Author Archive

Criticizing the “Low-Key” Approach: Chinese Responses to the DPRK Soldier-Murderer in Yanbian

By | January 06, 2015

Is the PRC media response to the death of four Chinese civilians by a hungry North Korean deserter evidence of policy change, or just business as usual? Adam Cathcart looks at the evidence.

Boondoggle on the Yalu: China’s Useless New Bridge to North Korea

By | November 03, 2014

A huge new piece of bilateral infrastructure on the Sino-North Korean frontier is to remain unopened for the foreseeable future. Sino-NK provides Chinese context to the news.

On Totalitarian Art: Interview with Morten Traavik

By | October 17, 2014

Norwegian artist Morten Traavik’s cultural engagement with North Korean, which includes plans to establish an art institute in Pyongyang, has provoked the ire of at least one German journalist. Adam Cathcart recaps and analyzes an interview with Travvik in the Suddeutsche Zeitung.

North Korean Scholars and Koguryo: How to Reignite a Historical Controversy on Chinese National Day

By | October 03, 2014

With a host of signs popping up that ties between Beijing and Pyongyang are poor, and a few that suggest the opposite, Adam Cathcart looks at how the North Korean government is currently brandishing an unmistakable totem of clashing nationalisms.

Purges, Promotions, and Foreign Policy: Lessons from Kim Il-Sung

By | October 01, 2014

Using recent power shuffles in the Pyongyang security elite as a backdrop, this essay investigates the peculiar roots and practices of North Korean purges.

German Shepherds and German Musical Politics in North Korea

By | October 01, 2014

Among the elite music academies of Pyongyang, performances take place of German symphonic literature and avant-garde contemporary music; our editor-in-chief assesses the scene.