Featured Essays

Staring into the “Fog” of North Korea Reporting: Pyongyang’s January Lockdown

By | February 15, 2023

Sino-NK likes to look behind the scenes to the nuts and bolts of North Korea news-gathering. In this essay, Daily NK staffer Robert Lauler examines the details of a recent case: the Pyongyang lockdown.

Aura of Criminality: Perspectives of Empire in Japan’s East Asian Conquests, 1932-1945

By | October 04, 2022

In the second part of this series, Jessica Pitcher examines the relationship between Japanese imperial authorities in China and the practice of narcotics trafficking, which “weakened” the inhabitants of the occupied territories while filling government coffers in Manchukuo.

Telegraphing Conflict in the Taiwan Strait: South Korea and the Xi Jinping Factor

By | October 01, 2022

In light of the war in Ukraine, Sino-NK rounds up a range of academic papers, reports, and think pieces on Xi Jinping and Taiwan, with special interest in South Korean perspectives.

Narcotics, Smuggling and Sex: Perspectives of Empire in Japan’s East Asian Conquests, 1932-1945, Part One

By | June 12, 2022

Empires are often described in grand and abstract terms, but they are also an everyday phenomenon, where the authority of the colonizing state is impressed upon its subjects in myriad ways. Here, Jessica Pitcher examines the role of sex trafficking in the everyday conception of the Japanese empire in Korea.

Mirage of Peace: Trump, China, and Kim Jong-un

By | May 30, 2022

As the Biden administration mulls its approach to North Korea, we reconsider the Trump era “maximum pressure” policy within the context of Sino-North Korean relations.

Plagues & Peoples in Korea, II: Behold! A New World Is Before Our Eyes

By | December 13, 2021

Christopher Richardson explores the social and political consequences of the Spanish Flu pandemic for Korea as the March 1st Movement erupts, and tracks the journeys of three doctors en route to their places in Korean history and revolutionary mythology.