Dandong Discourse: China-DPRK Trade Fair, and Rumblings in Xinchengqu

Historians have surely seen better days between the Chinese Communist Party and the Kim-centric Workers’ Party of [North] Korea, but business continues apace today in the borderland. The main item seen in the past few weeks (i.e., something “new” that hasn’t yet made it yet into our wonderful Anglophone discourse) is the subject of today’s post. And the news is that the China-DPRK Trade Fair and Culture/Tourism Expo … Continue reading Dandong Discourse: China-DPRK Trade Fair, and Rumblings in Xinchengqu

Stephan Haggard’s Comment on Sinuiju SEZs

Stephan Haggard is frequently described as one of the top North Korea analysts in the United States; his breadth of interest, range of expertise, and command of massive amounts of data, along with his keen analytical eye all serve to confirm his standing in the research community.  I was therefore glad to see that he took interest in one of my recent papers on the … Continue reading Stephan Haggard’s Comment on Sinuiju SEZs

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

‘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

Sunday Links: Korea

1. Joshua Stanton’s analysis of Sino-North Korean relations on One Free Korea is stuffed with things worth thinking about.  Of course, when he equates the Global Times with the Nazi organ Voelkische Beobachter, I, speaking as someone who actually reads the Global Times (usually in its Chinese version, not through partial characterizations of articles by Reuters or AFP or South Korean papers) as well as … Continue reading Sunday Links: Korea

Dam News: China and DPRK Agreement on Yalu River Development

News is crackling along the frontiers of Sino-North Korean relations, and here at S.V. we thus are shaking off the torpor of spring to spring, metaphorically at least, over the Yalu. A wonderfully detailed and breathy dispatch from Dandong describes the signs of a Kim Jong-Il arrival like some kind of force of nature….While Chosun Ilbo spills doubt upon any hope of positive North Korean … Continue reading Dam News: China and DPRK Agreement on Yalu River Development

Mobile Phones and Subversive Activity in the DPRK

I did some translation work just now on Curtis Melvin’s site and thought I might toss it up on S.V. for readers who don’t frequent NK Economy Watch.  (Unthinkable! ) Melvin quotes this Donga Ilbo story which describes the connection between an assassination attempt at a North Pyong’an train station on Kim Jong Il in 2004 (not to be confused with An Hyo San at … Continue reading Mobile Phones and Subversive Activity in the DPRK

Releasing Robert, and Economic Development in Tumen

One Free Korea, channeling Reuters and a fascinating KCNA-published “confession” of the border-hopping misssionary, reports that Robert Park will be released from captivity in North Korea. Meanwhile, Chinese media outlets have yet to pick up the story, but might do so eventually.  Given their druthers, the Chinese would rather not give mainland readers the idea that foreigners are running willy-nilly in the Northeast, as the … Continue reading Releasing Robert, and Economic Development in Tumen

Border News 中朝边防

North Koreans in border regions are doing more military drills than usual (click here for Chinese version), but so too are their counterparts on the Chinese side of the border.  In Hunchun, peasant militias are getting into gear: In Dandong, everyone is making money and trying to get the North Koreans involved. National news publications, not just the Embassy in Pyongyang, are reporting on the meetings between North … Continue reading Border News 中朝边防

Sino-NK Developments / 中朝消息

Several rather interesting Sino-North Korean stories have come across the transom recently.  And isn’t that what life is all about: stories?  Narratives have power, particularly when they change.  Some arguments and stories which we may have believed to be immutable – such as Chinese support for North Korea on the refugee issue – may in fact be changing before our very eyes. Indications of a … Continue reading Sino-NK Developments / 中朝消息