Welcome to the North Korean Labryinth

No sooner has Jimmy Carter arrived in Pyongyang to negotiate for a low-level American hostage than Kim Jong Il is reported to be in China’s northeastern Jilin province. This trip, if it turns out to be true, would be logical only in the sense that the putative successor Kim Jong Eun, by traveling into Manchuria, […]

Sunday Links: Korea

1. Joshua Stanton’s analysis of Sino-North Korean relations on One Free Korea is stuffed with things worth thinking about.  Of course, when he equates the Global Times with the Nazi organ Voelkische Beobachter, I, speaking as someone who actually reads the Global Times (usually in its Chinese version, not through partial characterizations of articles by […]

North Korea Freezes Tourism from China

Just when you thought the Sino-North Korean relationship was back to its apparently solid traditional footing — after all, were not the kisses fresh on the cheeks of the generals with big hats? — North Korea announces that it is freezing tourist visits from China as of December 10. Reassurances were given that PRC citizens […]

North Korea Updates

For residents of Sinuiju, the DPRK border city which handles an estimated 70-80% of all Sino-North Korean trade, yesterday’s missile test coincided with the launching of a domestically-based cell phone service.  As Good Friends reported last month, October 10 was the slated blast-off day for North Korea’s new joint venture with Egypt in telecommunications.  (South […]

Correcting the Record on News from the Border Zone

Justification Regular sources of information from the Chinese-North Korean border zone are difficult to come by. The Daily NK is one of the more abundant, and apparently reliable sources, that Western readers have at our disposal. Unfortunately, to my knowledge, few researchers have noted crucial discrepancies between reports filed in Chinese and the English language-version […]

Understanding the CurrentTV / North Korea Fiasco

[Note: In light of the speed of the news and the interest shown in this issue by Danwei readers,  I have followed this post with another, more considered, analysis of the Tumen river fiasco as it continues to impact evolving Sino-North Korean relations.  -- Adam Cathcart] Amid the struggle to understand activity on the remote […]

Return from Yanbian

My apologies for the paucity of recent posts, friends.  The author of this blog has been smashing through the Chinese borderlands with North Korea, pen in hand, laden with a camera, now borne aloft on new experiences. In the aftermath of this journey, there are scores of things I would like to say about North […]