Watching Rason

By | December 28, 2011

There should be a great many more posts here about Rason, the northeasternmost port in North Korea which has been the object of such massive amounts of Chinese largesse and great-power fantasy, but for the time being, this essay by the folks at Chosun Exchange (via The Diplomat, HT @nepotism) provides a wonderful and credible primer.

Chinese Homage in KCNA: A Compilation

By | December 27, 2011

A longer document dossier is in the works on the Chinese response to Kim Jong Il’s death, but the North Koreans, in the meantime, have decidedly been kind to the PRC in their various ways in the dispatches of the Korean Central News Agency. It may be a touch ragged, but the full text of […]

Berlin-Peking-Pyongyang: On Linguistic Values at, and a Note to German Readers

By | December 26, 2011

There is a “statement of principles” or “values statements” presently being drafted for SinoNK, but unquestionably three of those values are going to be on display in the following week: 1) We need access to more information about Sino-North Korean relations in more languages; 2) We at want to reach the widest possible audience […]

A Yanji Sketch, and Notes on the Dandong Leadership

By | December 25, 2011

Along the frontier between North Korea’s North Hamgyong province and the PRC’s Yanbian Korean Autonomous Region, journalists, according to Chosun Ilbo, have been encountered problems with Chinese police. Not so for Jeremy Page of the Wall Street Journal, who files a report which, amid all the other often completely baseless bloviating about rumors in Pyongyang, […]

Assessing China’s Outlook on Kim Jong Eun: New Essay

By | December 23, 2011

Please see: Adam Cathcart, “Bow Before the Portrait: Sino-North Korean Relations Enter the Kim Jong Eun Era,” The China Beat, December 23, 2011.  

Is this a Cult of Personality? KCNA Documents

By | December 23, 2011

As Kim Jong Il leaves the scene, surely someone in Pyongyang is having their best week ever as a professional.  More to the point, the folks at Korean Central News Agency have gone into overdrive with hagiography. D.W. Feldman, the editor-at-large of SinoNK, has compiled some of the recent descriptions of Kim Jong Il; they […]

Scott Snyder: NK Should Consider the US as a Strategic Counterweight to Chinese Hugs, and Other Analysis

By | December 23, 2011

Obviously a great deal has been written in the past few days which deserves discussion. Scott Snyder, probably the foremost scholarly voice on Sino-North Korean relations (though he has plenty of competition — just check the sidebar of this blog) has an interview with the Council on Foreign Relations which is worth reading in full. […]

“The North Korean Succession”: An Introduction

By | December 22, 2011

Charles Kraus is a veteran of the North Korean International Documentation Project, a frequently published peer-reviewed historian of the PRC borderlands in the 1950s, and is presently working for the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C.  Kraus is also an Affiliate Scholar for In the following introduction to “The North Korean Succession,” a CIA […]

Dai Bingguo Manages Not to Cry, and Other Details from the NK Diplomatic Quarter of Beijing

By | December 22, 2011

Wen Jiabao’s visit to the North Korean Embassy, previously reported on (via Chinese sources) here on SinoNK, has now been described by the Korean Central News Agency.  As it turns out, Wen brought the PRC Ministers for both Commerce and Culture with him, indicating once again the desire to keep both economic and cultural ties […]