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.

Saenuri Party Triumphant: #Shigak no. 10

By | August 10, 2014

The latest Shigak recaps the crucial July 30 by-elections and discusses what the Saenuri Party’s electoral victory means for South Korean politics going forward. Additional stories covered include: Korea’s rising immigrant population, issues of national identity, and the fate of private high schools, among others.

“Victory Day,” the Canonization of Kim Jong-il, and North Korean Succession Politics

By | August 02, 2014

Why did the North Korean commemorations of the July 27, 1953 Armistice dwell so heavily on Kim Jong-il, who was just a child during the Korean War? Adam Cathcart investigates how shifting histories in Pyongyang are laying the groundwork for ongoing succession narratives for the present leader.

Chosun Ilbo Surveys 100 North Koreans

By | July 28, 2014

The results of a recent survey conducted by Chosun Ilbo of visa-holding North Koreans in the Sino-North Korean borderlands offer a rare, if imperfect, glimpse of domestic public opinion in the DPRK. Christopher Green analyzes the findings.

Divided Political Parties and National Identity: #Shigak no. 09

By | July 24, 2014

Ongoing battles over historical narratives, an upcoming “mini-general election,” and efforts to deal with and adjust to an increasingly multicultural population were some of the major issues covered in the Korean and foreign media over the last few weeks. These pressing issues and more are covered in the latest issue of Shigak.

Politics and Pollack: It Takes a Nation of Fishes

By | July 24, 2014

Bringing his Politics and Pollack series to a close, Robert Winstanley-Chesters explores the most recent pelagic developments in North Korea, focusing on the January 8 Fishing Station and the problematic notion of “charismatic time.”

Yongusil 42: OCIS, North Korea, Institutional Socialization, and the UNFCC

By | July 19, 2014

A panel from the recent Oceanic Conference on International Studies at the University of Melbourne addressed the thematic and theoretical crossroads at which the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process, North Korean socialization within its institutional framework, and a consideration of climate change from a “Relative Gains” perspective combine; Sino-NK was there.