Author Archive

Revolution and Revival: Ideology and Faith in North Korea

By | June 23, 2017

Today, the North Korean state has all forms of spirituality under its iron fist. But today is but a 70-year blip on the radar of history. As Christopher Richardson writes in this reprisal of a speech delivered in Sydney on June 18, Christianity won’t yield so readily.

Volcano on the Horizon: Thae Yong-ho and the Politics of Speech

By | March 29, 2017

In a companion piece to Tom Fowdy’s essay, Christopher Richardson looks at the case of Thae Yong-ho and just what it says to us about the politics of speech.

Hagiography of the Kims & the Childhood of Saints: Kim Il-sung

By | January 31, 2015

In this essay Christopher Richardson explores the childhood hagiography of Kim Il-sung, “the master narrative from which all others derive,” and in so doing locates the origins of regime durability and state legitimacy.

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.

Leader as Teacher, Leader as Scribe: An Introduction to North Korean Children’s Literature

By | October 07, 2013

Christopher Richardson follows up on Sino-NK’s critically acclaimed “Benoit Symposium” with an exclusive essay on the challenge of children’s literary cultural production, focusing primarily on the classic text, “A Winged Horse.”

“Still Quite Fun To Read:” An Introduction to North Korean Children’s Literature

By | September 17, 2013

Drawing from his own research on contemporary conceptions and experiences of childhood in North Korea, Christopher Richardson paints a primer on the content and significance of children’s literature in the DPRK.

“Be Prepared!” Reflections On The North Korean Children’s Union

By | June 13, 2013

Looking at the structure, ritual, and uniforms at last week’s congress for the Korean Children’s Union (KCU), Christopher Richardson, doctoral candidate at the University of Sydney, delves into the renewed significance of the Children’s Union just as the nation marches onward in the second year under the young leader.