Cultural Relations

China’s Soft Power Strategy and the DPRK

By | January 13, 2014

Are the Chinese really “ahead of the game” when it comes to their North Korea policy, or is this long-held assumption no longer valid? Adam Cathcart and Franz Bleeker examine Chinese “soft power” over North Korea from the Chinese perspective.

Sino-NK 2013 Rewind: Pop Politics and the Narrative of the Bizarre

By | December 20, 2013

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.

Yongusil 21: North Korean Review on the Unhasu Orchestra in Paris and the AP in Pyongyang

By | December 13, 2013

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.

Mass Games for a Mass Audience: Another Sign of Cultural Diplomacy?

By | July 25, 2013

With Seoul and Pyongyang both set to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the Korean Armistice Agreement, English- and Korean-language media pick up on different points of a similar theme. Is the DPRK reaching out to foreign audiences for its “Victory Day”?

Eternal Recurrence: North Korean Iconography

By | May 21, 2013

Highlighting continuities and nuclear disjunctures in North Korean depictions of the Kim family, Adam Cathcart glosses a Heonik Kwon essay and tags the Mansudae Art Studios.

A Soupçon of Anger: KCNA-China File No. 23

By | May 19, 2013

Looking back at a period of bilateral agony, Sino-NK returns to December 2012, capturing several critical months of North Korean discussion about China.

Through the DPRK Information Membrane: Interview with Blaine Harden

By | May 10, 2013

In the second part of Sino-NK’s interview with Blaine Harden, the author of Escape from Camp 14 discusses the trials of life in defector society and its search for a defining leader, as well as borderlands journalism and the controversial AP bureau in Pyongyang.