Crystalized Data: Additional Notes on the Meth Trade in Yanji

The story of illegal drug distribution across the North Korean border and into China is now being told with a bit of flair in the pages of Newsweek. As regular readers of this blog will know, I find fieldwork in the Chinese borderlands with North Korea always to be an exciting process.  Exciting though it may be, it is a process that — speaking for … Continue reading Crystalized Data: Additional Notes on the Meth Trade in Yanji

Tremors on the Periphery: Sinuiju Unrest

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

Manchurian Base Camp, Part III: The DPRK’s Northeastern Strategy

Manchurian Base Camp, Part I: In the 1930s Kim Il Song regarded Manchuria, or Northeast China, as an immense area into which to project anti-Japanese struggle and wherein he could hammer out the personal foundations for what would become the North Korean state.   Manchurian Base Camp, Part II: During the Korean War, North Korean elites moved back into Manchuria to escape from the horrific bombing … Continue reading Manchurian Base Camp, Part III: The DPRK’s Northeastern Strategy

Hu Jintao in Xinjiang

Hu in first visit to Xinjiang since deadly rioting Ivan Zhai ; Additional reporting by Reuters, Associated Press South China Morning Post 26 Aug 2009 President Hu Jintao has visited Xinjiang for the first time since the deadly riots in Urumqi early last month and claimed victory against the “ three forces” of separatism, terrorism and extremism. Almost 200 people died and more than 2,000 … Continue reading Hu Jintao in Xinjiang