Kim Jong-un

Moscow vs. Vladivostok: Prospects for a Russia-North Korea Summit

By | February 23, 2015

Did Kim Jong-un already meet Xi Jinping in northeast China? And will the North Korean leader show up in Moscow this coming May? A guest voice assesses the potential.

Hagiography of the Kims & the Childhood of Saints: Kim Il-sung

By | January 31, 2015

In this essay Christopher Richardson explores the childhood hagiography of Kim Il-sung, “the master narrative from which all others derive,” and in so doing locates the origins of regime durability and state legitimacy.

“The Interview” Enveloped in Storm of Netizen Criticism

By | January 04, 2015

“The Interview” has been met in South Korea with strident criticism for lampooning elements of Korean culture, with some netizens accusing producer Sony of deliberately seeking to undermine Korean claims to the Dokdo islets and the naming of the East Sea/Sea of Japan. Christopher Green translates.

Boondoggle on the Yalu: China’s Useless New Bridge to North Korea

By | November 03, 2014

A huge new piece of bilateral infrastructure on the Sino-North Korean frontier is to remain unopened for the foreseeable future. Sino-NK provides Chinese context to the news.

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.