“The Enemies Made this Possible”: Sino-North Korean Relations after 1948

Adrian Buzo will be publishing a large Routledge Handbook on North Korea  (which I believe is slated to be published in 2021) and asked me to contribute a chapter. I asked my PhD student Yujin Lim to co-author this piece and fortunately she agreed, since she has been working in North Korean materials available in Seoul and recently published an impressive article on the geometry … Continue reading “The Enemies Made this Possible”: Sino-North Korean Relations after 1948

On the PRC Ambassador in Pyongyang, ‘Comfort Women’ Activists, and the Women Cross DMZ Reception

This morning I turned on my computer and immediately became wrapped up in a somewhat quixotic quest to find the origins of a rumor. The rumor being that the Chinese Ambassador in Pyongyang ‘had yet to be recognized by the North Korean government.’ A question to that effect had been asked (or should we say planted?) at the 25 May Ministry of Foreign Affairs press … Continue reading On the PRC Ambassador in Pyongyang, ‘Comfort Women’ Activists, and the Women Cross DMZ Reception

New Koguryo Research in Pyongyang, or, How to Revive a Historical Dispute on China’s National Day

It doesn’t take much skill at reading tea-leaves in Chinese or English to recognize that Kim Jong-un’s letter of congratulations to Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, and Zhang Dejiang on the PRC’s National Day fell far short of what, from a Chinese perspective, it should have been. Kim’s three brief sentences were newsworthy because he was ostensibly bed-ridden, but also because they indicated a lack of … Continue reading New Koguryo Research in Pyongyang, or, How to Revive a Historical Dispute on China’s National Day

On the Inoki Visit to North Korea

Given the amount of public interest in the just-concluded visit of Japanese and American wrestlers to Pyongyang, led by lawmaker (and former wrestling star) Kanji Inoki, I thought I might share a few comments I prepared just as the visit was getting underway. JAPAN-DPRK I think this particular trip is much more about Japan-DPRK relations than some sop to warmer relations with the United States … Continue reading On the Inoki Visit to North Korea

From the Print World

Suggested Readings in Sino-North Korean Relations: Alisa Jones, “Nationalizing the Past: Korea in Chinese History,” Journal of Northeast Asian History, Vol. 6, No. 2 (Winter 2009): 103-140. [full text here as pdf.] CHO Kyeongran, “Contemporary Chinese Nationalism and East Asia,” Journal of Northeast Asian History, Vol. 6, No. 2 (Winter 2009): 31-75. [full text available here] KIM Jeonghyun, “Changes in the Historiography of Korean History … Continue reading From the Print World

The News from North Korea: Relations with China, Aerial Drone Denunciations, Green Totalitarianism, and the Middle East

Since the emergence of putative successor Kim Jong Eun into the public eye, the North Korean news media — specifically the Korean Central News Agency, or KCNA — has taken pains to publish more content about two things: youth, and the international situation. What this equates to is an expanded view of what North Koreans are encouraging people to talk about, and how the state … Continue reading The News from North Korea: Relations with China, Aerial Drone Denunciations, Green Totalitarianism, and the Middle East

North Korea: Examination Materials

I recently completed a month-long lecture series on North Korean-Chinese relations at Pacific Lutheran University.  Because these lectures were occasioned by a course I teach at PLU, I had the pleasure of writing an exam on the topic. Here, in no particular order, are a few of themes or questions which were covered in the lectures and which my students consequently suggested that I should … Continue reading North Korea: Examination Materials

North Korea Notes

North Korean media reports that a small amount of radioactivity from Japan has reached the DPRK.  How does a regime that is so good at depicting Japan as a source of constant threat assure people that they are now safe and in good hands?  Is there any kind of debate at all among North Koreans about the relative merits and dangers of nuclear energy generally?  … Continue reading North Korea Notes

Radiation Reported in China’s Heilongjiang Province

Thus reports China Daily, stating that radiation has been found in the water in Fuyuan county [抚远县], which is China’s easternmost point in the northeastern most province, very close to the Russian frontier. On March 22, the PRC Environmental Protection Agency [环境保护部/Huanjing baohu bu ] had reported no evidence of Fukushima radiation in Heilongjiang province. The irony is that Fuyuan was supposed to have been … Continue reading Radiation Reported in China’s Heilongjiang Province

Post-Soulevement

The earthquake and subsequent tsunami that thrashed the northeastern Japanese coast has generated a great deal of thinking from me, not much of it coherent or of use to readers.  Thus the silence.  At some point, I would imagine that some discussion of the following questions would emerge: To what extent have regional responses to the catastrophe intensified transnational goodwill?   Does this forceful reminder of … Continue reading Post-Soulevement