Kim Ki-nam: North Korea’s Orchestral Politics

By | June 27, 2014

Octogenarian propaganda doyen Kim Ki-nam has survived at the top of North Korean politics for decades. Quite apart from all the perks that tend to accrue to such people, the other thing former Rodong Sinmun editor Kim has earned from his exertions is the attention of Adam Cathcart.

Politics and Pollack: A Piscine Story

By | May 30, 2014

Despite the importance ascribed to all parties of the Northern Limit Line, focus on developmental issues of a maritime nature has not been widely forthcoming. Robert Winstanley-Chesters applies a corrective, with the first of three essays focusing on the narratives, politics, and projects of North Korean fishing.

A Bifurcated Review of De-bordering Korea: Tangible and Intangible Legacies of the Sunshine Policy

By | May 12, 2014

Seven full years have passed since the second and final “sunshine policy” president, the late Roh Moo-hyun, left office. Yet debate over the historic value of the decade of sunshine persists. In Sino-NK’s latest review, two members of the team look at a brand new Routledge edited volume that attempts to assess the social legacy of the era.

Framing Epistemic Communities in North Korea: From Fungus to Botanical Gardens

By | January 30, 2014

North Korean developmental praxis relies on epistemic communities and research institutions to achieve its goals. The country’s institutions are not only meta-devices for rolling out in reportage to add a veneer of intellectual legitimacy to centralized dictat, as Robert Winstanley-Chesters reveals in the case of Pyongyang Botanical Gardens.

Yongusil 21: North Korean Review on the Unhasu Orchestra in Paris and the AP in Pyongyang

By | December 13, 2013

The Unhasu Orchestra has disappeared from North Korean cultural life. Adam Cathcart and Steven Denney explore that orchestra’s role (and that of the AP) in diplomacy within North Korea’s political repertoire, in a newly-published scholarly article for the North Korean Review.

Sino-NK 2013 Rewind: The Byungjin Line and North Korea in an Era of Songun Politics

By | December 13, 2013

Extensively analyzed on Sino-NK in 2013, for the second of a pair of Sino-NK 2013 Rewind pieces, Peter Ward returns to Byungjin’s source with an investigation of its ur-text, April’s “Nuke and Peace.”

A Roundtable Review of Charles Armstrong’s Tyranny of the Weak: North Korea and the World, 1950-1992 (updated)

By | October 03, 2013

What does Sino-NK think about the history of the DPRK? Collect a myriad of opinions and perspectives in Sino-NK’s roundtable review of Charles Armstrong’s latest book, Tryanny of the Weak: North Korea and the World, 1950-1992. Introduction by Benjamin R. Young.

Never Mind the North: Legacy Politics in the ROK

By | September 17, 2013

Thanks to the classic text “Beyond Charismatic Politics,” legacy politics in North Korea has entered the analytical lexicon in a big way. However, less well understood is the role of legacy in South Korea. Christopher Green investigates.