April 24, 2024


Yong Ja Hong

Yong Ja Hong

Yong Ja Hong is a doctoral candidate in North Korean society, culture and media at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul. She also holds a master's in North Korean studies and a bachelor's in unification, diplomacy and security from Korea University. Her primary research area is DPRK athletics.


The true story behind North Korea’s bizarre basketball rules

The DPRK briefly experimented with 8-point shots, dunk penalties and more, and there was a kind of method to the madness

Yong Ja HongYong Ja HongApril 10, 2024

Sporting glory: Inside North Korea’s failed bid to become an athletic powerhouse

From the 1980s, Kim regime used sports to engage South Korea and win support, but economic problems thwarted its plans

Yong Ja HongYong Ja HongJanuary 10, 2024

Pyongyang’s playbook: How North Korea turned sports into tool for regime control

DPRK’s athletic success is product of decades of effort to assert state power and boost military readiness through sport

Yong Ja HongYong Ja HongDecember 1, 2023

The towering North Korean basketball star denied a shot at NBA glory

7-foot-6 Ri Myong Hun would have been tallest player in league history, but sanctions and tensions scuppered his chances

Yong Ja HongYong Ja HongOctober 16, 2023

North Korean women fall to Japan in Asian Games soccer final

Nadeshiko Japan pours it on after close first half to take gold, though DPRK athletes performed better in other sports

Yong Ja HongYong Ja HongOctober 9, 2023

North Korean women’s basketball team loses out on bronze to ROK at Asian Games

Inter-Korean tensions palpable as rivals clash, but DPRK achieves best result in decades and shows off new star

Yong Ja HongYong Ja HongOctober 6, 2023