Kim Jong-il

Purges, Baekdu, and the Moranbong Band: Data Points around General Hyon

By | May 16, 2015

Using music as a medium, Adam Cathcart takes the field of debate regarding the alleged purge and execution of Hyon Yong-chol into the ultra-politicized realm of concert halls and power stations.

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.