Historical Allegories and Revolutionary Credentials: Jang Song Taek

By | January 14, 2012

Kim Jong Un’s uncle, Jang Song Taek, prevalent in the ongoing discussions about who is wielding power in North Korea, now appears to be building up something of the beginnings of a personality cult himself, or at least, has succeeded in having public recognition of his role in today’s DPRK.  The evidence for this assertion […]

Ambassador Liu Reappears, or, Why Opera Matters

By | January 13, 2012

It is a working assumption here at Sino-NK that the Chinese Embassy has been decidedly on “the outs” with the North Korean leadership in the immediate aftermath of Kim Jong Il’s death.  The strife over the mysterious deaths of seven Chinese businessmen/tourists in late November 2011, along with the Embassy’s public implication that Kim’s death […]

China’s Naval Maneuvering in the Pacific

By | January 13, 2012

Midway through the first act of John Adam’s Nixon in China, the eponymous statesman enters into a rare lyricism to evoke the historical resonances of his journey to China, island-hopping across the Pacific via Hawaii and Guam: On our flight over from Shanghai the countryside Looked drab and grey… “We came in peace for all […]

Poetry from Pyongyang // 平壤诗歌

By | January 12, 2012

Rodong Sinmun yesterday carried a number of foreign language items, as well as a plug (in Korean) for foreign language education in the DPRK.  A positive sign? At the very least, an opportunity for two English-language students at Kim Il Sung University to get an important translation on their respective resumes of a collectively-composed poem, […]

Revisiting Wen Jiabao in Pyongyang, October 2009

By | January 10, 2012

Editor’s Note: In 2010 and 2011, China’s relations with North Korea had reached a point of extensive and expanding connectivity.  Much of the foundation of these ties lies in the agreements signed in Pyongyang during the visit of PRC Premier Wen Jiabao in early October 2009.  As North Korea starts a crucial new year and […]

Songun, Tangun, Son of Paektu, etc.: Kim Jong Un Documentary

By | January 09, 2012

With thanks to Rue89 Chinatown in Paris for the tip, a one-hour special on (North) Korean Central TV about Kim Jong Un and, among other things, his links to the Mount Paektu legend and his military bona fides.  Songun policy references abound.  The young Kim is, in the eyes of KCNA, nothing less than the […]

Sunday Reads, Chinese Audibles

By | January 09, 2012

– This rather slight yet nevertheless astonishing shift in emphasis on nothing less than Kim Jong Il’s last on-site inspection: the supermarket visited on December 15 was in fact a joint venture with China. A blockade on this particular fact had existed since the Dear Leader’s death, with nothing less than a CCTV crew going […]

Encroaching Devastation: Chris Green On Rice, Markets, and the Yuanization of North Korea

By | January 07, 2012

Encroaching Devastation: On Rice, Markets, and the Yuanization of North Korea by Christopher Green Christopher Green is Manager of International Affairs for Daily NK and writer of Destination Pyongyang, based in Seoul. Propaganda is only useful to a certain extent. For one thing –as the people of North Korea have long been aware and as […]