Musan, North Hamgyong province, DPRK, seen from above the upper Tumen River and the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture -- photo by Adam Cathcart
Musan, North Hamgyong province, DPRK, seen from above the upper Tumen River and the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture — photo by Adam Cathcart


(2014). “Nation, Ethnicity, and the Post-Manchukuo Order in the Sino-Korean Border Region,” with Charles Kraus, in Key Papers on Korea: Papers Celebrating 25 Years of the Centre of Korean Studies, SOAS, University of London, Andrew D. Jackson, ed. (Brill) 79-99.

(2014). “How Authoritarian Regimes Maintain Domain Consensus: North Korean Information Strategies in the Kim Jong-un Era,” Review of Korean Studies, co-authored with Christopher Green and Steven Denney, Vol. 17, No. 2 (December) 145–178.

(2014). “In the Shadow of Jang Song-taek: Pyongyang’s Evolving Strategy with the Hwanggumpyeong and Wihua Islands,” Korea Economic Institute of America Academic Paper Series, Vol. 8 (June), 8 pp.

(2013).“North Korea’s Cultural Diplomacy in the Early Kim Jong-un Era,” with Steven Denney, North Korean Review, Vol, 9, No. 2 (Autumn) 29-42.

(2011). “The Bonds of Brotherhood: New Evidence of Sino-North Korean Exchanges, 1950-1954,” with Charles Kraus, Journal of Cold War Studies, Vol. 13, No. 3, 27-51.

(2010). “Nationalism and Ethnic Identity in the Sino-Korean Border Region of Yanbian, 1945-1950,” Korean Studies, Vol. 34 (December) 25-53.

(2010). “Japanese Devils and American Wolves: Chinese Communist Songs from the War of Liberation and the Korean War ,” Popular Music and Society, Vol. 33, No. 2 (May): 203-218.

(2009).  “North Korean Hip Hop? Reflections on Musical Diplomacy and the DPRK,” Acta Koreana, Vol. 12, No. 2 (December): 1-19.

(2009). “Transnational Voyages: Reflections on Teaching Exodus to North Korea,” ASIANetwork Exchange Vol. 17, No. 1 (Fall).

(2008).  “Peripheral Influence: The Sinuiju Student Incident and the Soviet Occupation of North Korea, 1945-1947,” with Charles Kraus, Journal of Korean Studies Vol. 13, No. 1 (Fall), 1-28.

(2008). “Internationalist Culture in North Korea, 1945-1950,” with Charles Kraus, Review of Korean Studies Vol. 11, No. 3 (September), 123-148.

(2008).  “Song of Youth North Korean Music from Liberation to War,” North Korean Review, Vol. 4, No. 1 (Fall), 93-104.

MEDIA WORK [Current as of August 2015.]

(2015). ‘Assessing North Korea’s “Ground Game” with China,’ The Diplomat, 27 August.

(2015). ‘North Korean rhetoric is full of sound and fury – but doesn’t quite signify war,’ The Guardian, 21 August.

(2015). ‘The bombs kept falling in the wake of Hiroshima,’ Yorkshire Post (UK), 8 August.

(2015.) ‘Kim Jong-un’s vulnerability on display as North Korean rumours abound,’ The Guardian, 15 May.

(2015). ‘‘Kim Jong-un: purges, paranoia, plots and the beloved leader’s cancelled trip to Moscow,’ The Conversation, 1 May.

(2014). ‘《刺杀金正恩》为何激怒朝鲜?’ FT 中文网评论, 22 December.

(2014). ‘For North Korea there is nothing comic about killing off Kim,’ Financial Times, 19 December.

(2014). ‘North Korea has upped its game in ongoing propaganda war,’ The Conversation, 19 December.

(2014). “Assessing China-DPRK Trade and SEZ Potential: The Dandong Trade Fair,” The Peninsula, Korean Economic Institute (blog), 14 October.

(2014). “With Kim Jong-un’s Return, North Korea is Back to Normal,” The Conversation, 13 October.

(2014). “Where is Kim Jong Un?The Atlantic, 7 October.

(2014). “North Korean Scholars and Koguryo: How to Reignite a Historical Controversy on Chinese National Day,” China Policy Institute Blog, University of Nottingham, October 3.

(2014). “Keeping China in Check: How North Korea Manages its Relationship with a Superpower,” China Policy Institute Blog, University of Nottingham, July 28.

(2014). “Xi Jinping’s diplomatic goals in the South Korean capital do not perturb the North Korean regime in the least,” The Guardian, July 3.

(2014). “Abusive Convenience: Recent Chinese-North Korean Relations,” China Policy Institute Blog, University of Nottingham, June 26.

(2014). “Orchestrating a Limited Musical Cosmopolitanism,” The Daily NK, May 30.

(2014). “Is China Losing Faith in North Korea?,” The Guardian, 9 May 2014.

(2014). “Bullet Trains and Wood-Burning Trucks,” with Steven Denney, The Daily NK, April 29.

(2014). “Tuning Out Beijing’s Six-Party Drumbeat,” China Policy Institute Blog, University of Nottingham, April 1.

(2014). “Red Lines and Correct Roads: Recent Chinese Policy Discourse on North Korea,” China Policy Institute Blog, University of Nottingham, March 10.

(2014). “Limited Soft Power: Zhang Guozuo’s View of Culture, Propaganda, and North Korea,” China Policy Institute Blog, University of Nottingham, January 23.

(2014). “Dennis No Solution to Cultural Chill of Youth,” The Daily NK, January 21.

(2013). “’Thrice Cursed Acts of Treachery’? Parsing North Korea’s Report on the Execution of Kim Jong Un’s Uncle,” The Atlantic, December 13.

(2013). “The Fall of Jang Song-taek,” The National Interest, December 11.

(2013). “North Korea’s Invisible Bridge,” The Daily NK, November 8.

(2013). “Sweet American Liquor over Bitter Chinese Tea,” The Daily NK, September 10.

(2013). “North Korean Cultural Politics in Reverse Gear,” The Daily NK, April 11.

(2013). “Smoke with Chasms for China and North Korea,” The Daily NK, February 11.

(2013). “Pyongyang Machiavelli: All of Kim’s Men,” The Diplomat, April 17.

(2013). “Dr. Strangelove and the Special Economic Zone: Balance and Imbalance in China’s Long-Term North Korea Strategy,” with Roger Cavazos and Nathan Beauchamp-Mustafaga, KEI Peninsula [Korea Economic Institute blog], January 7.

(2012). “Beijing’s new Politburo may deal more firmly with North Korea,” with Roger Cavazos and Nathan Beauchamp-Mustafaga, South China Morning Post, December 29.

(2012). “Seven Fingers: China’s New Leadership and North Korea Policy,” Pacific Forum (No. #87), with Roger Cavazos and Nathan Beauchamp-Mustafaga. Center for Strategic and International Studies, Hawaii, December 26.

(2012). “North Korea Does Not Believe in Unicorns,” Foreign Policy, December 27.

(2012). “Oprah vs. Juche: Reviewing the North Korean Border Capture, Captivity and Trial of Laura Ling and Euna Lee,” with Brian Gleason, Korean Quarterly, Vol. 15, No. 2, September.

(2012). “Boom or Bust? North Korea and Changes in Liaoning,” The Daily NK, August 31.

(2012). “The Slick Propaganda Stylings of Kim Jong Un,” with Isaac Stone Fish, Foreign PolicyJuly 13.

(2012). “Cracking Down and Opening Up: China’s Defector Discourse,” The Daily NK, May 29.

(2012). “Not-So-Great Expectations: On North Korea’s Promises of Prosperity,” Foreign Policy, April 15.

(2012). “The Sea of Blood Opera Show: A History of North Korean Musical Diplomacy,” The Atlantic, March 19.

(2012). “How Weibo ‘Killed’ Kim Jong-Un,” The Diplomat, February 11.

(2012). “I Watched North Korea’s Propaganda Film So You Don’t Have To,” Foreign Policy, January 13.

(2011). “A Tale of Two North Koreas: China Can’t Decide if it Wants to Praise Kim Jong Il or Bury Him,” Foreign Policy, December 30.

(2011). “Bow Before the Portrait: Sino-North Korean Relations in the Kim Jong Un Era,” China Beat, December 23; syndicated by History News Network, December 23.

(2011). “Deaths Leave More Questions than Answers,” The Daily NK, December 19.

(2011).  “Lux Sinica: China’s ‘Civilizing Influence’ in North Korea,” Korean Quarterly, Vol. 14, No. 2 (Summer), 43-44.

(2010). “Chinese Capitalism Floods North Korea,” Duluth News-Tribune (Minnesota), September 27, p. A15.

(2010). “Respect-worthy Friends or Duplicitous Snakes? Chinese Views of North Korea,” Korean Quarterly, Vol. 13, No. 4 (Winter), 11-12.

(2006). “The Chinese Frontier: Window Into North Korea,” Korean Quarterly Vol. 10, No. 1 (Fall): 61, 78-79.

(2006). “North Korea: The Lonely Nuclear Power,” Akron [Ohio] Beacon Journal, October 12, p. B2.


(2014). “Succession Politics and Commemorative Culture in North Korea,” Korean Studies Lecture Series, SOAS-University of London, November 14.

(2014). “Toward a Transnational History of the Korean War in Manchuria, 1945-1955,” Northeast Asian History Lecture Series, University of London, Institute for Historical Research, November 13.

(2014). “China-North Korea Relations in the Kim Jong-un Era,” at University of Cambridge, 10 February.

(2014). “China-North Korea Relations in the Kim Jong-un Era,” at Institute for Korean Studies, Ohio State University, 9 January.

(2012). “Sino-North Korean relations in the Borderland Regions in the 1940s and early 1950s,” School of Oriental and African Studies, London, November 23.

(2012). “Mutual Dependency and Double Collapse: Sino-North Korean Relations, 1945-50,” Center for Korean Studies, Leiden University (Netherlands), April 27.

(2012). “Sino-North Korean Borderlands, 1945-1950,” Lecture at King’s College, London (Department of History / King’s China Institute), January 13.

(2006). “North of the Yalu: China’s Mass Mobilization for the Korean War,” presented to East Asian Studies Lecture Series, John Carroll University, November 16.


(2014). “Is Cultural Diplomacy with North Korea Possible?” lecture at All-Parliamentary Group on North Korea, Parliament, Westminister, 19 November.

(2014). “Evolution or Rupture?  Economic and Political Ties between China & North Korea,” briefing at Foreign Office, London 19 September.

(2104). “In the Shadow of Jang Song-Taek: Pyongyang’s Evolving SEZ Strategy along the China-North Korean Border,” lecture at Korean Economic Institute, 19 June.


(2012).”China-North Korea Dossier No. 3: North Korea’s Relations with China at the End of the Kim Jong-il Era, SinoNK.

(2012). “China-North Korea Dossier No. 2: “China’s ‘Measure of Reserve’ toward Succession”, SinoNK.

(2012). “China-North Korea Dossier No. 1: “China and the North Korean Succession”, SinoNK.


Adam Cathcart is a historian based at the University of Leeds. He researches the Sino-Korean borderlands, the international history of the Korean War, the construction of the North Korean state in the late 1940s, political art and music in China and North Korea, and Chinese Koreans in Yanbian.

He serves as the founder and editor-in-chief of, a scholarly website dedicated to analysis of the relationship between North Korea and China, and is the editor of the Papers of the British Association for Korean Studies.