Art and Performance
Octogenarian propaganda doyen Kim Ki-nam has survived at the top of North Korean politics for decades. Quite apart from all the perks that tend to accrue to such people, the other thing former Rodong Sinmun editor Kim has earned from his exertions is the attention of Adam Cathcart.
Seven full years have passed since the second and final “sunshine policy” president, the late Roh Moo-hyun, left office. Yet debate over the historic value of the decade of sunshine persists. In Sino-NK’s latest review, two members of the team look at a brand new Routledge edited volume that attempts to assess the social legacy of the era.
Benjamin Joinau’s conceptual review of mythic and monolithic city spaces of Pyongyang produces an categorical twin. Rural charisma meets urban glory in a key work of psychogeographic imagination.
Has Kim Jong-un disbanded the Moranbong Band for good? Pekka Korhonen, a visiting scholar at Kyoto University, suggests this is the wrong question to ask, and delves into a trove of revealing data.
Sherri L. Ter-Molen takes the “outside” tack on North Korean cultural production and media engagement in 2013. From Dennis Rodman to Jang Sung-taek via Angry Birds and the Samjiyon.
Benoit Berthelier examines North Korean cultural production from the “inside,” revealing literary outputs determinedly in step with current manifestations of the urgent–and of Kim Jong-un himself.
The Unhasu Orchestra has disappeared from North Korean cultural life. Adam Cathcart and Steven Denney explore that orchestra’s role (and that of the AP) in diplomacy within North Korea’s political repertoire, in a newly-published scholarly article for the North Korean Review.
The German government returns an Ambassador to Pyongyang with interests in cross-border trade in Sinuiju, North Korean succession issues, and “the liberal ’80s” in Beijing.