Home » Entries posted by Andrei Nikolaevich Lankov (Page 3)

N. Korean no longer robot

In 1986 or 1987 while reading Nodong sinmun (gosh, I subscribed the paper in those days – it was so cheap for the Soviet citizens!) I came across an article which described a North Korean journalist’s trip to a village somewhere in Africa – perhaps, in Zimbabwe, I do not remember for sure. The intrepid […]

How do North Koreans spend their leisure time nowadays?

How do North Koreans spend their leisure time nowadays?

Some people say that modern civilization pays took much attention to entertain and leisure time. Not all historians agree with such a critical attitude because they are well aware: people in pre-industrial societies were almost all very poor by our standards, but they were far from starved of leisure time. How do North Koreans spend […]

Why human rights slogans fail in Pyongyang?

Why human rights slogans fail in Pyongyang?

Earlier this year, the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea(North Korea) published its report on the human rights situation in North Korea. The report catalogued a long list of human rights abuses that have been ommitted by the North Korean state in the past, and in many cases […]

N Korea’s reporting on collapse of Pyongyang apartment

N  Korea’s reporting on collapse of Pyongyang apartment

On 18th May 2014, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) released an unusual report in which they admitted that a 23-storey apartment building had collapsed in downtown Pyongyang. The official report also admitted that some unlucky inhabitants of the apartment had been killed as a result, though there were no exact numbers in the report. […]

Cynicism and alienation growing in North Korea

Cynicism and alienation growing in North Korea

There are many signs that cynicism and alienation is steadily growing within North Korean society and, especially, lower reaches of its elite. People who recently had opportunities to talk frankly to North Koreans (and I do not mean refugees), including the present author, have noticed that North Koreans are increasingly likely to express feelings of […]

Pyongyang’s motives behind conciliatory gestures

Pyongyang’s motives behind conciliatory gestures

A remarkable chain of diplomatic initiatives from Pyongyang has marked the last two months. Since early January, North Korean ambassadors in a number of countries delivered public statements and conducted interviews where they emphasized that their government is ready to do all it can to improve inter-Korean relations. A number of conciliatory statements have been […]

North Korea’s bizarre distribution system

North Korea’s bizarre distribution system

When it comes to its economy, North Korea is a very special place. Perhaps not as much as it used to be, with the steady growth of grassroots capitalism, but in the days of Kim Il Sung, the grandfather of the current North Korean strongman Kim Jong Un, North Korea was perhaps the purest known […]

Can South Korea unify North Korea by absorption?

Can South Korea unify North Korea by absorption?

Lessons to be learned from Crimean crisis The unrolling Ukrainian crisis has been in the news a lot of late. The recent succession of Crimea can be seen in various ways, but it seems that this dramatic event hints at one possible scenario of Korea’s future. Indeed, why did Crimea secede from Ukraine?  Of course, […]

Confederation or instant unification

Confederation or instant unification

Over the last few months we have seen a number of signals which indicate that Marshall Kim Jong Un, the young North Korean dictator, is really serious about changing his country. Most likely, he wants to turn his country into a mini-China, where cutthroat capitalism will be practiced under the auspices of the Party apparatchiks […]

China’s conditions to accept a ‘unified Korea’

China’s conditions to accept a ‘unified Korea’

Recent months have seen an unusual amount of noise and a sense of crisis in Northeast Asia, a region in which nationalist passions have not run this high for decades. Sino-Japanese relations have hit a nadir, while US commitments to Japan have been strongly confirmed. While South Korea’s President Park Geun-hye comes from the political […]

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