Perils of the Non-Verified and the Fictional: Just Another Week in News from North Korea

Why did it take me this long to figure it out?  With the exception of Sunny Lee, no news reporter who writes in English, who is based in Beijing or Seoul or Washington, whose job it is to report on North Korea, actually reads the Chinese-language press about North Korea. How else to explain the void in this story about a train from Sinuiju, which … Continue reading Perils of the Non-Verified and the Fictional: Just Another Week in News from North Korea

Obedient, Intransigent North Korea in the Chinese Media

Thanks to the ever-productive Joshua Stanton at the very useful but hopelessly Anglophone (and somewhat impervious) command post for North Korean counter-revolution known as One Free Korea, I got motivated to do some more analysis of Chinese sources touching upon the recent flare-up in the sea to the west (and north!) of the DMZ in Korea. As I see it, Chinese media strategy as regards … Continue reading Obedient, Intransigent North Korea in the Chinese Media

Contested Era, Blossoming Memory: Reconsidering the Early 1950s in the Present PRC

In walking around Chinese book markets, perusing Chinese newspapers, talking to Chinese scholars and intellectuals, and just plain thinking here in the PRC, the remarkable fact emerges of the enormous gap between what is printed and discussed here and how we talk about it back in the West. In other words, there are some thorny themes being worked out here in the PRC that seem … Continue reading Contested Era, Blossoming Memory: Reconsidering the Early 1950s in the Present PRC

Links for July 30, 2010

As a stand-in for more narrative and original blog posts when I get back from “vacation,” please enjoy the following links in three categories: Mao’s Forgotten Son, The Korean War Remembered Photos History education: 140+ photos of Korea before the war http://history.huanqiu.com/photo/2010-04/778072_2.html New photos of Mao Anying, Mao Zedong’s son translating for Russians in Beijing, May 1950, just six months before he was killed by … Continue reading Links for July 30, 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

China’s Renewed Interest in Korean War Origins

The Telegraph in London writes of the heightened drive in Beijing to assess the origins of the Korean War, a conflict now being cast in an increasingly negative light insofar as North Korea’s responsibilities are concerned: The official Chinese media stated for the first time that it was North Korea that dealt the first blow. In a special report, Xinhua’s International Affairs journal said: “On … Continue reading China’s Renewed Interest in Korean War Origins

“War Could Break Out at Any Time”: DPRK Diplomats on the Offensive

Two recent reports have evidenced some noteworthy statements by North Korean diplomats abroad.  Clearly, they are spreading the word: the DPRK is not at fault for the Cheonan incident, the South Koreans (and the Americans, and the Japanese) are manipulating the investigation for political gain, and, most importantly, that war could break out at any time. Huanqiu Shibao reports [translation by Adam Cathcart]: 环球网实习记者高倩报道,据英国路透社6月3日消息,朝鲜一名特使3日称,由于“天安号”事件导致朝韩紧张局势不断升级,朝鲜半岛随时可能爆发战争。Huanqiu internet … Continue reading “War Could Break Out at Any Time”: DPRK Diplomats on the Offensive