Comment on the North Korean Missile Launch

I was on BBC television this evening (via the Leeds studio) discussing the North Korean missile launch with Celia Hatton, who, fortunately for me and the BBC, is a veteran ‘China hand’ with years of experience in Beijing. Hatton is now a presenter in London, and she was kind enough to have a discussion with me about the relevant issues prior to going on the air, … Continue reading Comment on the North Korean Missile Launch

Bubble at the Summit: Insecurities in Kim Jong-un Itineraries

Is Kim Jong-un staggeringly confident, or do his behaviours and travel itineraries betray personal neuroses and structural fears? The short answer is that it depends on the issue under discussion. Let’s take the economy for starters. Like a shrimp rediscovering its appetite after an awful oil spill, the North Korean economy appears to be improving, or so argue a number of indicators. Several smaller dams around the … Continue reading Bubble at the Summit: Insecurities in Kim Jong-un Itineraries

Kim Jong-un’s Cane and the Manchurian Guerrilla Faction: BBC Interview

In the pre-history and contemporary history of both the People’s Republic of China and its North Korean counterpart, purges have been a regular — if unpredictably appearing — phenomenon. Kim Il-sung’s purge of his wartime Foreign Minister Pak Han-yong in 1953 was followed shortly thereafter by a Maoist purge of Gao Gang, the very individual through whom so much Chinese aid flowed via Manchuria, in 1954. … Continue reading Kim Jong-un’s Cane and the Manchurian Guerrilla Faction: BBC Interview