Ma Won-chun: Senior Kim Aide Appears in Beijing

By | June 27, 2014

Ma Won-chun has been climbing the ranks in Pyongyang’s power circles and is clearly a key cog in the wheel of the Supreme Leader. So what was he doing at a library in Beijing two weeks ago? This article has been amended.

Kim Ki-nam: North Korea’s Orchestral Politics

By | June 27, 2014

Octogenarian propaganda doyen Kim Ki-nam has survived at the top of North Korean politics for decades. Quite apart from all the perks that tend to accrue to such people, the other thing former Rodong Sinmun editor Kim has earned from his exertions is the attention of Adam Cathcart.

Yongusil 41: KCNA Watch, Reboot

By | June 27, 2014

For a number of years, the website NK News has been trying to monetize news about North Korea, traditionally an unattractive subject of inquiry. One key plank in their strategy is KCNAWatch, an aggregator and analyzer of North Korean media content. Sino-NK looks at a recent site upgrade.

Smile: You’re on North Korean TV

By | June 26, 2014

North Korean television occasionally features political “talk shows.” This essay looks at one example, and analyses how the North Korean state manages to modulate its propaganda message.

Yongusil 40: ASCJ Tokyo, Sophia University Roundup

By | June 25, 2014

Research and historical scholarship in Japan is at a wonderful moment of ferment, as Sino-NK reports from the Association of Asian Studies regional conference at Tokyo’s Sophia University. Papers on colonial modernity in Korea as well as Manchukuo are richly considered.

Yongusil 39: ABS World Borderlands Conference Roundup

By | June 25, 2014

This post traces the work of a number of scholars of borderland studies who recently presented their work in Joensuu, Finland and St. Petersburg, Russia. Sino-NK’s writers were thus surrounded by conceptual models of borderlands as concrete and liminal, real and imagined.

#Shigak no. 07: Another Fine Cabinet Mess

By | June 21, 2014

President Park’s nominee for prime minister comes under fire and drags the administration and the ruling Saenuri party down with him. Chinese fishermen adds a new layer of problems for South Korea struggling to deter North Korea’s provocations along the Northern Limitation Line. These issues, and more, are explored in this issue of #Shigak.

Tongsin no. 4: War Games and Sewol Sinking

By | June 19, 2014

The latest Tongsin for March–May 2014 examines the DPRK response to US-ROK war games and the Sewol disaster, in which the North attempts to illustrate a united Sino-DPRK perspective that is both anti-American and anti-South Korean.