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

Chinese Troops in North Korea?

On the eve of Hu Jintao’s visit to Washington, D.C., the Chosun Ilbo releases an explosive report that Chinese troops have moved into the Rason Special Economic Zone on Korea’s northeastern tip.   I just posted a rather extensive comment on this story on the One Free Korea site, the contents of which I won’t mirror here, except to add that according to this translation … Continue reading Chinese Troops in North Korea?

Deals, Development, and Dead Refugees: Get Ready for the New Status Quo on the Sino-North Korean Border

Among the activities which I undertake each year, there is one for which I reserve a special vim.  There on the grand third floor, at the end of the classical reading room of the New York Public Library, I sit for a single day, perhaps two, burrowing down into a rather large collection of propaganda aimed at North Koreans dating from the 1950s.   As I … Continue reading Deals, Development, and Dead Refugees: Get Ready for the New Status Quo on the Sino-North Korean Border

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

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

Assassin Disinformation: Western and Chinese Media Parse the Defectors

In case you hadn’t heard, two North Korean assassins were recently apprehended in South Korea on a mission to kill Hwang Jang Yop, the grizzled 87-year-old architect of the juche philosophy who defected — via Beijing — to Seoul in 1997. This assassination attempt is kind of a big deal because — apart from the cinematic revelations that the two were instructed to cut off … Continue reading Assassin Disinformation: Western and Chinese Media Parse the Defectors

Robert Park in the Chinese Press

American human rights rhetoric about North Korea tends to rest upon a self-sustaining paradox: in the view of vocal bloggers and conservative newspapers, the Chinese Communist Party is guilty of perpetuating North Korean human rights abuses, yet, the American advocates of regime change in Pyongyang  make few visible efforts to detect what Chinese people are reading about North Korea, or to gauge to what extent … Continue reading Robert Park in the Chinese Press

PRC Media on Inter-Korean Talks / Huanqiu Netizens vs. Human Rights Street Performance

China is sometimes accused of desiring something less than success for South Korean ventures in North Korea.   From such a perspective, industrial zones like Kaesong portend a South Korean takeover of North Korean industry (presupposing Korean unification) or imply that eastern Jilin province would lose every bit of South Korean won.   (The latter course presupposes that South Koreans could go to Paektusan via … Continue reading PRC Media on Inter-Korean Talks / Huanqiu Netizens vs. Human Rights Street Performance

New Korean-American Messiah Crosses the Tumen (Updated)

One Free Korea carries a vital and extensive report on the latest international incident on the North Korea-China border: Reuters is reporting that Robert Park, a 28 year-old American, has walked across the Tumen River from China to the North Korean town of Hoeryong, which is infamous for being both the birthplace of Kim Jong Il’s mother and the the town nearest to Camp 22. … Continue reading New Korean-American Messiah Crosses the Tumen (Updated)

Further Evidence China is Displeased with North Korean Currency Reform

On December 8, the Huanqiu Shibao carried an item headlined “South Korean Media Reports that Two North Korean Citizens Illegally Trading Currency Were Executed [韩媒称两名朝鲜居民因非法兑换货币被枪决],” marking the first time in my memory that China has drawn such explicit attention to North Korea’s arbitrary system of justice. Not only does the appearance of this news further reinforcing that China is displeased, it indicates that Xinhua isn’t … Continue reading Further Evidence China is Displeased with North Korean Currency Reform