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