Using recent power shuffles in the Pyongyang security elite as a backdrop, this essay investigates the peculiar roots and practices of North Korean purges.
In the political realm, South Korea is never a dull place. This issue of Shigak highlights some of the more noteworthy stories and reports on South Korea for the first half of September.
Yongusil 45: PRC Power Consolidation, the Korean War, and the “Cold Front” of Historical Research in Hong Kong
In a conference which took place on September 15-16 at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, an array of new scholarship was presented which indicated the scope and depth of the Chinese Communist Party’s power consolidation during the Korean War. Sino-NK’s own Adam Cathcart presented his work alongside several up-and-coming students and established scholars.
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.
Study and scholarship focused on North Korea necessarily moves through a historical hinterland. A key panel at this years’ Association of Asian Studies Conference examined the buried, semi-hidden narratives revealed in Record Group 242, the Captured Documents Collection at the US National Archives.