Yongusil 102: Borderland Readings of Note

By | September 10, 2021 | No Comments

Joseph Seeley, a historian at the University of Virginia, has published a new book review with the esteemed journal Pacific Affairs. Happily, his review covers our new volume on the Sino-Korean borderlands, published this past January with Amsterdam University Press.  As well as our own, readers are advised to get familiar with Seeley’s work; he completed his PhD in history at Stanford University in 2019, and produced a fascinating dissertation on the Yalu River from 1895-1945, which ought to fill a huge gap in the literature and contribute for years to come. It is also well-written, beginning with winter salt smugglers and the Japanese perspective that the Yalu freezes “to the color of a bayonet.” 

Customs Station on the Yalu River Bridge in Andong (present-day Dandong), circa 1932 | Image: Lin Chia-Fung Family Postcard collection, Lafayette Digital Collections


Xie Xiaobi and Zhao Lianfeng have produced a highly detailed schemata of North Korean nuclear tests and seismology in the Sino-Korean border region and beyond. Zhao is affiliated with the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing and the appearance of this work, although it was first published 2018, is of interest as collaborations between scientists based in the US and China has become more difficult, and the political environment somewhat less permissive. 

“The seismic characterization of North Korea underground nuclear tests.” | Image: Chinese Journal of Geophysics (2018) Vol. 3.

Kyungsoo Lee produced a new article in the Journal of Borderland Studies of interest to readers of this website; the research article is entitled “The Role of the Border Region in Sino-North Korean Trading Networks: A Focus on Dandong, China,” and contains a great deal of data gleaned from interviews with businesspeople in Dandong. Her affiliation is as a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Peace and Unification Studies at Seoul National University, and she presented a lecture this spring on North Korean marketization. 

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