All posts tagged: Hyesan

Bubble at the Summit: Insecurities in Kim Jong-un Itineraries

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Borderlands / factionalism in North Korea / Kim Jong-un / Kim Jong-un health / Manchuria / North Korea / North Korean border region / Op-Ed / Sino-North Korean relations / Yanbian
KJU Wonsan

Is Kim Jong-un staggeringly confident, or do his behaviours and travel itineraries betray personal neuroses and structural fears? The short answer is that it depends on the issue under discussion. Let’s take the economy for starters. Like a shrimp rediscovering its appetite after an awful oil spill, the North Korean economy appears to be improving, or so argue a number of indicators. Several smaller dams around the Huichon behemoth are coming online, meaning there is more power […]

Monday Notations

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Chinese communist party / North Korea / North Korean border region

Chinese Central Television is reporting on the protests in Manhattan/New York and other American cities. An essay by Chris Green in Seoul challenges the notion of “free markets” in North Korea and provides an illustration by Stephan Haggard of cross-border exchanges with China. The Daily NK describes how life next door to China has driven up housing prices (and the weight of government decrees) in sprawling, visible Hyesan. A short but feisty post by Graham […]

Deals, Development, and Dead Refugees: Get Ready for the New Status Quo on the Sino-North Korean Border

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China / East Asian modernity / Environmental Politics in East Asia / Manchuria / North Korea / North Korean border region / Sino-North Korean relations / Yanbian

Among the activities which I undertake each year, there is one for which I reserve a special vim.  There on the grand third floor, at the end of the classical reading room of the New York Public Library, I sit for a single day, perhaps two, burrowing down into a rather large collection of propaganda aimed at North Koreans dating from the 1950s.   As I leafed through these materials last week, budging up against its […]

Chinese Capitalism Floods North Korea

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North Korean border region / Op-Ed / Sino-North Korean relations

A op-ed of mine which I wrote last week on the subject of Chinese influence and the prospects for reform in North Korea was published yesterday in the Duluth News-Tribune.   The piece is linked here [Update: Full text below.] Chinese Capitalism Floods North Korea Pyongyang’s broad boulevards are gradually being emptied, as Workers’ Party officials filter home to the provinces.  The Party Congress – touted as the probable coming-out event for Kim Jong Il’s son-successor, […]

Sino-North Korean Links for July 26, 2010

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North Korean border region / Sino-North Korean relations

Note: I’m breaking slightly from my previously-announced fortnight blogging hiatus to try something new: a sort of collection of links on North Korea and Sino-North Korean relations which attempts to combine the advantages of Twitter while removing the fragmentary nature of that platform. (You can subscribe to my Twitter feed here.)  I certainly intend to continue with the production of monumental blocks of prose that you may have come to expect here, but feedback on […]

Liquid Architecture and Measured Resistance

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Art / Cultural Politics

Perusing the nifty KoreAm blog, and finding Eugene Kim’s posts on architecture to be worthwhile, I found some photos of a newly-designed floating stage on the Han River in Seoul. Rather than conjuring visions of the Hollywood bowl, I first thought that Seoul looked like a Yanji with a lot more money.  But then my second thought was of Tacoma, the singed kalbi center of the south Puget Sound: All this fluidity makes my head […]

Borderline News from NK: Hyesan and Forest Fires

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North Korean border region / Sino-North Korean relations

Hyesan is getting spruced up with some funds from the center. Meanwhile, the ever-vigilant Juchechosunmanse digs up a real find: Back in October North Korea watchers were perplexed by the fires in the DPRK’s northeast, namely in Ryanggang-do and Hamgyong-bukdo. The Daily NK has just reported [ed. in Chinese] that the forest fires were caused by people burning corn roots to get rid of insects and worms in areas such as Pungseo-gun in Ryanggang-do. Apparently it is part […]