DPRK Foreign Relations

The Short Arm of the Law: Sanctions and North Korean Laborers in Russia

By | September 28, 2017

Anthony Rinna examines the stark reality that it is not clear who is available to replace exports of North Korean labor in Russia, making it hard to imagine the Russian government weaning itself off them.

Right of Reply: Kim Jong-un’s Rejoinder to American Threats at the UN General Assembly

By | September 21, 2017

Pushing back against an over-reliance on personalist explanations for international conflict, Adam Cathcart retreats into history and some speculation.

Chinese Discourse on the New North Korea Sanctions

By | September 12, 2017

How have Chinese officials and periodicals been discussing trade with and sanctions on North Korea? Adam Cathcart investigates.

Korean People’s Army Contacts with the Chinese Military

By | August 21, 2017

The perception that China and North Korea no longer have the extensive bilateral contacts that they once did may be broadly speaking correct, but it is by no means the whole story. Here, Adam Cathcart brings to our attention an official event from July 25, 2017.

Lumps of Coal: How China’s Demand for Russia’s Natural Resources Affects North Korea Sanctions Enforcement

By | August 13, 2017

Anthony Rinna investigates the Russian role in the DPRK sanctions system, focusing on the country’s potential to export high-quality coal to China as a replacement for the DPRK.

Policy Distortions: How the American Right Frames Donald Trump’s Policy on North Korea

By | July 19, 2017

Sam Swash looks at how the North Korean population is conditioned to read for conspiracies that may or may not be there. In the process he reminds us that we may be just as much if not more open to misinformation that shows their leadership to be infallible. 

On Contradiction: The PRC Foreign Ministry and “China Responsibility Theory”

By | July 15, 2017

When a spokesman pushed back against the Trump administration assertions that China is in the driver’s seat with North Korea, Washington had no response. What was between the lines of this statement from Beijing?

Memos from Pyongyang: A North Korean Perspective on the Otto Warmbier Case

By | July 10, 2017

Adam Cathcart does some further thinking around the death of Otto Warmbier, but with an underutilized angle; seeking clarity not on what Warmbier’s passing means for us, but on what it means in Pyongyang.