Powerless Harmonies: Cultural Diplomacy in French-North Korean Relations

In March 2012, an orchestra of North Korean musicians went to Paris to perform, an event which gave us a very good case study of looking at the DPRK’s soft power efforts. It also provided an example of cultural diplomacy between Europe and a country in East Asia dedicated, for the most part, to resisting exchanges that may not adhere to its ideological values. In … Continue reading Powerless Harmonies: Cultural Diplomacy in French-North Korean Relations

Jack Lang Speaks Out on his Pyongyang Voyage

Via the always-interesting-if-not-completely-comprehensible Association for French-North Korean Friendship blog, a forty-minute interview with Jack Lang is now available on the subject of his trip to Korea.  His French is pretty Parisian standard, but I’m at a point in my own learning curve where I think I’ll just make it available to you all and dig out what I can, such as Lang’s admission that he … Continue reading Jack Lang Speaks Out on his Pyongyang Voyage

Jack Lang in North Korea: Updates

AFP reports that after ten hours of talks over five days with French envoy Jack Lang, North Korea agreed in principle to further discussion with France over the issue of human rights. Footage of Lang expressively describing his accomplishments and wandering around in the immense lobby of what appears to be the Koryo Hotel can be seen on Chinese television here, in English.   (Lang’s televised … Continue reading Jack Lang in North Korea: Updates

A Frenchman in Pyongyang

While Anglophone Korea-watchers are checking up on U.S. envoy Stephen Bosworth’s itinerary and insouciantly lining him up in a rhetorical 3-4 formation next to to 1980s football linebacker sensation Brian “the Bozz” Bosworth, France’s envoy Jack Lang has finally hit Pyongyang. He’ll be in North Korea for a total of five days, exploring the possibility of French recognition of North Korea (here, France is alone … Continue reading A Frenchman in Pyongyang