Corruption, Sanctions, Dandong

In two essays which I anticipate publishing this week (in NK News and CPI Analysis, respectively), I question the connection between Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption activity and the implementation of sanctions on North Korea. Here are some of the data points I’m dealing with, in no particular order. Sadly, in pulling my research materials together, I found that the Hongxiang firm appears to have wiped its … Continue reading Corruption, Sanctions, Dandong

Distant Proximity: China and the North Korean Human Rights Catastrophe

Beijing is a long way from North Korea.  Border crossing points between China and the DPRK remain open, but the potentially fastest and ‘game-changing’ of these is blocked at present, clogged up with estuary mud and the slow hatreds of bureaucratic inaction. Chinese trains that blaze up and down the northeast have yet to reach the North Korean frontier. But when they do arrive, panting … Continue reading Distant Proximity: China and the North Korean Human Rights Catastrophe

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

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

Reading Kim Il Sung’s Memoirs [1]

Although no one seems to be writing about the topic, Kim Il Sung’s life and works are likely to play an important role in justifying any new direction taken in North Korea, just as the present order, just as that life and those works undergird the present order even as the constant public reminders of that early era kindle a certain revolutionary nostalgia in the … Continue reading Reading Kim Il Sung’s Memoirs [1]

Korea in the Huanqiu Shibao

Today’s array of data on the Huanqiu Shibao/Global Times page is simply overwhelming; a brief selection of links with minimal commentary shall have to suffice: On the North Korean Front Probably the most explosive item being reported today in the Chinese press is the alleged execution of two officials in a Pyongyang stadium for botched currency reforms. The article is rather short, and voices things … Continue reading Korea in the Huanqiu Shibao

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