Author: Adam Cathcart

Second-Hand Stories: East Asia in the Bill Clinton Autobiography

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American Foreign Policy / China / U.S.-China Relations / US Department of State
Bill Clinton Peking

This essay was written in Seattle on 24 February, 2009; a shorter version was published at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma that spring. This past weekend I took a long walk up Seattle’s Dearborn Ave, encountering errant alcoholics, homeless in their shopping carts, shards of sunlight, and football fans with sandpapered hands.  As is often the case when seeking out new information, my goal was amorphous and yet my needs were cavernous: Like addicts haunting […]

Reading and Writing Chinese-North Korean Cold War History

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Chinese foreign policy / Chinese nationalism / Korean War / Mao Zedong / North Korea / People's Republic of China / Propaganda / Sino-North Korean relations

Tian Wuxiong, a Ph.D. candidate in modern history at Peking University, has produced a nicely nuanced view of the withdrawal of the Chinese People’s Volunteers from the North. Tian has a good grasp of the Chinese historiography and produced a paper, entitled “Different Intentions with One Voice: The Making of Chinese Troops’ Withdrawal Package from the DPRK in 1958 / 同声异汽:中国1958年从朝鲜全部退军方案的形成” published by Harvard Working Paper series.  For my full read-out of the Tian Wuxiong article and […]

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 […]