Essays

Identity, Security, and the Nation: Understanding the South Korean Response to North Korean Defectors

By | April 22, 2016

In this review essay, Dr. Sarah Son summarizes her contribution to an Asian Ethnicity special issue (Spring 2016) on North Koreans in South Korea. Her work explores the simultaneous portrayal of this group as both “us” and “them” in public policy discourse.

Focusing Illusions: ROK Opinion Polling and the North Korea Lens

By | January 19, 2016

Responding to a recent article linking attitudes toward North Korea with an emerging form of nationalism in South Korea, Christopher Green argues that the real drivers of identity and attitudinal change are to be found elsewhere.

Recent Developments on the SEZ Battlefront: Mubong and Kyongwon

By | November 09, 2015

In his second essay for Sino-NK, Théo Clément examines two SEZ developments on the North Korean side of the border, Mubong and Kyongwon. There he finds signs of competing local initiatives, logistical savvy, and reciprocal dialogue with Chinese partners.

The New Normal: Liu Yunshan in Pyongyang

By | October 18, 2015

Sino-NK analyses officially-depicted meetings of a high-level Chinese delegation in Pyongyang, placing emphasis on the role of North Korean interlocutors.

2nd Miracle on the Han: Mass Media Unites over History by Ministerial Fiat

By | October 09, 2015

The South Korean mass media rarely unites in condemnation of a domestic policy, but controversial and deeply flawed plans to “re-nationalize” the production of secondary school history textbooks made it happen. Christopher Green investigates.

New Nationalism and New Democracy: Assessing An Jae-hong’s Legacy

By | September 29, 2015

Korean history becomes bifurcated in 1945, but was it ever thus? Dr. Natalia Kim (School of Asian Studies, National Research University) takes an in-depth look at a scholar-gentleman whose career spans colonization and was entwined with debates over Korean nationalism.

Charismatic Politics: Kim Jong-suk’s Supporting Cast of Female Fighters

By | August 25, 2015

Following in the footsteps of Kim Jong-suk and the rest of North Korea’s revolutionary pantheon was a group of hitherto nameless fighters. With Women of Korea in hand, Robert Winstanley-Chesters inscribes the stories of their lives and extraordinary deaths.

Returning to the Courtyard: Rescaling Charismatic Landscapes in North Korea

By | July 27, 2015

Robert Winstanley-Chesters considers how human and critical geographies can be used as vectors for analysis of the viability of North Korea’s political landscapes.