North Korea

Overview

As perennial famine and material shortages call into question the tenability of North Korea's military-authoritarian government, the international community has struggled to reconcile contradictory humanitarian, economic, and political goals in formulating foreign policy and aid responses to the secretive Pyongyang regime. In a historical analysis drawing heavily on primary sources, Lee attacks the problem at its root: the assumption of policy-makers that Pyongyang's belligerence and intractability is an attempt ...

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Overview

As perennial famine and material shortages call into question the tenability of North Korea's military-authoritarian government, the international community has struggled to reconcile contradictory humanitarian, economic, and political goals in formulating foreign policy and aid responses to the secretive Pyongyang regime. In a historical analysis drawing heavily on primary sources, Lee attacks the problem at its root: the assumption of policy-makers that Pyongyang's belligerence and intractability is an attempt to secure autonomy and national legitimacy in the eyes of the world. Rather, Lee argues, close review of the available evidence demonstrates convincingly that forced reunification with South Korea is the only discernible goal of the Pyongyang government, and that the key strategy of the reunification program is a war of attrition against the U.S. military presence in the South.

Lee begins with a summary history, and moves on to examine the formation of the North Korean communist state in the wake of World War II. The implementation of state programs in the 1950s and 1960s follows, including the drive towards industrialization, the emergence of the Juche ideology, and collectivization of agriculture. Remaining chapters focus on the recent history of North Korea, and offer concluding analysis and remarks.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Treating the country almost as a black-box model because of the paucity of information emerging from behind its borders, Lee (economics, U. of Wisconsin-Oshkosh) seeks to explain why North Korea is so poor yet so menacing. He analyzes how the leaders have acted under certain stimuli in the past, and explains how the country has been shaped and personified by its first and long leader Kim Il Sung. His account marches decade-by-decade from 1945 through the 1990s. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275969172
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/30/2000
  • Pages: 266
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

HY-SANG LEE is Professor of Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.

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Table of Contents

Illustrations
Preface
1 A Summary History 1
2 1945-1950: A Unification-Driven Communist State 15
3 1950s: War and a Cruel Revolution 23
4 1960s: Militarism, Survivalism, and Filialism 49
5 1970s: Mounting Arms and Myopic Push for Economic Growth 81
6 1980s: Frantic Drive for Power and Vigilance for Survival 131
7 1990s: Ruination, Survival, and Weapons of Mass Destruction 171
8 Conclusion and Policy Implications 229
Epilogue on the Kim-Kim Summit 237
Index 243
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