Archive for May, 2012:

“The Korean People are doing their best to turn the country into a socialist fairyland”: Glory Reflected, The Emergent Environmental Strategies of Kim Jong Un

By | May 31, 2012

While North Korean media is lionizing Kim Jong-un as a conservationist, whether or not he is even remotely interested in environmental management issues remains unclear.

What Did Kim Jong-il Want? : Leonid Petrov on the Final Testament

By | May 31, 2012

What Did Kim Jong-il Want? by Leonid Petrov Speculations about the Last Will and Testament of the late North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il, who died on 17 December last year, are mounting and raise many questions about the future of inter-Korean relations. Separate parts of the alleged document have been recently obtained by the South […]

Grey Area: Southern Weekend Takes on the PRC-DPRK Sea Dispute

By | May 30, 2012

Grey Area, New History: Southern Weekend on the PRC-DPRK Sea Dispute by Adam Cathcart There are multiple ways to read the evolution of the “North Korean hostage-taking at sea” story. As Roger Cavazos argued recently, it could be a parable of ignored Chinese messaging to North Korea.  I argued that the episode could serve as a stimulant […]

Crouching Hostage, Hidden Tiger

By | May 29, 2012

Crouching Hostage, Hidden Tiger Adam Cathcart Pierced by its most serious domestic political crisis since the late 1980s, China’s leaders have this spring returned to “riding the tiger” of nationalism, hoping to drain off public anxiety and attention from Beijing and focus on China’s sea disputes with, well, just about everybody. Cue an exceptionally-timed act […]

Pirates or Hawks: Who Hijacked the Chinese Fishing Boats?

By | May 29, 2012

Pirates or Hawks: Who Hijacked the Chinese Fishing Boats? by Leonid Petrov China often describes its relations with North Korea, its closest regional ally, as intimate but not substantial. For more than half a century, Beijing’s attitude towards the Korean peninsula has revolved around the avoidance of three scenarios: ‘No new war on the Korean […]

Das Boot: Fishing in Troubled Waters

By | May 27, 2012

Roger Cavazos analyzes messages to Chinese netizens and the DPRK leadership, a critically important part of the PRC discourse on North Korean affairs during the fishermen hostage crisis.

The Political Economy of Economic Reform: Using Trade to Keep the Debate in Bloom

By | May 27, 2012

The Political Economy of Economic Reform: Using Trade to Keep the Debate in Bloom by Steven Denney Although North Korea may be a thorn in China’s side, it has been duly noted that China does not wish to see political collapse; the twin nightmare scenario of refugees flooding across the border into Northeastern China and […]

Revolution on the Margins? Surveying the Trade Environment in Rason

By | May 25, 2012

In a strongly-documented piece, Sabine van Ameijden assesses the risks inherent in any foreign investment in Rason, the special economic zone in the extreme northeastern corner of the DPRK.