North Korea : Toward a Better Understanding
We are told, time and again, that North Koreans are loyal to their leader, that they would do anything, even die for him, and that they are fiercely proud and nationalistic. But to an equal extent, we are told that they are oppressed, suffering, and ready to rise against the evil dictator. What do we know beyond or between these opposing assumptions? We are not well equipped with the conceptual tools that could lead us beyond the current securitization of our discourses on North Korea, while undercurrents of regarding North Koreans as less human continue in these discourses. This volume attempts to multiply the angles from which we can look at North Korea by reassessing the international environment in which it is placed, the process of production of its culture, and the historical paths it has followed. Due to the new approach the volume takes, reading these pages will be an eye-opening experience not only for experts, but also for lay readers and anyone interested in peace keeping in Korea, Northeast Asia, and beyond.
- Electronic book text | 192 pages
- 16 Jan 2009
- Lexington Books
- MD, United States
It is always 'the North Korean nuclear problem' to our media, taking all of its cues from Washington, not North Korea as a country of twenty-three million human beings with whom we have been at war since 1950, not North Korea and American relations with it as a subject worthy of serious investigative journalism, not a North Korea that Washington might get many things wrong about, much as it did Iraq. In this volume readers will find a number of absorbing essays that depart from this opaque, uninformative, and ultimately uninterested consensus. North Korea: Toward a Better Understanding is a timely and courageous book that offers an alternative view of this isolated nation that is simultaneously so distant and unknown, and so close to an enemy that has been just across its southern border for 60 years: us..--Bruce Cumings, University of Chicago; author of The Origins of the Korean War
About Sonia Ryang
Sonia Ryang is associate professor of anthropology and international studies at the University of Iowa.