Kim Il-sung

The Manchurian Myth: History and Power in North Korea

By and | June 17, 2020

As the smoke clears from Kaesong and succession talk swirls around Kim Yo-jong, Sino-NK revisits one of the key foundations of North Korean history education.

Chinese Doctors and North Korea: Reviewing the Pattern

By | April 27, 2020

A Reuters report on Chinese doctors treating North Korean leader Kim Jong-un spurs Adam Cathcart to deeper investigation of party-to-party medical relations.

The Past and Present of North Korean Belligerence: Rangoon 1983

By | July 07, 2017

The Rangoon Bombing of 1983 remains a piece of hidden history, only to be fully illuminated when the division of the two Koreas comes to an end. In the meantime, the archives of the ROK government give evidence of what motivated the attack. Let Eungseo Kim look back and be your guide.

Revolution and Revival: Ideology and Faith in North Korea

By | June 23, 2017

Today, the North Korean state has all forms of spirituality under its iron fist. But today is but a 70-year blip on the radar of history. As Christopher Richardson writes in this reprisal of a speech delivered in Sydney on June 18, Christianity won’t yield so readily.

The Sino-DPRK Split and Origins of US-DPRK Bilateralism

By | February 20, 2017

Using archival material from the Woodrow Wilson Center, Eungseo Kim dissects the politics of Sino-US détente in 1972. He concludes that Pyongyang’s grievance against Beijing for its refusal to push preconditions for Sino-US diplomatic normalization was why Pyongyang decided it needed to deal directly with the United States.

In the Cradle of Exile: The National Origins of Communist China and Korea

By | August 09, 2016

In this featured piece on “exilic nationalism,” Benjamin Eckton argues that national and revolutionary origins of the North Korean and Chinese state are found in the rough terrain of the Jinggang Mountains and the hills of Manchuria, where Mao Zedong and Kim Il-sung would develop and nurture their ideas of revolution and national liberation.

Reinterpreting the Withdrawal of Chinese Troops from North Korea, 1956-1958

By | July 12, 2016

Did Kim Il-sung’s nationalism force the Chinese out of North Korea in the 1950s, or was it an agreed strategy meant to bolster anti-US propaganda? This post reviews new data on a pivotal moment in Chinese-North Korean relations.

North Korean Nationalism: Lessons from Pyongyang

By | June 08, 2016

What is North Korean nationalism? Is it the same as the South Korean variant? In a new essay, Steven Denney pauses to reflect on a recent trip to the DPRK, and considers the answers to both of these questions.