Blueprints and Rumors in Sinuiju and Dandong

Last week Christopher Green and I assessed the outlook for concerted Chinese-North Korean development in the critical corridor for trade between Dandong (PRC) and Sinuiju (DPRK). Using the October bilateral trade fair in Dandong as the test case and a number of Chinese-language press releases as sources, we argued that the trade fair should not be interpreted as evidence of a new receptivity by North Korea … Continue reading Blueprints and Rumors in Sinuiju and Dandong

Three Questions on Dandong and Chinese-North Korean Economic Relations

As the third China-North Korea Trade Fair continues, a few questions (modified from those posed by a stalwart reporter from a northern European news magazine roaming Liaoning province) and tentative answers seem appropriate. Q.: There is a great deal of new construction in Dandong and Chinese real estate companies are clearly trying to attract buyers — including possibly wealthy North Koreans.  I have been going to … Continue reading Three Questions on Dandong and Chinese-North Korean Economic Relations

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

In the Shadow of Jang Song-taek: Lecture in Washington, D.C.

On Thursday, June 19, in Washington, D.C., I gave a lecture and participated in an extensive Q & A on the subject of post-purge North Korean Special Economic Zones in China. The Q & A for the event, hosted by the Korea Economic Institute as part of its Academic Paper Series, starts at about minute 45 of the above video; the pdf of the working … Continue reading In the Shadow of Jang Song-taek: Lecture in Washington, D.C.

Yalu River Notes: On Dandong

The following is a cross-post from SinoNK.com.  And King Tubby (a regular commenter on both this site and David Bandurski’s essential China Media Project) points out a new Los Angeles Times article that deals with the matter of North Korean capitalism from a different angle.  Along the frontier between North Korea’s North Hamgyong province and the PRC’s Yanbian Korean Autonomous Region, journalists, according to Chosun Ilbo, … Continue reading Yalu River Notes: On Dandong

Inspector O is Not in the Office: Tracing a Traffic Accident Near Pyongyang

The story has made virtually no waves in English, Chinese, or Korean, but perhaps that is the point: On November 26, apparently within minutes of one another, two separate buses full of “a Chinese business delegation” and “a Chinese tourist group” crashed on an icy road 60 km from Pyongyang, killing six Chinese and two North Koreans. This according to the Chinese Embassy in Pyongyang, … Continue reading Inspector O is Not in the Office: Tracing a Traffic Accident Near Pyongyang

Tremors and Premonitions from the Sino-Korean Borderlands

On September 30, 2011, celebrated defense intellectual Zhang Zhaozhong [ 张召忠 ] visited the small but important and growing Sino-North Korean border city of Dandong, giving a talk about China’s national defense.  Zhang, described by the trustworthy JustRecently blog as a bit of a hard-liner prone to suspicion against US-Japan-South Korea military alliance, got a good look at China’s frontier defenses, such as they are, on … Continue reading Tremors and Premonitions from the Sino-Korean Borderlands

Borderlands Gudgeon

At first I wondered: even in the midst of North Korea’s biggest wave of Chinese aid and investment since 1958, isn’t it a little bit unusual for the mayor of Dandong to go to Pyongyang?  And for KCNA to throw down not one, but three stories about the friendly visit? And then I read a new piece in the Daily NK (which unlike so many … Continue reading Borderlands Gudgeon

North Korean Lorry Watch

Chosun Ilbo reports from Dandong about a supposed influx of Chinese military equipment into the DPRK.  I was all over that bridge 5-7 days ago and there were indeed quite a few trucks coming back from the North, but then again, there were a few bare-handed swimmers as well, and the Sinuiju riviera has not yet calcified completely. One Free Korea, who is normally superbly … Continue reading North Korean Lorry Watch

Scoping North Korea’s Emerging Trade Zones with China

Leaving the thrall of Hong Kong behind (and not even by boat!), I’ll be moving up into Dalian and the Liaodong peninsula for the next several days.  Not being a wealthy Chinese investor with a Hummer in Changchun, there’s no way I can make it to distant Rason, but I will certainly be spending some good time checking things out in Dandong and near the … Continue reading Scoping North Korea’s Emerging Trade Zones with China