The Jangmadang is Sino-NK’s marketplace for fresh ideas. In keeping with the tradition established by its eponymous counterpart in North Korea, our Jangmadang, managed by Sino-NK staff, provides short, snappy, but vital information on the latest documentary research and news. Unlike most English-language outlets, you will find that a majority of the sources are in Chinese or Korean, with cameo appearances from places like France, Germany and Japan. Jangmadang articles are a quick read, too. No introductions, just reliable translations and timely analysis.

Kim Jong-un and the Songun Retrenchment: A Quintessential Equation

By | November 30, 2013

Sino-NK is a 2013-2014 grantee of the Seoul-based Academy of Korean Studies. In this, the first part of an expansive funded research project, the research team looks at the ideological framework of North Korean statecraft: Songun.

Economic Development on the KCNA Track

By | November 26, 2013

It barely made a splash back home, but a recent SPA decree establishing economic development zones nationwide attracted great international attention. Should it have been so? Chosun Ilbo takes a firm stance, and Christopher Green watches on.

The Controversies of Jongpyeon World

By | November 19, 2013

South Korea appears to have a rich and varied mediasphere. However, over the last two years there has been conflict over the role of “jongpyeon” media companies TV Chosun, Channel-A, JTBC and MBN. The connection to inter-Korean relations is worth noting. Christopher Green explains.

Hani Says “Don’t Be Fooled” by False Political Divides

By | November 17, 2013

The distorted divide in South Korea between left and right, conservative and progressive, shields a far more pronounced divide between the forces of democracy and… something else. A recent Hankyoreh column, deconstructed by Steven Denney.

Chosun Ilbo “Debates” the Production of History

By | November 10, 2013

The imbroglio over school history education continues apace in South Korea, with Prime Minister Jung weighing into the debate on November 5. Steven Denney keeps us abreast of things.

Forget about the “Trustpolitik,” Let’s Talk Won

By | November 07, 2013

Trust can come in many forms, but in Korea there is a serious lack of it. According to Professor Jin Jingyi of Peking University, the key is to transit away from futile attempts to foster political trust, and onto an “economics-first,” or “trusteconomik” if you prefer, approach. Steven Denney explains.

The “Myth” of the Kill, Kill, Kill Chain

By | October 27, 2013

One of the most common South Korean military buzzwords of recent months is “Kill Chain.” It sounds scary and pregnant with deterrence capability, but does it work? Hankyoreh and Professor Choi Jong-kun of Yonsei University think not. Christopher Green summarizes the argument.

History, Textbooks, and “Truth” in South Korea

By | October 25, 2013

National histories are far too contentious as it is, without entrusting their construction to the forces of state authority. In South Korea, where ideological and intellectual freedom are highly contingent, the latest episode in a recurrent controversy over school textbooks makes the point.