Archive for January, 2012:

Stateless: An Introduction to the North Korean Refugee Issue

By | January 31, 2012

As today’s news from the Myanmar-Yuannan border indicates, the notion of thousands of refugees moving over Chinese borders and into the PRC is not a phenomenon which is completely unique to the DPRK-China frontier.  However, as today’s essay connotes, the issues surrounding North Korea’s refugee population are vitally important, playing a significant role in the […]

Strange Occurrences on the Border: Reviewing the Ling/Lee North Korea Episode

By | January 31, 2012

 As its propaganda testifies, the North Korean state is nothing if not attentive to its anniversaries.  Kim Jong Il’s 70th birthday on February 16, 2012, along with Kim Il Sung’s 100th birthday on April 15, 2012, are serving as repetitious focal points and justifications for – what else? – massive labor mobilization in the DPRK.  However, among […]

Maid of the Right Wing Hack Media Shock Brigade: The Rodong Sinmun Counterattacks

By | January 30, 2012

Not every DPRK-related story in the Asahi Shimbun is worthy of a North Korean refutation, but a recent piece asserting that Chinese forces had contingency plans to be “in Pyongyang in two hours” clearly touched a nerve.

Beyond OPLAN 5027: Chinese Planning for Disaster Scenarios on the North Korean Frontier

By | January 27, 2012

One of Japan’s great regional security muckrackers, Keiji Minemura, elaborates at length in the Asahi Shimbun (English) on the notion of Chinese military planning for crisis on the Korean peninsula.  The Dong-A Ilbo in Seoul compresses Minemura’s report into a spine-straightening headline: “China Can Enter Pyongyang in Two Hours in Case of Emergency.”  Clearly the […]

Think-Tank Watch

By | January 27, 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 his first foray as Think-Tank Analyst for, Denney compiles a list of recent discussion of North Korea and Sino-North Korean relations for the […]

“What Are the Implications of the Collapse of America?” : Rodong Sinmun vs. Brzezinski

By | January 27, 2012

While KNCA’s English page remains an essential resource, and the new Rodong Sinmun English version is similarly interesting, there is no substitute for reading the whole Korean paper every day, an action which is now possible (at least for readers outside the ROK firewall) thanks to North Korea’s expanded digital footprint. is therefore pleased […]

Anchorwomen, Tanks, and Other Symbols

By | January 25, 2012

– Martyn Williams has a tremendous illustrated run-down of the unprecedented Korean Central TV-China Central TV collaboration during the Spring Festival; Xinhua reporter Zhang Li — who was the first Chinese reporter in Pyongyang on television about 15 minutes after the announcement of Kim’s death — strikes again in conversation with her distinguished North Korean […]

North Korea’s Troll Army? The Sinophone Internet Debate Over Kim Jong Un’s On-Site Inspection

By | January 22, 2012

In the endeavor to follow news coming out of Pyongyang since January 1, it has been occasionally difficult to follow Chinese news threads about Kim Jong Un.  Something suprising appears to be happening on the Chinese internet in the Kim Jong Un era, at least on the Huanqiu Shibao/Global Times comment boards, which, associated with […]