“We Neither Glorify Nor Vilify North Korea” : Assorted Reads and Multimedia

By | January 06, 2012 | No Comments

[Updated, January 6]

With regard to Chinese contingency planning for a North Korean collapse, Stephan Haggard writes:

So what are the Chinese thinking? Reuters recently offered up a summary of the speculation. Although over two years old, the most comprehensive treatment we have seen is a study by Drew Thompson and Carla Freeman called “Flood Across the Border: China’s Disaster Relief Operations and Potential Response to a North Korean Refugee Crisis” for the SAIS Korea Program (pdf here). The purpose of the study is not to examine political crises, but to consider how the Chinese might respond to one particular externality: a flood of refugees. The report provides incredible detail on Chinese institutions by mining information on natural disaster planning. But one critical finding caught our eye and is worth quoting: “The political sensitivities that the Chinese place on their relationship with the DPRK and Chinese interests on the Korean Peninsula virtually assure that Chinese officials will seek to exclude the international community from any but the most superficial role in a crisis that unfolds in the border region.” Of course, this does not preclude coordination but underlines the challenges.

– Collapse scenarios have been rampant on the Chinese internet in the past few days, as Chico Harlan reports on the Washington Post blog;

– A Chinese article about the coup meme, fingering Chang Song Taek as the mover behind events, is as follows (full text as a precaution to it being scrubbed later):

2012年01月04日 18:57 已有46536人阅读










The title phrase, modified from an early post-Kim Jong Il editorial in Global Times;

An interesting micro-narrative item in Huanqiu Shibao with photos comparing Kim Jong Un’s handwriting with that of his scrawling, gregarious grandfather;

Scott Snyder’s December 27 “Kim Jong Un Survivability Scorecard“;

British North Korea scholar Owen Miller spots a Hello Kitty in the elite Pyongyang audience bowing to Kim Jong Il’s hearse;

and KCNA broadcasting profiles, in Korean, of some of the northern provincial secretaries at the last Party Congress in September 2010: