Founded in December 2011 by a group of young academics committed to the study of Northeast Asia, Sino-NK focuses on the Sino-North Korean borderlands and the transnational links that bind China, the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, or North Korea), and the Republic of Korea (or South Korea). Using multiple languages and an array of disciplinary methodologies, Sino-NK provides a steady stream of China-DPRK and DPRK-South Korea documentation and analysis covering the culture, history, economies, and foreign relations of these complex nation-states.
Work published on Sino-NK has been cited in such standard journalistic outlets as The Economist, International Herald Tribune, and Wall Street Journal, and our analysts have been featured in a range of academic publications, including Asian Perspective, North Korean Review, Review of Korean Studies, and Korea Analysis, to name but a few. Ultimately, Sino-NK seeks to function as a bridge between media discourses and a more specialized world, that of the academic and think tank debates that focus their research and analyses around the China, the DPRK, and the Republic of Korea.
Evolution of Sino-NK
In late 2011, Dr. Adam Cathcart founded SinoNK.com using a standard weblog platform with a mission to develop Sino-NK into a “premier resource for the study of contemporary Chinese influence in North Korea, the Chinese outlook on the DPRK, the historical relations between the Workers’ Party of Korea and Chinese Communist Party, and the shadows cast over the relationship by the (ongoing) Korean War.” He was joined shortly thereafter by Charles Kraus as co-editor, along with current managing editor Steven Denney and former director of research Darcie Draudt, as senior editors. Dr. Cathcart’s initial objective has since been accomplished, and a new broader objective proclaimed: “analyzing the borderland dynamics, transnational ties, and history of Northeast Asia.” The arrival of Christopher Green, a respected journalist and North Korea specialist, as an assistant editor in July 2012, accelerated greatly the possibility of this new mission.
As an evolving organization, the standards we set for ourselves in disseminating information and analysis has progressively increased since Sino-NK’s establishment. In the summer of 2013, the editors of Sino-NK decided to expand operations by upgrading the website and expanding the remit of Sino-NK’s analytical reach. The current website layout is a reflection of the editors’ collective intellectual and professional ambitions.
Since transitioning to a new web platform on September 17, 2013, Sino-NK has re-doubled its efforts at professionalization and maintaining the highest standards for research, writing, and editing. What began as an individual academic weblog has developed into a hub for reliable analysis, source translation, and grant-funded outputs, frequently cited by journalists and academics, and inclusive of essays by, interviews with, and reviews of some of the top scholars and practitioners in the field.
The manner and method of our current operations demonstrate this growth. The editing standards by which Sino-NK abides by can be found in the Sino-NK Style Guide. Our new corporeal identity is, in large part, defined by a commitment to professional consistency in all aspects of production, which includes editing our back archive for style consistency and, in particular, abiding by our standards for image use.
Sino-NK analysts are a selective community bound by common concern for scholarship, transnational studies, and analytical rigor. The Korean peninsula is the center of our analytical gaze, but the region around it plays a vital role. Likewise, our production as individuals is accompanied by a concern for professional development and mentoring. Sino-NK is an active participant in academic conferences, media debates, and the future of digital academia.