Kim Jong-il

Communist Normalcy: How Authoritarian Leaders Disappear and Return

By | October 21, 2014

Kim Jong-un has now made a handful of public appearances since ending his 40+ days out of the public eye, and it appears clear that the young leader’s health was a major cause of his absence. This came as no surprise to analyst Nick Miller.

New Era, New Challenges: North Korea Analysis on Virgin Soil

By | September 29, 2014

We have more information now than ever before on the politics of the North Korean leadership. Using insights from the the politics of authoritarianism literature, this essay suggests the need for a robust framework of analysis to meet the challenges of the new era.

Hagiography of the Kims and the Childhood of Saints: Kim Jong-il

By | August 12, 2014

Christopher Richardson examines the mythological narrative of Kim Jong-il’s genesis, uncovering the carefully constructed combination of religion, half-truths, and state propaganda.

“Victory Day,” the Canonization of Kim Jong-il, and North Korean Succession Politics

By | August 02, 2014

Why did the North Korean commemorations of the July 27, 1953 Armistice dwell so heavily on Kim Jong-il, who was just a child during the Korean War? Adam Cathcart investigates how shifting histories in Pyongyang are laying the groundwork for ongoing succession narratives for the present leader.

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.