Cultural Diplomacy

Yongusil 95: The Korean Wave and Identity in the Land of Liberty

By | September 25, 2018

K-pop isn’t just about the music. Summarizing her findings from her recently defended doctoral dissertation, “’Black American, heart American’: Non-Korean identities in U.S. Korean Meetup groups,” Dr. Sherri Ter Molen explains how the Korean wave has changed the everyday lives of ordinary Americans.

North and South Korea Are Talking: Keep Expectations Low

By | January 23, 2018

It should have surprised nobody that Pyongyang would seek to capitalize on South Korea’s desire to host a positive, peaceful and perhaps even profitable Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang next month. But how does the South Korean public feel about it?

Korean People’s Army Contacts with the Chinese Military

By | August 21, 2017

The perception that China and North Korea no longer have the extensive bilateral contacts that they once did may be broadly speaking correct, but it is by no means the whole story. Here, Adam Cathcart brings to our attention an official event from July 25, 2017.

Spaces of Leisure: The Socialist Modern at Rest and Play

By | November 09, 2014

In this final essay of a new triliogy, Robert Winstanley-Chesters traces connections between early repertoires of promenading on the banks of the Taedong and contemporary watery manifestations at Munsu and Rungna.

On Totalitarian Art: Interview with Morten Traavik

By | October 17, 2014

Norwegian artist Morten Traavik’s cultural engagement with North Korean, which includes plans to establish an art institute in Pyongyang, has provoked the ire of at least one German journalist. Adam Cathcart recaps and analyzes an interview with Travvik in the Suddeutsche Zeitung.

German Shepherds and German Musical Politics in North Korea

By | October 01, 2014

Among the elite music academies of Pyongyang, performances take place of German symphonic literature and avant-garde contemporary music; our editor-in-chief assesses the scene.

Spaces of Leisure: A North Korean (Pre-) History

By | September 13, 2014

In the first of three essays, Robert Winstanley-Chesters analyzes the disconnect between North Korea’s revolutionary culture and the existence of consumption space, uncovering a pre-history of leisure and entertainment in North Korea.

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.