The Fifth North Korean Nuclear Test: Impacts on the US and China

On 9 September, North Korea (the DPRK) set off a nuclear test, its fifth. I was in London for an academic conference, but managed to write an op-ed for CNN international. I also shared some thoughts with AFP on the China angle which had overlooked by others, namely, that the Chinese Foreign Ministry had probably been forewarned by the North Korean side of the test. … Continue reading The Fifth North Korean Nuclear Test: Impacts on the US and China

Why the Sky is Not Falling for Koryo Airlines

    A recent UPI headline found a form of success with a big claim: “North Korea’s Air Koryo suspended operations again.” Good heavens! I thought. This could be a major blow to Kim Jong-un, who has taken a real personal interest in both the North Korean fleet and the operations of Air Koryo, no doubt with an augmented revenue stream in mind! Having then … Continue reading Why the Sky is Not Falling for Koryo Airlines

Distant Proximity: China and the North Korean Human Rights Catastrophe

Beijing is a long way from North Korea. ┬áBorder crossing points between China and the DPRK remain open, but the potentially fastest and ‘game-changing’ of these is blocked at present, clogged up with estuary mud and the slow hatreds of bureaucratic inaction. Chinese trains that blaze up and down the northeast have yet to reach the North Korean frontier. But when they do arrive, panting … Continue reading Distant Proximity: China and the North Korean Human Rights Catastrophe

Viewing the DPRK’s 66th Anniversary through a Chinese Lens

The realities of daily life in North Korea are, at best, elusive for the outsider to grasp. A lack of personal experiences often interfere. Those of us who have never known hunger or the terror of a certain knock on the door can read tales of depravation of food and basic personal rights only in shock. In today’s world beyond the DPRK, empathy (and its … Continue reading Viewing the DPRK’s 66th Anniversary through a Chinese Lens