Sinologistical Violoncellist China Media Review – Feb. 15, 2011

Today’s focus: Sino-North Korean relations, with tidbits about border security, a North Korean diplomatic visit to France, and the ongoing consequences of Mubarak’s fall in Northeast Asia. Link to the Video Corrections/Auto-critiques: At about 6:40, I mean “North Korean-French relations,” not “Sino-French relations”; a simple Chinese headline hog-ties my tongue; and the Midwestern all-purpose adjective (“interesting”) is entirely too ubiquitous.  Other than that, another day, … Continue reading Sinologistical Violoncellist China Media Review – Feb. 15, 2011

Sino-NK Stories to Watch

Now that China and North Korea have gotten their stories (mostly) straight about Kim Jong Il’s five-day trip to northeast China, a small mountain of evidence exists which is worth analyzing.  Visions on the First Day of Class In Pyongyang, KCNA is now promoting a new story about the year 1960 describing how young Kim Jong Il (all of 19 at the time) started the … Continue reading Sino-NK Stories to Watch

Borderland Banditry

The Chosun Ilbo reported today, via Voice of America: China says it has filed a formal complaint with North Korea about the killing of three Chinese citizens last week by a North Korean border guard. Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang says a fourth person was wounded when the guard opened fire from his post across the border from China’s northeastern town of Dandong last Friday. … Continue reading Borderland Banditry

PRC-DPRK Pygmalion

Get into character.  Who really changes anyway?  Perhaps, perhaps, the Chinese: We previously knew that China would be providing tickets to 1000 Chinese fans in South Africa to root for North Korean teams, but now Huanqiu Shibao reports in slightly different terms: the headline is ” 朝鲜禁止国内民众前往南非看世界杯比赛,” or, “North Korea forbids citizens in the DPRK to travel to South Africa to watch the World Cup.”   In other words, it’s more … Continue reading PRC-DPRK Pygmalion

DPRK Memes

South Korea Prosecutes a North Korean Agent Formerly Active in Yanbian The Daily NK reports: According to prosecutors in Seoul on Monday, a South Korean man who was trained as a spy in Pyongyang at the turn of the century has been arrested and charged with aiding in the forced repatriation of refugees escaping from North Korea and gathering information on people helping said refugees. … Continue reading DPRK Memes

BW Use in the Korean War: Questioning the Record

Although Russian documents have allegedly put this controversy to rest, scholars and governments continue to probe at the question of communist allegations of American bacteriological weapons use in the Korean War.  Both North Korea and the PRC continue to maintain in their textbooks and war museums that the U.S. used bacteriological weapons (themselves originally developed by Japanese Unit 731 in Harbin in the 1930s) over … Continue reading BW Use in the Korean War: Questioning the Record

North Korea Reading

International Crisis Group’s new working paper was issued yesterday, and is essential reading for folks interested in the DPRK (full text here as pdf.). Among other things, the paper draws upon Japanese intelligence sources to indicate, among other things, that: a. Japanese sanctions on North Korea have hampered the operation of North Korean organized crime syndicates in Japan, meaning that Chinese gangs are now filling … Continue reading North Korea Reading

KCNA Roundup

The Korean Central News Agency is North Korea’s Xinhua, that is, an organ for propaganda and news. This past week has seen a number of significant themes emerging. What struck me as most unusual was this specific refutation: CPRK Rebukes Japanese Sankei’s False Report about DPRK Pyongyang, March 4 (KCNA) — A spokesman for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea gave the following … Continue reading KCNA Roundup

Notes on Japan

Japan has been rather quiet in the U.S. news of late, but a few things have happened which may be worthy of attention: 1. The secret terms of the 1960 U.S.-Japan Security Treaty have been made public, and their revelation of U.S. transiting nuclear weapons through Japan has led to commentaries like this one from North Korea. 2. The Okinawa issue remains unresolved: 3. Tokyo … Continue reading Notes on Japan

Asia’s Ahab: North Korea, Japan, and Environmental Geopolitics in NE Asia

People who fish, who brave the ocean, who create seriographie of fish, who take pictures of fish, who quantify fish populations — all of these people have a special place in my consciousness these days.   The recent wetness in Seattle, along with a return to the cello/axe in a downtown performance backed by giant Jules-Verne style organ pipes, has me thinking watery thoughts. And … Continue reading Asia’s Ahab: North Korea, Japan, and Environmental Geopolitics in NE Asia