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North Korea: Witness to Transformation

Sources: SinoNK’s Adam Cathcart and Chris Green on the Tumen Triangle

by | April 26th, 2013 | 07:00 am
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SinoNK is one of a handful of sites—like Curtis Melvin’s North Korea Economy Watch and Michael Madden’s North Korea Leadership Watch—that we find ourselves visiting repeatedly. A central insight of SinoNK is that China is not Beijing and that the border provinces have a distinctive and underappreciated role in China-DPRK relations. It is not only the networks created by the Korean-Chinese diaspora; it is also the distinctive provincial interests of the Northeast, including an outlet to the sea for the land-locked region through Rason. Although we cannot prove it, anecdotal evidence suggests that a lot of Chinese investment—and certainly the trade—emanates from the three border provinces.  A crucial thing to watch is the development of cross-border infrastructure, a sine qua non for North Korea’s integration into both China and the world economy.

SinoNK.com has launched a new product in their series of dossiers called The Tumen Triangle Documentation Project. It appears that the e-journal—which collects short, thematic pieces–will focus on cities, starting with Hoeryong and moving on to others such as as Hyesan, Chongjin, Musan, Hunchun, and Yanbian. The stories are reminiscent of the Good Friends’ North Korea Today, currently in abeyanace.  Adam Cathcart is founding editor; he recently relocated to Queen’s University Belfast. Hhe teams up with Chris Green, international editor for DailyNK and a long-time observer of the North Korean economy.

Table of Contents

PREFACE

OLD STORIES TOLD ANEW  Dr. James Hoare, British Charges d’Affaires to the DPRK, 2001-2002        9

INTRODUCTION. WORKING DEFINITION AND RATIONALE: THE TUMEN TRIANGLE AS REGION AND AS PROJECT Dr. Adam Cathcart and Christopher Green            12

PART ONE: ESSAYS AND COMMENTARIES

BRINGING THE MOUNTAIN TO MOHAMMED: ON THE NAMYANG BORDER MARKET Christopher Green    17

SOUTH OF THE TUMEN AND NORTH OF THE SEA Robert Winstanley-Chesters            22

RASON: SIGHTS AND SOUNDS Andray Abrahamian 27

LOCKED IN A BATTLE WITH THE MARKET Jang Jin-sung 33

 PART TWO. FOCUS ON… HOERYEONG

FOCUS ON… CORN, CRIME, & CAMP 22: INTRODUCING HOERYEONG Mycal Ford     39

FOCUS ON… THE CLOSURE OF CAMP 22 Christopher Green    41

FOCUS ON… THE NORTH KOREAN PRISON CAMP SYSTEM Greg Scarlatoiu          43

FOCUS ON… ABANDONMENT OF SOCIALIST ECONOMY IN THE PERIPHERY Benjamin Young        47

PART THREE: THINKING CRITICALLY ABOUT SOURCES. “STATUE DESTRUCTION SOCIETY:”

NORTH KOREAN CLAIMS OF TERRORISM FROM INSIDE CHINESE TERRITORY Dr. Adam Cathcart and Brian Gleason        52

BEWARE THE NORTH KOREAN RUMOR MILL Christopher Green    56

 

Previous SinoNK dossiers:

Dossier No. 4, Nick Miller, “Contact Between China and the DPRK, 2010-12: Focus on Ambassador Liu Hongcai,” April 2013.

Dossier No. 3, Adam Cathcart and Michael Madden, eds. “’A Whole New Blueprint:’ Chinese-North Korean Relations at the End of the Kim Jong Il Era, October 21-December 17, 2011,” preface by Stephan Haggard, August 2012.

Dossier No. 2, Adam Cathcart and Charles Kraus, “China’s ‘Measure of Reserve’ Toward Succession: Sino-North Korean Relations, 1983-1985,” February 2012.

Dossier No. 1, Adam Cathcart, ed. “China and the North Korean Succession,” January 16, 2012.