Notes on North Korean Musical Exchanges and Internal Narratives

A lot of people seem to be interested in North Korean cultural diplomacy these days, so the (often peer-reviewed/probably badly flawed/usually enormously fun) work which I have been doing on this issue for the last decade has allowed me to say a few not completely ignorant things about it for a wider public. [Updated 6 April 2018:] This morning I spoke about it with Canada’s … Continue reading Notes on North Korean Musical Exchanges and Internal Narratives

The News from North Korea: Relations with China, Aerial Drone Denunciations, Green Totalitarianism, and the Middle East

Since the emergence of putative successor Kim Jong Eun into the public eye, the North Korean news media — specifically the Korean Central News Agency, or KCNA — has taken pains to publish more content about two things: youth, and the international situation. What this equates to is an expanded view of what North Koreans are encouraging people to talk about, and how the state … Continue reading The News from North Korea: Relations with China, Aerial Drone Denunciations, Green Totalitarianism, and the Middle East

Updates on Sino-North Korean Relations

Chinese TV reports that preparations are underway for North Korean heir apparent Kim Jong Eun to visit CCP leaders in Beijing in “late April or early May.” Accordingly, a rather critical report on the Huanqiu Shibao website asserting that North Korean nuclear facilities in Yongbyon were leaking radioactivity (why else would Kim Jong Il avoid the place so assiduously?) has been taken down in favor … Continue reading Updates on Sino-North Korean Relations

North Korea Notes

The Hu-Obama Summit has already been subjected to some of the most intense lobbying pressures known to man.  From big business to human rights groups to the defense hawks in both countries, both executives have probably had it up to their ears (or, in Hu’s case, his lengthening and positively Cheneyewque jowls) with being pushed to push his counterpart on a given issue.  This being … Continue reading North Korea Notes

Events in Pyongyang

Yesterday the Korean Workers’ Party in Pyongyang celebrated its 65th anniversary with an immense parade that included an appearance by the new big man on campus and the putative successor, Kim Jong-Un. The festivities are covered here with some nice photos from the left-wing Paris paper Liberation (via Yonhap), and the Huanqiu Shibao carries a handful of photos from Xinhua’s photographer in Pyongyang. Huanqiu Shibao … Continue reading Events in Pyongyang

Sino-North Korean Links for July 26, 2010

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 … Continue reading Sino-North Korean Links for July 26, 2010

Stories to Follow

I recommend you watch how these stories develop, since most of them have yet to be really reported in the Anglophone press: 1. Legacies of Japanese imperialism in Manchuria Chinese government organizations and affiliated NGOs are engaged in a struggle to get the old Unit 731 facility (the commemorative site for Japanese biological weapons research and atrocities outside of northeastern city of Harbin) listed as … Continue reading Stories to Follow

PRC-DPRK Pygmalion

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

KCNA Roundup

Korea Central News Agency — essentially the North Korean equivalent to Xinhua, minus all the foreign bureaus —  was full of news this past week of commemorations of April 15, Kim Il Sung’s birthday, the so-called “Day of the Sun.”  Of these stories, I found this dispatch to be the most strange: A Chinese delegation, it appears, crossed the border at Hyesan and made their … Continue reading KCNA Roundup

KCNA Roundup

The Korean Central News Agency is North Korea’s Xinhua, that is, an organ for propaganda and news. This past week has seen a number of significant themes emerging. What struck me as most unusual was this specific refutation: CPRK Rebukes Japanese Sankei’s False Report about DPRK Pyongyang, March 4 (KCNA) — A spokesman for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea gave the following … Continue reading KCNA Roundup