Kim Jong-il

Justifying Hereditary Succession in North Korea

By | March 09, 2014

Is the succession process to Kim Jong-un complete, or still very much in train? Sino-NK’s chief editor analyzes a recently-unearthed speech by the supreme leader.

Back to the Primary Source: Hunting for Kim Il-sung’s “May 25th Instructions”

By | February 19, 2014

1967 was a key year in ensuring that the Kim family’s iron-fisted ideological control of the DPRK would continue indefinitely. At the forefront of this process was a speech delivered on May 25 that year. The problem is that no foreigner has ever seen it, and it has long been misidentified by South Korean scholars. Hwang Jang-yop turns in his grave, while Fyodor Tertitskiy investigates.

Kimism’s Great Christmas Power Grab

By | February 07, 2014

When the Kim regime arrested, tried and swiftly executed Jang Sung-taek in December 2013, it was implementing the ancient maxim about the relative power of regents and monarchs, and following the ruthless logic of autocracy everywhere. Machiavelli would not have been in the least bit surprised by the death, as Christopher Green investigates in another of his columns for Groove Korea.

Jang Sung-taek: Chopped Off at the Knees

By | December 05, 2013

The purge of Jang Sung-taek has provided the world with a fresh layer of Korean peninsula intrigue, and yet more questions about the nature of Kimist dominance in the era of Jong-un. As the Twittersphere flutters, Nick Miller weighs in. Additional content from Christopher Green.

Treasured Swords: Environment under the Byungjin Line

By | June 03, 2013

Rarely do all three leaders of the Kim dynasty go on the public record about a single policy issue, and this makes inter-generational analysis of policy tropes a thorny proposition. However, we now have access to major treatizes on land management theory from the 1960s, 1980s and 2010s. Naturally, Robert Winstanley-Chesters has them lined up for comparison.

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.

Moranbong Band: Joseon Style Electronic Music on a New Level

By | April 08, 2013

Sino-NK’s Performing Arts Analyst Jimin Lee examines the Moranbong Band’s debut “Demonstration Concert” through the lens of its own name—that is, as a demonstration of its potential to act as bridge to the world with its “New Joseon Style” of pop musical performance.