Kim Watch: ‘Our nukes should be handed to the next generation intact’
U.S. President Donald Trump agreed to a face-to-face summit with North Korea’s dictator because he hoped against hope that Kim Jong-un could somehow be persuaded to give up his stockpile of nuclear weapons and stop ballistic missile development programs. Now, back at home, the dictator is busy assuring his cadre ...
Kim Watch: North Koreans have a new father
North Korea’s political philosophy makes the leader the “father” of the nation – and Kim Jong-un expects to be loved, obeyed and revered by North Koreans as if he were their biological father. Now, a new hit song is encouraging them to do just that.
The Friendship Bridge misnomer
China and North Korea have long ceased being true friends and allies. Beijing, just as Washington, is at a loss for how to stop the North Korean leader’s nuclear brinkmanship. The Chinese government wants the country to be seen abroad as a great new power, equal to the U.S. in ...
North Korea crisis reveals true nature of Russia-China relationship
Many people seem to believe that China and Russia have a close relationship and can work together to solve issues the United States struggles with. But Moscow’s failure to inform Beijing of a U.S. strike in Syria and Russia’s energy exports to North Korea tell a different story.
North Korea beggars and destabilizes Manchuria
China’s northeastern provinces of Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang, known to English speakers as Manchuria, used to be Asia’s industrial powerhouse. These days they are economic laggards because they neighbor North Korea. No one is eager to invest in an area that is under constant threat from weapons of mass destruction.
Kim Watch: Kim Jong-un brings back the ‘pleasure squad’
He waited five years to do it, but Kim Jong-un finally followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather by creating a harem for himself.
Kim Jong-nam murder challenges China
For decades, China has put up with the antics of the Kim family in Pyongyang to keep the Korean peninsula divided. But the spectacular murder of dictator Kim Jong-un’s half brother may have stretched Beijing’s patience to the breaking point.
Kim Watch: Army men
The impeachment of South Korea's president has Kim Jong-un looking longingly across the border. For now, the North Korean leader has busied himself with staging mock commando assaults on a replica of the presidential palace in Seoul. But he would clearly like to do much more.
Kim Watch: ‘Fatty’ gets zapped
In our latest installment, North Korea's government takes on 720 million Chinese internet users.
Kim Watch: How China sold out its coal industry
A senior American diplomat let slip that North Korea makes $1 billion a year on coal exports, mostly to China. That will come as a surprise to anyone who puts faith in UN sanctions to block Pyongyang's nuclear program. It is also grim news for Chinese coal producers, who are ...
China sacrifices its North Korean pawn
One of China’s richest women was arrested after it came to light that her company was providing North Korea with materials that it could use to build nuclear weapons. She could never have done it alone. Plenty of government officials will be purged as the result of the scandal, but ...
Kim Watch: The G20 and bad karma
Kim Jong-un felt slighted when he didn't get an invitation to this month's G20 meeting in Hangzhou. The North Korean dictator made sure that the Chinese heard about it. Now it's Beijing's move.
In North Korea, no one wants to stay in heaven
A surge of high-profile defections has struck at the heart of Kim Jong-un’s regime. They contradict Pyongyang’s propaganda, which calls North Korea a “heaven” on earth, and even threaten the dictator’s personal income. Kim Jong-un’s solution? Increasingly brutal methods for punishing the “traitors.”
Kim Watch: a fisherman’s reincarnation
The Chinese are angry over Seoul’s decision to deploy a U.S. THAAD missile system. The move is clearly aimed at defending South Korea from the North, but still threatens China’s strategic interests. And who benefits? Kim Jong-un, of course.
Kim Watch: North Korea’s special present for China
On July 28, 2016, five armed North Korean soldiers crossed the border into China to steal food and money. It was the biggest group of North Korean soldiers to cross the border for robbery so far. During an exchange of gunfire between the two countries, two Chinese border guards were ...
Forget about the nukes, where is our aid?
The leaders of China have not found a way yet to tame their rogue ally, Kim Jung-un. Thus far, the North Korean dictator has been able to continue both developing his weapons of mass destruction, which China fears and has gently tried to block, and extracting economic aid from Beijing ...
Kim Watch: A gentleman’s revenge
In early June, Chinese authorities arrested a North Korean man in the northeastern city of Dandong. The sting occurred just a few days after Ri Su-yong, a senior North Korean envoy, had visited Beijing requesting food aid for his country. When Chinese security officials searched the North Korean man’s apartment, ...
Kim Watch: Children donate ‘bullets’
June 1 is Children’s Day in many countries around the world, including China and North Korea. In both countries, children enjoy the day off from the pressure of daily school life. In North Korea however, they are under a different kind of pressure. This year, North Korean children have been ...
Kim Watch: Kim Jong-un, master manipulator
Ri Su-yong, a senior North Korean envoy, made a highly publicized visit to Beijing on May 31, 2016. On the same day, Pyongyang attempted to launch a Musudan intermediate-range ballistic missile in the direction of the Sea of Japan. The test reportedly failed, but the real goal was to test ...
Kim’s weakness on the menu as waitresses defect
The defection of 13 North Koreans who worked at a restaurant in China was a huge public relations blow for Kim Jong-un, just one week before his country’s most important festival. The workers could not have succeeded in traveling to South Korea without the help of China, which may have ...
Kim making a monkey out of China in the Year of the Monkey
The Chinese government must have expected that its trouble-bag of an ally, North Korea’s strongman Kim Jong-un, would pull some attention-grabbing stunt on the occasion of the Chinese and Korean New Year, which started on February 8 this year. Perhaps that was the reason why Wu Dawei, the Chinese foreign ...
Girl bands, revenge and North Korea’s hydrogen bomb
On the morning of January 6, 2016, the people in the Yanbian region of China’s Jilin province felt the earth rumble. Tables and chairs in the buildings moved 20 centimeters. Cracks appeared on the playground at a local school. Students taking an exam hurriedly fled their classroom in search of ...
Kim Jong-un tests China’s patience as his ambition grows
There was no warning that new trouble for Beijing was coming from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. As his country’s national holiday approached on September 9, 2015, Chinese President Xi Jinping sent, as had been the Chinese leaders’ regular practice since 1948, a courtesy note to the Democratic People’s Republic ...
How stable is the North Korean government?
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea is in an appalling condition. Not only are its civilians starved, but its armed forces are extremely short of food as well. Soldiers regularly steal food from farmers and even elite border guard troops need to invent ways of feeding themselves. When they began ...