New Daily NK Essay: On the Emerging Reality of High-Speed Rail in Eastern Jilin

Eastern Manchuria, for decades a cold and industrially declining region, is now a site of huge infrastructure development. Time and space between the three northeastern provinces of Liaoning, Jilin, and Heilongjiang provinces are shrinking. Meanwhile, North Hamkyung is whittling away with dysfunctional infrastructure and marginal growth at Rason.  *Read the rest of the essay, co-authored with Steven Denney, at The Daily NK. Continue reading New Daily NK Essay: On the Emerging Reality of High-Speed Rail in Eastern Jilin

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

Sunday Links: Korea

1. Joshua Stanton’s analysis of Sino-North Korean relations on One Free Korea is stuffed with things worth thinking about.  Of course, when he equates the Global Times with the Nazi organ Voelkische Beobachter, I, speaking as someone who actually reads the Global Times (usually in its Chinese version, not through partial characterizations of articles by Reuters or AFP or South Korean papers) as well as … Continue reading Sunday Links: Korea

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

News from Within North Korea

The Buddhist organization Good Friends has finally released what appears to be their final two reports (here and here) for the month of Febuary based on defector and cell-phone testimonies.  Suffice it to say, the information is somewhat more alarming than usual. February 16, Kim Jong-il’s birthday, lacked special rations for most of the country, including the model Kim Chaek Steel Mill in Chongjin, where … Continue reading News from Within North Korea

Robert Park 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

Correcting the Record on News from the Border Zone

Justification Regular sources of information from the Chinese-North Korean border zone are difficult to come by. The Daily NK is one of the more abundant, and apparently reliable sources, that Western readers have at our disposal. Unfortunately, to my knowledge, few researchers have noted crucial discrepancies between reports filed in Chinese and the English language-version which most people read in the West. Just for reminders: … Continue reading Correcting the Record on News from the Border Zone

North Korean Successor Buzz Suddenly Silent: Correcting and Explaining the Daily NK’s Report

The Daily NK reports on the somewhat mystifying drop-off in North Korean discussion about the ostensible successor, Kim Jong Un.  (Part 1 is here; Part 2 is here.) In general, the Daily NK reports are highly valuable, but their translations from the original Chinese/Korean are full of errors and innuendo. Since so many people in the English-language Internet realm rely on Daily NK, it’s important … Continue reading North Korean Successor Buzz Suddenly Silent: Correcting and Explaining the Daily NK’s Report

News from North Korea / 北朝鲜新闻报告

Pyongyang’s Korea Central News Agency [KCNA] reports that the two American journalists seized along the Tumen River last March 17 will be tried on June 4. According to the North Korean penal code, their “anti-Choson activities” are supposed to net somewhere between five and ten years of imprisonment. (The creaky yet functional KCNA website, hosted in Japan, has yet to be updated with the news, … Continue reading News from North Korea / 北朝鲜新闻报告