Chosun Ilbo reports from Dandong about a supposed influx of Chinese military equipment into the DPRK. I was all over that bridge 5-7 days ago and there were indeed quite a few trucks coming back from the North, but then again, there were a few bare-handed swimmers as well, and the Sinuiju riviera has not yet calcified completely. One Free Korea, who is normally superbly … Continue reading North Korean Lorry Watch
Yesterday I got a message from one of my favorite North Korea specialists, Owen Miller at the School of Oriental and African Sciences in London, concening a recent disturbance in Sinuiju, the northwesternmost city in the DPRK and a bellwether when it comes to regime intentions and popular resistance. More information about the protests is available via Chosun Ilbo (Korean version here), as well as … Continue reading Tremors on the Periphery: Sinuiju Unrest
On the eve of Hu Jintao’s visit to Washington, D.C., the Chosun Ilbo releases an explosive report that Chinese troops have moved into the Rason Special Economic Zone on Korea’s northeastern tip. I just posted a rather extensive comment on this story on the One Free Korea site, the contents of which I won’t mirror here, except to add that according to this translation … Continue reading Chinese Troops in North Korea?
Here in Seoul there has been a great deal of attention paid of late to China’s increasingly truculent response to the planned US-ROK Navy joint exercises planned near the northern sea limit line with North Korea. Perhaps China is uncomfortable with the location: the wide patch of ocean in which the drills would take place is about 750 kilometers from Tianjin, and far closer to … Continue reading How Bellicose is the Global Times? Checking the Record on US-South Korea Naval Exercises
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
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
The premier Anglophone Korea blog, the Marmot’s Hole, recently carried an extensive debate about South Korea-PRC tensions over Kim Jong Il’s visit. The long comments thread is absolutely worth a read, as a Huanqiu Shibao editorial comes into greater focus. While the Marmot’s debate was informative — among other things, I learned that Huanqiu Shibao [ 环球时报] is called 환구시보 in Korean– no one, as … Continue reading Sino-Korean Relations Controversy in the Chinese Press
American human rights rhetoric about North Korea tends to rest upon a self-sustaining paradox: in the view of vocal bloggers and conservative newspapers, the Chinese Communist Party is guilty of perpetuating North Korean human rights abuses, yet, the American advocates of regime change in Pyongyang make few visible efforts to detect what Chinese people are reading about North Korea, or to gauge to what extent … Continue reading Robert Park in the Chinese Press