Svoliking in the High Grass: New Approaches to Understanding Authoritarian Regimes

By | September 17, 2014

Steven Denney reviews a few key works on “the politics of authoritarianism,” providing researchers with multiple comparative frameworks for understanding North Korea as authoritarian regime.

Yongusil 44: Engaging DPRK at Harvard University

By | September 17, 2014

Several Sino-NK staff played important roles at this engagement-focussed conference in Boston, which also included contributions from Scott Snyder, Bradley Babson, and Fredrick Carriere.

Spaces of Leisure: A North Korean (Pre-) History

By | September 13, 2014

In the first of three essays, Robert Winstanley-Chesters analyzes the disconnect between North Korea’s revolutionary culture and the existence of consumption space, uncovering a pre-history of leisure and entertainment in North Korea.

Political Deadlock in the ROK: #Shigak no. 11

By | September 04, 2014

Despite the demand for a special investigation, the ruling and opposition parties have yet to find enough common ground to put the Sewol special bill to a vote. This topic and more are explored in the latest issue of Shigak.

Chinese Media on Trilateral Espionage Tangle in Dandong

By | September 03, 2014

Is the case being brought against two Canadian entrepreneurs in the border city of Dandong about North Korean missionary activity, or a larger conflict between China and its other North American rival?

And the Show Goes On: How the State Survived Marketization

By | September 01, 2014

In post-famine North Korea, the spread of markets has created a dilemma for the state. While markets are sources of revenue, they also threaten to state’s survival. How has the state responded? In the third installment in a series of reviews, Peter Ward looks at Yang Mun-su’s work on the state’s response to marketization.

Yongusil 43: Baekdu and the Re-materialization of Korean Mountains at the Royal Geographical Society

By | August 30, 2014

Due in large part to the florid narratives of North Korean state power, Mt. Baekdu is often an object or passive presence in discussion; however, it is rarely subjected to assessment in its own right. One panel at the ongoing Royal Geographical Society annual international conference attempted to change that.

Hagiography of the Kims and the Childhood of Saints: Kim Jong-il

By | August 12, 2014

Christopher Richardson examines the mythological narrative of Kim Jong-il’s genesis, uncovering the carefully constructed combination of religion, half-truths, and state propaganda.