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.
Anthony Rinna examines the stark reality that it is not clear who is available to replace exports of North Korean labor in Russia, making it hard to imagine the Russian government weaning itself off them.
The DPRK human rights discourse is dominated by the many victims of Kimist state power. Whether for better or worse, this certainly leaves limited space for other perspectives to be aired. Here, Martin Weiser outlines evidence of a domestic debate surrounding human rights protection dating back to the late 1980s.
Using music as a medium, Adam Cathcart takes the field of debate regarding the alleged purge and execution of Hyon Yong-chol into the ultra-politicized realm of concert halls and power stations.
Kim Jong-un has now made a handful of public appearances since ending his 40+ days out of the public eye, and it appears clear that the young leader’s health was a major cause of his absence. This came as no surprise to analyst Nick Miller.
We have more information now than ever before on the politics of the North Korean leadership. Using insights from the the politics of authoritarianism literature, this essay suggests the need for a robust framework of analysis to meet the challenges of the new era.
Christopher Richardson examines the mythological narrative of Kim Jong-il’s genesis, uncovering the carefully constructed combination of religion, half-truths, and state propaganda.
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.
Is the succession process to Kim Jong-un complete, or still very much in train? Sino-NK’s chief editor analyzes a recently-unearthed speech by the supreme leader.
1967 was a key year in ensuring that the Kim family’s iron-fisted ideological control of the DPRK would continue indefinitely. At the forefront of this process was a speech delivered on May 25 that year. The problem is that no foreigner has ever seen it, and it has long been misidentified by South Korean scholars. Hwang Jang-yop turns in his grave, while Fyodor Tertitskiy investigates.
When the Kim regime arrested, tried and swiftly executed Jang Sung-taek in December 2013, it was implementing the ancient maxim about the relative power of regents and monarchs, and following the ruthless logic of autocracy everywhere. Machiavelli would not have been in the least bit surprised by the death, as Christopher Green investigates in another of his columns for Groove Korea.