Kim Jong Nam: Prodigal Son or Chinese Ally?

By | February 11, 2012

The righteously false storm of Kim Jong Un death rumors which passed over the Chinese Internet yesterday make today’s essay particularly relevant.  How safe are the Kim sons in Beijing? How factionalized, in fact, is the Kim family? What are the current dynamics between Kim Jong Nam and the Chinese state?  Is Kim Jong Nam China’s prefered […]

Think-Tank Watch

By | February 10, 2012

Steven Denney is editor-in-chief  of PEAR, Yonsei University’s graduate journal, a leading voice at the Political Cartel (East Asia) blog, and a master’s student in Global Studies at Yonsei University. In the “week in review” for February 6 – February 10, 2012, Denney, Think-Tank Analyst for, compiles a list of recent articles on North Korea and Sino-North Korean relations. […]

China-North Korea Dossier No. 2: “China’s ‘Measure of Reserve’ toward Succession”

By and | February 09, 2012

North Korean resentment of China has multiple origins, but the PRC’s refusal to immediately accept Kim Jong-il as heir is surely one. New CIA documents tell the story.

Space is a Common Wealth: North Korea, China, and the Peaceful Development of Outer Space

By | February 08, 2012

Historical turning points are notoriously difficult to discern, but when future historians are looking for inflection points in the narrative of how military technology shaped the struggle for post-Cold War Korea, 2011-2012 should indeed merit mention. On May 11, 2011, the KCNA asserted an American drone intrusion over the Sino-North Korean border, and did so, significantly, by voicing the Chinese […]

Spreading Meth across the Chinese-North Korean Border

By | February 07, 2012

People and goods can and will always penetrate borders, even the ostensibly tightly-sealed DPRK boundary. In this essay, Jende Huang, Sino-NK’s Border Security Analyst, offers his take on the illicit drug trade between North Korea and China.While the laobaixing — represented, at least, by the taxi drivers in Tumen — know the problem exists, so […]

“A Litmus Test for Separating Patriots from Traitors”: Rodong Sinmun in Translation

By | February 06, 2012

At, our Monday morning analysis focuses on the great competition of the past week, namely, the rhetorical attacks on and by state media in both North Korea and the PRC.  The Chinese state media has been fighting off critiques of its support of the Assad regime at the United Nations and, moreover, remains embroiled in […]

Satellites and Sanctions: KCNA Goes Quiet on China

By | February 05, 2012

One-month removed from death of Kim Jong Il, the Korean Central News Agency reported fewer stories about developments in China and Chinese-Korean relations during the week of 15 January – 21 January 2012. The KCNA paid lip service to Chinese technological developments and offered support to the PRC’s stance on international issues (Iranian sanctions), and highlighted […]

Blog Buzz

By | February 04, 2012

We’re off to an excellent start in the Kim Jong Un era at, about six weeks after the site officially launched on December 19, 2011.  Foremost, we are excited about the quality of the analysis and of the team.  Even a cursory glance at the Staff page or our Research page (which, like the […]