Joshua’s Map: Beijing’s Coverage of North Korean Defector Issues and Human Rights

In January/February 2015, the Huanqiu Shibao (the foreign affairs tabloid under Beijing People’s Daily, massive readership etc.) used one of Joshua Stanton’s maps to indicate the locations of North Korea’s largest gulags. Given the combination of Stanton’s personal hostility toward the Chinese Communist Party and Beijing’s own reluctance to throw North Korean human rights up to public introspection, I found this method rather surprising. Yet more … Continue reading Joshua’s Map: Beijing’s Coverage of North Korean Defector Issues and Human Rights

Pre-emptive strike plans in Korea

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 … Continue reading Pre-emptive strike plans in Korea

Journalist Expulsions and Beijing’s Counterterrorism Narrative

2015 was supposedly a triumphant year for the Chinese Communist Party, but the CCP seemed determined to end the year on a landslide of insecurity with respect to the foreign journalists within its borders. The expulsion of French journalist Ursela Gauthier was, of course, the primary case in point. As Gauthier noted, her case was not just about her single report and subsequent failure to engage in … Continue reading Journalist Expulsions and Beijing’s Counterterrorism Narrative

On Translation: North Korea in the Sinophone Gaze

Chinese writing about North Korea is peculiar. And perhaps it ought to be. Surely, well-informed insights and even genuinely insightful speculations ought to be welcomed to the table with alacrity, regardless of the nationality or linguistic tendencies of the thinker. Translators naturally serve a vital role in the enterprise of tying together Korea-oriented policy and analytical communities. Chinese writing about North Korea takes on an additional … Continue reading On Translation: North Korea in the Sinophone Gaze

Odyssey of Extortion: Chinese Press Coverage of the North Korean Boat Hijacking

How is it that the world beyond Beijing and Pyongyang becomes aware of Chinese-North Korean fishing disputes in the Yellow Sea? North Korea remains silent on such matters, so information is distributed almost purely through reports in mainland Chinese media–in other words, we hear about such events when Beijing needs and wants them to become known. When Chinese fishermen are harassed and detained by North Korean … Continue reading Odyssey of Extortion: Chinese Press Coverage of the North Korean Boat Hijacking

Two Essays on Chinese-North Korean Relations, and a Note on the Kim Jong-un Succession

On March 10 and 12, I published short essays on Chinese-North Korean relations with Sino-NK and the China Policy Institute Blog of the University of Nottingham, and preceded these with a note on the ongoing North Korean succession process. 1. “Red Lines and Correct Roads: Recent Chinese Policy Discourse on North Korea,” CPI Blog, University of Nottingham, 10 March 2014. This essay consists of a close reading … Continue reading Two Essays on Chinese-North Korean Relations, and a Note on the Kim Jong-un Succession