As this sweeping essay illustrates, Kim Jong-un’s obsession with turf and landscape, far from being gratuitous, is in fact part of the North Korean leadership’s art of imbuing the very land of the DPRK with charismatic qualities.
To what extent does Kim Jong-un need to be perceived as “legitimate” by the North Korean people in order to advance his agenda? And is economic reform his ticket to ultimate stability? Delving into recent arguments by John Delury, Sino-NK tries to find out.
Shirley Lee arrives with a unique reading of Kim Jong-un and Pak Pong-ju’s visits to non-military sites in the DPRK, warning that they have very little to do with ostensible reforms.
The North Korean Army is building a ski resort at Masik Pass. Christopher Green explains the significance and possible reasons behind North Korea’s decision to “go for the gold.”
In unconsolidated democracies with weak party institutions, charismatic political figures have a disproportionately higher level of influence compared to consolidated democracies. Ahn Cheol-soo is one such figure. Steven Denney explains.
A Sino-NK exclusive cornucopia of perspectives on Dr. Andrei Lankov’s forthcoming book, The Real North Korea: Life and Politics in the Failed Stalinist Utopia.
How can we measure if the North Korean economy is undergoing reform? Watch the country’s six Special Economic Zones, via Sabine van Ameijden’s overview of SEZ change and stagnation.
Sometimes analysts fixate all of their energies on hard institutions, such as the central government, the military, or emergent non-governmental groups, as the primary drivers of society. Although government decrees, military drills and protests are important indicators, sometimes the less obvious — that which doesn’t involve rocket launches or social upheaval — tells an equal amount […]