Collapse Scenarios

Kim Jong Nam: Prodigal Son or Chinese Ally?

By | February 11, 2012

The righteously false storm of Kim Jong Un death rumors which passed over the Chinese Internet yesterday make today’s essay particularly relevant.  How safe are the Kim sons in Beijing? How factionalized, in fact, is the Kim family? What are the current dynamics between Kim Jong Nam and the Chinese state?  Is Kim Jong Nam China’s prefered […]

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 […]

DPRK Nuclear Safety: China’s Paramount Concern on the Frontier?

By | January 14, 2012

Chico Harlan, the Washington Post correspondent in Seoul, spent some time this past November in a “nuclear ghost town” on the northeast coast of Japan. (A narrated video of his journey is available here, well worth the short advertisment that precedes it.)  On January 6, Harlan reported on how rumors in Seoul of a North […]

Two Chinese Visions of Post-Kim Jong Il North Korea: Translations

By | December 28, 2011

A much more extensive Sino-NK Document Dossier is in the works, gathering up a number of sources in translation for a more comprehensive look at Chinese views of the North Korean transition, but in the meantime two translated editorials will suffice: 1. Sun Xingsong [孙兴杰] “Severe Challenges Facing the Kim Jong Eun Era [金正恩时代面临重重挑战],” Huanqiu […]

Kim Jong Il Supine, the Opining Commences: Two Doomsday Op-Eds

By | December 20, 2011

Given that, according to Chinese reporters, the mad dash to build apartments in Pyongyang in time for 2012 has hardly slackened on account of Kim Jong Il’s death, the immense Huichon Dam in North Korea might also still be under construction today. But to many commentators outside of East Asia, the dam has already broken: […]