North Korea

North Korea : The Struggle Against American Power

3.85 (7 ratings by Goodreads)
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This book seeks to demystify North Korea by cutting through the propaganda to unearth the complex and contradictory realities of this unique country. The North is not a 'workers' paradise' but neither is it a threat to its neighbours and the world. The once vigorous economy was devastated by the collapse of the Soviet Union and now its main foreign policy objective, and the key to its economic rehabilitation, is normalisation of relations with the United States. But not normalisation at the expense of independence.

Tim Beal reveals a country overburdened by military spending that sees itself under constant threat. However, he also reveals how North Korea has opened to the world in recent years, establishing diplomatic relations with the West and trying to break free of foreign aid. Exploring a broad range of subjects including the historical and political framework of North Korea, the development of the nuclear crisis, human rights issues, drug trading, as well as its shifting relationship with South Korea, this is an ideal book for anyone who wants a thorough introduction to the remarkable challenges this country faces.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 352 pages
  • 135 x 215 x 23.11mm | 598.74g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0745320139
  • 9780745320137
  • 1,968,638

Table of contents


Part I: Fulcrum of geography, anvil of history: DPRK in historical perspective

Introduction to Part I

Chapter one: The roots of modern Korea: from Tangun to Liberation

Chapter two: Years of struggle, years of hope: Korean War to first nuclear crisis

Chapter three: Creation of the Agreed Framework and the flowering of detente

Chapter four: Crisis reignited: economic reform, regional accord, Washington discord

Part II: The pillars of confrontation

Introduction to Part II

Chapter five: The Human Rights record: complexities, causes, solutions

Chapter six: Drugs and Generals

Chapter seven: The Nuclear Confrontation

Chapter eight: On the Precipice: Options, positions and dangers at the start of the second Bush administration


Appendix one: Economic statistics

Appendix two: Military statistics

Appendix three: Documentary sources

Appendix four: A timeline of nuclear and missile issues and activities



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Review quote

'Significantly more even handed than the vast majority of what Americans read or hear' -- Reference & Research Book News, May 2006 'Timely, important, and provocative. A useful corrective to the stereotypes and misinformation that pervade 'conventional wisdom' about North Korea' -- Professor Charles Armstrong, Director, The Center for Korean Research, Columbia University. Author of The North Korean

Revolution, 1945-1950
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About Tim Beal

Tim Beal has researched and taught widely on Asian politics and business and is currently focused on North Korea. He has recently retired from the School of Marketing and International Business at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. He is the author of Crisis in Korea (Pluto, 2011) and North Korea: The Struggle Against American Power (Pluto, 2005).
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Rating details

7 ratings
3.85 out of 5 stars
5 43% (3)
4 29% (2)
3 14% (1)
2 0% (0)
1 14% (1)
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