North Korea through the Looking Glass

North Korea through the Looking Glass

Author: Kongdan Oh

Publisher: Brookings Institution Press

ISBN: 0815798202

Category: Political Science

Page: 216

View: 487

Download Now
Fifty-five years after its founding at the dawn of the cold war, North Korea remains a land of illusions. Isolated and anachronistic, the country and its culture seem to be dominated exclusively by the official ideology of Juche, which emphasizes national self-reliance, independence, and worship of the supreme leader, General Kim Jong Il. Yet this socialist utopian ideal is pursued with the calculations of international power politics. Kim has transformed North Korea into a militarized state, whose nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles, and continued threat to South Korea have raised alarm worldwide. This paradoxical combination of cultural isolation and military-first policy has left the North Korean people woefully deprived of the opportunity to advance socially and politically. The socialist economy, guided by political principles and bereft of international support, has collapsed. Thousands, perhaps millions, have died of starvation. Foreign trade has declined and the country's gross domestic product has recorded negative growth every year for a decade. Yet rather than initiate the sort of market reforms that were implemented by other communist governments, North Korean leaders have reverted to the economic policies of the 1950s: mass mobilization, concentration on heavy industry, and increased ideological indoctrination. Although members of the political elite in Pyongyang are acutely aware of their nation's domestic and foreign problems, they are plagued by fear and policy paralysis. North Korea Through the Looking Glass sheds new light on this remote and peculiar country. Drawing on more than ten years of research—including interviews with two dozen North Koreans who made the painful decision to defect from their homeland—Kongdan Oh and Ralph C. Hassig explore what the leadership and the masses believe about their current predicament. Through dual themes of persistence and illusion, they explore North Korea's stubborn adherence to policies that have failed to serve the welfare of the people and, consequently, threaten the future of the regime. Featuring twenty-nine rare and candid photos taken from within the closely guarded country, North Korea Through the Looking Glass illuminates the human society of a country too often mischaracterized for its drab uniformity—not a "state," but a community of twenty million individuals who have, through no fault of their own, fallen on exceedingly hard times.
North Korea through the Looking Glass
Language: en
Pages: 216
Authors: Kongdan Oh, Ralph C. Hassig
Categories: Political Science
Type: BOOK - Published: 2004-05-13 - Publisher: Brookings Institution Press

Fifty-five years after its founding at the dawn of the cold war, North Korea remains a land of illusions. Isolated and anachronistic, the country and its culture seem to be dominated exclusively by the official ideology of Juche, which emphasizes national self-reliance, independence, and worship of the supreme leader, General
North Korea
Language: en
Pages: 334
Authors: Paul French
Categories: History
Type: BOOK - Published: 2007-07-15 - Publisher: Zed Books

This reissue of Paul French's acclaimed introduction to North Korea provides an up-to-the-minute overview of the politics, economics and history of the DPRK, with added chapters dealing with recent events. A new foreword examines why North Korea remains an issue in world politics and argues that an understanding of the
China and North Korea
Language: en
Pages: 45
Authors: Andrew Scobell
Categories: China
Type: BOOK - Published: 2004 - Publisher:

Books about China and North Korea
North Korea Through the Looking Glass
Language: en
Pages: 256
Authors: Kong Dan Oh, Ralph C. Hassig
Categories: History
Type: BOOK - Published: 2000 - Publisher: Brookings Inst Press

Exploiting domestic and international news broadcasts and international news broadcasts and defector testimony, this book explores what the leadership and masses believe about their current predicament and why they refuse to adopt more pragmatic responses to the post-Cold War environment.
North Korea and Security Cooperation in Northeast Asia
Language: en
Pages: 270
Authors: Tae-Hwan Kwak, Seung-Ho Joo
Categories: Political Science
Type: BOOK - Published: 2016-05-23 - Publisher: Routledge

Relations between the two Koreas continue to be hostile, volatile and unpredictable with North Korea’s nuclear issue remaining as untamed as ever. As such, there is a growing urgency for security cooperation in Northeast Asia to be given immediate attention. The key players in the region - the US, China,