November 29, 2023

Reading North Korea news in China: Conspiracy theories and “bathroom language”

Amid Tillerson's visit, state media and the internet speculated on U.S. intentions and Kim Jong Nam

Rex Tillerson’s recent trip to Beijing attracted a wave of commentary fixated upon the question of whether the new Secretary of State had sold out by accepting Xi Jinping’s linguistic formulation of U.S.-China relations.

Tillerson’s messaging to Xi on the North Korea issue took second place to this question, or third, if we count the many essays expressing frustration with Tillerson’s self-imposed segregation from the normal press corps.