Korean War

Hagiography of the Kims and the Childhood of Saints: Kim Jong-il

By | August 12, 2014

Christopher Richardson examines the mythological narrative of Kim Jong-il’s genesis, uncovering the carefully constructed combination of religion, half-truths, and state propaganda.

“Victory Day,” the Canonization of Kim Jong-il, and North Korean Succession Politics

By | August 02, 2014

Why did the North Korean commemorations of the July 27, 1953 Armistice dwell so heavily on Kim Jong-il, who was just a child during the Korean War? Adam Cathcart investigates how shifting histories in Pyongyang are laying the groundwork for ongoing succession narratives for the present leader.

Yongusil 31: Kraus, Cumings, Kim, and Cathcart on North Korean Captured Documents

By | April 21, 2014

Study and scholarship focused on North Korea necessarily moves through a historical hinterland. A key panel at this years’ Association of Asian Studies Conference examined the buried, semi-hidden narratives revealed in Record Group 242, the Captured Documents Collection at the US National Archives.

Chinese Anxieties and Korean War Commemorations

By | December 28, 2013

As we consider and reconsider changes in Chinese-North Korean relations that have unfolded over the past year, a look back at the Korean War commemorations this past July is more than appropriate. Adam Cathcart translates Huanqiu Shibao and meditates on the utility and trauma of the Korean War as history.

Yongusil 22: Record Group 242

By | December 18, 2013

After reading Dr. Suzy Kim’s fascinating work, where exactly can one encounter the revolutionary everyday? Ben Young investigates primary source Record Group 242.

History and Revolution: An Interview with Dr. Suzy Kim

By | December 16, 2013

Steven Denney speaks with Dr. Suzy Kim (Rutgers University) about the DPRK’s tangled origins, the impact of Bruce Cumings, and her new book: Everyday Life in the North Korean Revolution, 1945-1950.

The Sincheon Massacre: Historical Fact and Historical Revision

By | September 17, 2013

In a comprehensive new guest post, French student Patrick Tapy takes an insightful look at the evidence surrounding one of the most controversial events of the Korean War: the killings at Sincheon in South Hwanghae Province during late 1950.

Museum Pieces: Kim Jong-un, the Korean War, and the Shadow of Maoism

By | August 05, 2013

Memories of the Korean War in China are wrapped up with painful tendrils of Maoism, argues Adam Cathcart in a piece reflecting on China’s past. The essay concludes with a full translation of a key Renmin Ribao article on China’s intervention in 1950.

Parallel Visions: On the Origins of the Byungjin Line and Persistence of Richard Nixon

By | July 17, 2013

The new North Korean “Byungjin line” may be a more astute, historically-oriented and politically nuanced policy platform than it is given credit for. What this means for people hunting for the next Deng Xiaoping is an open question. Chief Editor Adam Cathcart explains.