Borderlands

Yongusil 39: ABS World Borderlands Conference Roundup

By | June 25, 2014

This post traces the work of a number of scholars of borderland studies who recently presented their work in Joensuu, Finland and St. Petersburg, Russia. Sino-NK’s writers were thus surrounded by conceptual models of borderlands as concrete and liminal, real and imagined.

Yongusil 38: The Long Shadow of Jang Sung-taek, Adam Cathcart at KEI

By | June 18, 2014

The purge and execution of a leading North Korean leader this past December has sent ripples through Chinese investors and the government in Beijing. In a presentation on Thursday, Adam Cathcart explores how North Korean strategies in Special Economic Zones along the Chinese frontier are changing.

Yongusil 36: Tumen Triangle Symposium

By | May 28, 2014

Borderlands scholars recently met at Clare Hall, Cambridge University for the workshop “Tumen River Triangle in Northeast Asia,” organized by Heonik Kwon’s Beyond the Korean War project and Caroline Humphrey’s “Where Rising Powers Meet.” The participants, including many of Sino-NK’s own, discussed the historical continuities and contemporary changes in the Tumen River border region, with a focus on cross-border interactions, political topology, and economic transformations.

Before the Collapse: The Micro-foundations of Marketization in North Korea

By | May 27, 2014

Much Korean-language research about North Korea goes unread in the English-speaking world. In an effort to bridge the divide and make us all whole, Peter Ward embarks on a series of review essays dealing with key Korean research into marketization. The first piece looks at the surprising role of markets in the Kim Il-sung period.

Chinese Contingency Plan: An Improbable Scenario

By | May 18, 2014

If the North Korean government collapsed, what would China do? After the leak of an alleged Chinese contingency plan, Dr. Jennifer Lind offers an assessment based upon extensive research.

A Bifurcated Review of De-bordering Korea: Tangible and Intangible Legacies of the Sunshine Policy

By | May 12, 2014

Seven full years have passed since the second and final “sunshine policy” president, the late Roh Moo-hyun, left office. Yet debate over the historic value of the decade of sunshine persists. In Sino-NK’s latest review, two members of the team look at a brand new Routledge edited volume that attempts to assess the social legacy of the era.

Of Eruptions and Men: Science Diplomacy at North Korea’s Active Volcano

By | May 08, 2014

Dr. Kayla Iacovino of the US Geological Survey was witness to a fascinating moment of scientific connection between North Korea and the wider world. Recalling her experiences getting to and working from the volcanic frontline at Mt. Baekdu, she considers the broader implications of cooperation and engagement with North Korea.

Public-Private Partners: Rethinking North Korean “Command Criminality”

By | May 02, 2014

Sometimes it is possible to forget that among all the narcotics and nuclear weapons, North Korea also engages in licit businesses. Much of it takes place in the country’s near abroad, and during Sino-NK’s recent AKS research trip to Manchuria, Christopher Green took time to think it over.