North Korean Frontier Provinces are On Fire

Joshua Stanton at One Free Korea has been perusing satellite imagery again.  Normally this results in his steady and impressive posting of labor camps, as well as compounds and villas in the DPRK.  (For a fascinating interview with Stanton’s colleague in this pursuit, Curtis Melvin of NK Economy Watch blog, on the Rachel Maddow show, click here.) But today Joshua hit upon something rather alarming: … Continue reading North Korean Frontier Provinces are On Fire

Correcting the Record on News from the Border Zone

Justification Regular sources of information from the Chinese-North Korean border zone are difficult to come by. The Daily NK is one of the more abundant, and apparently reliable sources, that Western readers have at our disposal. Unfortunately, to my knowledge, few researchers have noted crucial discrepancies between reports filed in Chinese and the English language-version which most people read in the West. Just for reminders: … Continue reading Correcting the Record on News from the Border Zone

China-Korea News/Resource Links

Global Times China comes down hard on “soft violence” “meant to create terror” in Urumuqi.  Hu Jintao’s visit is only a couple of weeks in the rear view mirror, but the struggle continues.  When you see a Chinese headline that says “Situation in Urumuqi Basically Under Control,” you sit up a bit.  Qualifying adjectives in Xinhua headlines? It is quite probable that China is simply … Continue reading China-Korea News/Resource Links

Fistfuls of Chinese Earth, Breaths of Conspiracy, Fusillades of Propaganda

The Laura Ling/Euna Lee editorial has been partially translated and passed along, virtually without commentary or analysis, on the Daily NK’s Chinese website, which is accessible in China. And the headline is, of course, “we were grabbed from Chinese territory.”   (This has an especially potent ring in Chinese, I might add: “从中国领土抓走,” evoking something sacred about the territory in a nationalist discourse which is the … Continue reading Fistfuls of Chinese Earth, Breaths of Conspiracy, Fusillades of Propaganda

Internet Babble Makes For Poignant Absences

Sometimes an item will soar up from incoherent babble of the Internet, and shine in a fashion that is so exceedingly incoherent, so counterfactual, so cognitively dissonant, that it actually becomes beautiful. In researching a post I’ve been cogitating on and drafting for a few days now about prostitution in Hyesan, I found something that captured a real truth. It was like the time in … Continue reading Internet Babble Makes For Poignant Absences

Northeast China reaction to North Korean Nuke Test

The attention levied to the North Korean nuclear test and its timing has primarily been focused on its meaning for U.S.-North Korea relations (such as they are) in the Obama administration, and, secondarily, on their impact in hardening South Korean public opinion already reeling from the suicide of the recent president Noh Moo Hyun. But in many ways the biggest potential change that arises from … Continue reading Northeast China reaction to North Korean Nuke Test