Art and Performance

Hybridization of Performance Scale: Missile Launch

By | May 03, 2012

We may never know what has transpired behind the curtain — or the growing wall of statues — in Pyongyang, but we can appreciate very much being treated as the audience to a great performance. The intermingled leadership of the Korean Workers’ Party and the Korean People’s Army has been putting their new auditorium in […]

Kim Jong Suk and the Search for a Usable Past

By | April 28, 2012

Kim Jong Suk and the Search for a Usable Past by Adam Cathcart In a long and bruising essay published last month, the historian Benjamin Korn rendered a fascinating verdict on countries that would look away from the awful truth of their collective past: To look away is a kingly art. Louis the Fourteenth mastered […]

Open Questions in the Aftermath of April 15

By | April 17, 2012

Open Questions in the Aftermath of April 15 by Adam Cathcart Unlike the DPRK economy, news about North Korea is moving faster than a horse with wings, and it’s easy to feel that the arc of events has overtaken one’s ability to trace everything that is occurring. Consider this series of facts: In the space […]

North Korea’s Cha-Cha Dance with the U.S.A

By | April 03, 2012

Jimin Lee is the SinoNK.com Analyst for Performing Arts. While Lee has already looked at North Korea’s cultural diplomacy with China and France, today Lee’s gaze turns toward a perennial enemy of the DPRK, the United States. – Charles Kraus, Managing Editor North Korea’s Cha-Cha Dance with the U.S.A by Jimin Lee The Washington Post […]

Reading the ‘Riot Act’: North Korea Themes in the Chinese Media, March 2012

By | April 01, 2012

Reading the ‘Riot Act’: North Korea Themes in the Chinese Media, March 2012 by Adam Cathcart President Obama’s recent critiques of China’s failure to coerce the DPRK back from the launching pad are worth revisiting. The American President repeats, more or less, Bush administration complaints that China is still holding back from using what tends […]

Conflicting Signals on the Refugee Issue, and a KCNA-Xinhua Pastiche

By | February 27, 2012

While the refugee issue metasizes in Seoul and curiously grows on the Chinese internet, life continues its rhythms in Pyongyang, and in the hallways of state media. — Editor Conflicting Signals on the Refugee Issue, and a KCNA-Xinhua Pastiche by Adam Cathcart – There were some very strong hints following Li Keqiang’s visit to both […]

Blockages and Breakthroughs: Cultural Diplomacy and North Korea

By | February 23, 2012

Yesterday, Corée_Actualités launched a short missive which functioned as a kind of bouleversement of the normal: a 90-member delegation of the DPRK’s Unhasu Orchestra (consisting of 70 players) will be performing at the Salle Pleyel in Paris this coming March 21.  The French Radio Symphony Orchestra (l’Orchestre de Radio France) will be playing alongside Unhasu, under the direction of […]

The Pibada (Sea of Blood) Opera Troupe Goes to China

By | February 20, 2012

Few countries in the world take the performing arts as seriously as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.  But what role do these arts play in North Korea’s diplomacy, particularly in exchanges with China, its main foreign patron?  To what extent does a model work of art in North Korea, even supposedly focused on creating […]