Borderline News from NK: Hyesan and Forest Fires

Hyesan is getting spruced up with some funds from the center. Meanwhile, the ever-vigilant Juchechosunmanse digs up a real find: Back in October North Korea watchers were perplexed by the fires in the DPRK’s northeast, namely in Ryanggang-do and Hamgyong-bukdo. The Daily NK has just reported [ed. in Chinese] that the forest fires were caused […]

Flower Girls: Prostitution in Hyesan, North Korea

A fall 2009 dispatch from the Daily NK in Chinese (and its English translation) indicated that a prostitution scandal was breaking in Hyesan, North Korea’s fourth largest city, a gray metropolis which sprawls along the banks of the shallow Yalu river across from the Chinese city of Changbai. [Google Map of Hyesan/Changbai available here.] I […]

Prostitution in Hyesan, North Korea

Snug up against the small but still bustling Chinese city of Changbai (Jilin province), Hyesan lies along the Yalu River, spreading from West to East as the closest urban gateway to sacred Mount Paektu.  According to the country’s Meteorological Administration, Hyesan is the coldest big city in the DPRK.  Cross border-trade is an important part […]

Monday Notations

Chinese Central Television is reporting on the protests in Manhattan/New York and other American cities. An essay by Chris Green in Seoul challenges the notion of “free markets” in North Korea and provides an illustration by Stephan Haggard of cross-border exchanges with China. The Daily NK describes how life next door to China has driven […]

Kim Jong Il in China: 28 Things You May Have Missed

Cross-Border Economic Development 1. Indeed, the Rodong Sinmun [劳动新闻/Worker's Daily], North Korea’s key ideological mouthpiece, has said nothing of Kim Jong Il’s since his junket to a Hamgyong fruityard. But what has flowered in place of news of Kim?  The halls of Pyongyang, at least the ones with lighting, are suddenly again flush with economic […]

The News from North Korea: Relations with China, Aerial Drone Denunciations, Green Totalitarianism, and the Middle East

Since the emergence of putative successor Kim Jong Eun into the public eye, the North Korean news media — specifically the Korean Central News Agency, or KCNA — has taken pains to publish more content about two things: youth, and the international situation. What this equates to is an expanded view of what North Koreans […]

North Korea: Examination Materials

I recently completed a month-long lecture series on North Korean-Chinese relations at Pacific Lutheran University.  Because these lectures were occasioned by a course I teach at PLU (hell yes I teach courses, credits and grades dropping from my very fingertips!), I had the pleasure of writing an exam on the topic. Here, in no particular […]

Updates on Sino-North Korean Relations

Chinese TV reports that preparations are underway for North Korean heir apparent Kim Jong Eun to visit CCP leaders in Beijing in “late April or early May.” Accordingly, a rather critical report on the Huanqiu Shibao website asserting that North Korean nuclear facilities in Yongbyon were leaking radioactivity (why else would Kim Jong Il avoid […]