Occupation, and Today

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Borderlands / Chinese communist party / Chinese foreign policy / Korean War / Manchuria / Mao Zedong / North Korea foreign relations / People's Republic of China / Sino-North Korean relations
Yonsei U

On 25 March 2016, I will present the following paper at Yonsei University in Seoul, thanks to an invitation from John Delury and the Yonsei Underwood International College International Studies Program. More details about specific venue will follow in due course. The lecture will take place at 2 p.m. Title: Comrades in Crisis: Chinese-North Korean Relations in War, Occupation, and Today Abstract: In our time, the reciprocal bonds between the Korean Workers’ Party and the Chinese Communist Party […]