Kim Jong Il Dies in His Train: Updates

About an hour ago at noon Pyongyang time, Korean Central News Agency reported that Kim Jong Il had died yesterday morning in his train “from overwork.” A Chinese reporter, Zhao Shuguang [赵曙光], who described in earlier reports the North Korea leader’s desire to make it to age 70 in the year 2012, and who has […]

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 […]

Mobile Phones and Subversive Activity in the DPRK

I did some translation work just now on Curtis Melvin’s site and thought I might toss it up on S.V. for readers who don’t frequent NK Economy Watch.  (Unthinkable! ) Melvin quotes this Donga Ilbo story which describes the connection between an assassination attempt at a North Pyong’an train station on Kim Jong Il in […]

Further Evidence China is Displeased with North Korean Currency Reform

On December 8, the Huanqiu Shibao carried an item headlined “South Korean Media Reports that Two North Korean Citizens Illegally Trading Currency Were Executed [韩媒称两名朝鲜居民因非法兑换货币被枪决],” marking the first time in my memory that China has drawn such explicit attention to North Korea’s arbitrary system of justice. Not only does the appearance of this news further […]

Unrest in Tonghua

Not so long ago there was a gigantic brawl at a (huge) steel factory in Tonghua, Jilin province, that left one dead and the news media all aflutter.   Another sign emerges that China could come apart at the seams at any moment! I spent a couple of days in Tonghua last month, as it is […]