Kim Jong Il Dies in His Train: Updates

About an hour ago at noon Pyongyang time, Korean Central News Agency reported that Kim Jong Il had died yesterday morning in his train “from overwork.” A Chinese reporter, Zhao Shuguang [赵曙光], who described in earlier reports the North Korea leader’s desire to make it to age 70 in the year 2012, and who has also been accused of fabricating reports to favor the North … Continue reading Kim Jong Il Dies in His Train: Updates

Lux Sinica: China’s Civilizing Influence in North Korea

It takes more than a few days, or perhaps a few weeks, to sift through all the reports, speculation, and rumors surrounding Kim Jong Il’s “new deal” with China.  At the end of the day, though, it seems that a single question aids in interpreting the phenomenon: To what extent has Kim Jong Il’s visit to China spurred the North Korean regime to embrace even … Continue reading Lux Sinica: China’s Civilizing Influence in North Korea

Kim Jong Il in China: 28 Things You May Have Missed

Cross-Border Economic Development 1. Indeed, the Rodong Sinmun [劳动新闻/Worker’s Daily], North Korea’s key ideological mouthpiece, has said nothing of Kim Jong Il’s since his junket to a Hamgyong fruityard. But what has flowered in place of news of Kim?  The halls of Pyongyang, at least the ones with lighting, are suddenly again flush with economic optimism. The phrases present in this Rodong Sinmun, May 20, editorial had … Continue reading Kim Jong Il in China: 28 Things You May Have Missed

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

North Korea: Examination Materials

I recently completed a month-long lecture series on North Korean-Chinese relations at Pacific Lutheran University.  Because these lectures were occasioned by a course I teach at PLU, I had the pleasure of writing an exam on the topic. Here, in no particular order, are a few of themes or questions which were covered in the lectures and which my students consequently suggested that I should … Continue reading North Korea: Examination Materials

‘Succession is the Issue’: Rap Ditty on the Kim Clan and Sino-North Korean Relations

If you want footnotes or typed lyrics, then they shall be produced.  Otherwise, enjoy this little ditty, which began in the pre-dawn with a civilized train ride and a consequent eyeful of Mount Ranier red sunrise over frozen fields (the peak appearing to erupt in slow motion), and ended twenty minutes later in a gust on top of a garbage can. A model for future … Continue reading ‘Succession is the Issue’: Rap Ditty on the Kim Clan and Sino-North Korean Relations

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

Smartphone Border Run Shamaness North Korea Remittance China Friendly Kim’s New Family KCNA Pastiche

KCNA, the North Korean “news” agency, has a fascinating piece on problems caused by smartphones in US prisons (thus simultaneously bashing America and reminding readers that mobile technology is potentially criminal), reminds us that Japan is on the warpath to imperial expansion in Asia (even as Japan still has, in a rare admission from KCNA, a peace constitution), that cadre and everyone else is bucking … Continue reading Smartphone Border Run Shamaness North Korea Remittance China Friendly Kim’s New Family KCNA Pastiche

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

New Winter: Sino-North Korean Relations Today

Of China’s many bilateral relationships, few are as pregnant with doom as the relationship with the DPRK. That is to say, the relationship is significant to China not primarily for the good it can bring, but for the potential harm it represents. Thus the quest for China in dealing with the DPRK is how to play a bad hand: minimize the harm it can do, … Continue reading New Winter: Sino-North Korean Relations Today