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

Tremors on the Periphery: Sinuiju Unrest

Yesterday I got a message from one of my favorite North Korea specialists, Owen Miller at the School of Oriental and African Sciences in London, concening a recent disturbance in Sinuiju, the northwesternmost city in the DPRK and a bellwether when it comes to regime intentions and popular resistance. More information about the protests is available via Chosun Ilbo (Korean version here), as well as … Continue reading Tremors on the Periphery: Sinuiju Unrest

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

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

Chinese Reportage from Rajin, North Korea

Regarding the Korean peninsula, the Chinese media strategy of the past several days has been, perhaps, a bit opaque. But yesterday, clarity arrived!  The Huanqiu Shibao of December 23 makes rather evident the goal of the recent PRC encouragement of North Korea: just stop the nonsense and make some money.  In other words, the narrative emphasis in the PRC (a theme which the CCP dearly … Continue reading Chinese Reportage from Rajin, North Korea

Chinese Capitalism Floods North Korea

A op-ed of mine which I wrote last week on the subject of Chinese influence and the prospects for reform in North Korea was published yesterday in the Duluth News-Tribune.   The piece is linked here [Update: Full text below.] Chinese Capitalism Floods North Korea Pyongyang’s broad boulevards are gradually being emptied, as Workers’ Party officials filter home to the provinces.  The Party Congress – touted … Continue reading Chinese Capitalism Floods North Korea

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

Borderland Banditry

The Chosun Ilbo reported today, via Voice of America: China says it has filed a formal complaint with North Korea about the killing of three Chinese citizens last week by a North Korean border guard. Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang says a fourth person was wounded when the guard opened fire from his post across the border from China’s northeastern town of Dandong last Friday. … Continue reading Borderland Banditry

DPRK Imports Cars: Chinese Netizens Sound Off

In preparations for the April 15 birthday of Kim Il Song/national holiday, the North Korean government imported more than 100 automobiles to be given as gifts to mid-level officials and military members.  (This story was discussed on Sinologistical Violoncellist, based on the Chinese sources, and here on the rather ideological yet well informed rollback blog, One Free Korea.) This story didn’t pick up an immense … Continue reading DPRK Imports Cars: Chinese Netizens Sound Off