Sino-NK is a scholarly collective of young Sinologists and Koreanists dedicated to documenting and analyzing the borderland dynamics, transnational ties, and history of Northeast Asia. The site focuses on the relations between the People’s Republic of China and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Sino-NK has been quoted in such outlets as The Economist, Washington Post, New York Times, Politico, and Wall Street Journal, and is utilized frequently by scholars and journalists.
Using sources in Korean, Chinese, and European languages, as well as interdisciplinary research frameworks, Sino-NK endeavors to better understand North Korea’s relations with the world and to chart a path forward for digital academic analysis.
Evolution of Sino-NK
In February, 2010, 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.” This 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 co-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.