Helping you understand the country from the inside, this guide is designed to provide an understanding of North Korea through Korean primary sources published in North Korea in a variety of formats. Selective English scholarship also included.
Call Number: DS932.7 .H37 2009, Hillman Library - General Collection
Publication Date: 2009-09-24
This unique book provides a comprehensive overview of all aspects of life in North Korea today. Drawing on decades of insider knowledge and experience, noted experts Ralph Hassig and Kongdan Oh explore a world few outsiders can imagine. In vivid detail, the authors describe how the secretive and authoritarian government of Kim Jong-il shapes every aspect of its citizen's lives, how the command socialist economy has utterly failed, and how ordinary individuals struggle to survive through small-scale capitalism. North Koreans remain hungry and oppressed, yet the outside world is slowly filtering in, and the book concludes by urging the United States to flood North Korea with open information so that its people can make decisions based on truth rather than their dictator's ubiquitous propaganda.
Call Number: HN730.6.Z9 M66 2010, Hillman Library - General Collection
Publication Date: 2010-01-26
Much hearsay surrounds North Korea and the intentions of Kim Jong-il. But B.R. Myers, an analyst of North Korean politics, argues that much of this 'knowledge' is wrong, maintaining that there is more discourse on North Korea's nuclear programme than on the motivation behind it. Drawing on decades worth of research on Worker's Party ideology and propaganda, Myers shows how Kim Jong-il's regime is guided by a paranoid, race-based nationalism with roots in Japanese fascist thought.
Call Number: DS935.774 .M44 2010, Hillman Library - General Collection
Publication Date: 2010-12-21
North Korea's institutional politics defy traditional political models, making the country's actions seem surprising or confusing when, in fact, they often conform to the regime's own logic. Drawing on recent materials, such as North Korean speeches, commentaries, and articles, Patrick McEachern, a specialist on North Korean affairs, reveals how the state's political institutions debate policy and inform and execute strategic-level decisions. Many scholars dismiss Kim Jong-Il's regime as a "one-man dictatorship," calling him the "last totalitarian leader," but McEachern identifies three major institutions that help maintain regime continuity: the cabinet, the military, and the party. These groups hold different institutional policy platforms and debate high-level policy options both before and after Kim and his senior leadership make their final call. This method of rule may challenge expectations, but North Korea does not follow a classically totalitarian, personalistic, or corporatist model. Rather than being monolithic, McEachern argues, the regime, emerging from the crises of the 1990s, rules differently today than it did under Kim's father, Kim Il Sung. The son is less powerful and pits institutions against one another in a strategy of divide and rule. His leadership is fundamentally different: it is "post-totalitarian." Authority may be centralized, but power remains diffuse. McEachern maps this process in great detail, supplying vital perspective on North Korea's reactive policy choices, which continue to bewilder the West.
North of the DMZ
by Andrei Lankov
Publication Date: 2007-04-24
The Kim dynasty has ruled North Korea for over 60 years. Most of that period has found the country suffering under mature Stalinism characterized by manipulation, brutality and tight social control. Nevertheless, some citizens of Kim Jong Il's regime manage to transcend his tyranny in their daily existence.This book describes that difficult but determined existence and the world that the North Koreans have created for themselves in the face of oppression. Many features of this world are unique and even bizarre. But they have been created by the citizens to reflect their own ideas and values, in sharp contrast to the world forced upon them by a totalitarian system.Opening chapters introduce the political system and the extent to which it permeates citizens' daily lives, from the personal status badges they wear to the nationalized distribution of the food they eat. Chapters discussing the schools, the economic system, and family life dispel the myth of the workers' paradise that North Korea attempts to perpetuate. In these chapters the intricacies of daily life in a totalitarian dictatorship are seen through the eyes of defectors whose anecdotes constitute an important portion of the material. The closing chapter treats at length the significant changes that have taken place in North Korea over the last decade, concluding that these changes will lead to the quiet but inevitable death of North Korean Stalinism.
Call Number: HC470.2.Z9 F35 2007, Hillman Library - General Collection
Publication Date: 2007-02-27
In the mid-1990s, as many as one million North Koreans died in one of the worst famines of the twentieth century. The socialist food distribution system collapsed primarily because of a misguided push for self-reliance, but was compounded by the regime's failure to formulate a quick response-including the blocking of desperately needed humanitarian relief. As households, enterprises, local party organs, and military units tried to cope with the economic collapse, a grassroots process of marketization took root. However, rather than embracing these changes, the North Korean regime opted for tentative economic reforms with ambiguous benefits and a self-destructive foreign policy. As a result, a chronic food shortage continues to plague North Korea today. In their carefully researched book, Stephan Haggard and Marcus Noland present the most comprehensive and penetrating account of the famine to date, examining not only the origins and aftermath of the crisis but also the regime's response to outside aid and the effect of its current policies on the country's economic future. Their study begins by considering the root causes of the famine, weighing the effects of the decline in the availability of food against its poor distribution. Then it takes a close look at the aid effort, addressing the difficulty of monitoring assistance within the country, and concludes with an analysis of current economic reforms and strategies of engagement. North Korea's famine exemplified the depredations that can arise from tyrannical rule and the dilemmas such regimes pose for the humanitarian community, as well as the obstacles inherent in achieving economic and political reform. To reveal the state's culpability in this tragic event is a vital project of historical recovery, one that is especially critical in light of our current engagement with the "North Korean question."
Call Number: DS935.65 .S55 2005, Hillman Library - General Collection
Publication Date: 2005-11-01
This revealing and challenging study of the impact of famine on North Korea not only significantly enlarges our understanding of that hermetic country but also urges us to reassess how we deal with it.
Nuclear bombs and geopolitical controversy are often the first things associated with North Korea and its volatile leader Kim Jong-II. Yet behind the secretive curtain of this isolated nation also lies a little-known and slowly expanding world of art. Art Under Control in North Korea is the first Western publication to explore the state-controlled role of art in North Korea. This timely volume places North Korean art in its historical, political, and social contexts, with a discussion on the state system of cultivating and promoting artists and an examination of the range of art produced, from painting and calligraphy to architecture and applied art. Portal offers an incisive analysis that compares the dictatorial control exerted over artists by North Korean leaders to that of past regimes. She also examines the ways in which archaeology has been employed for political ends to legitimize the present regime. Art Under Control in North Korea is an intriguing and vibrant volume that explores the creation of art under totalitarian rule and the ways art can subvert a dictatorial regime.
"North Korea is not just a security or human rights problem (although it is those things) but a real society. This book gets us closer to understanding North Korea beyond the usual headlines, and does so in a richly detailed, well-researched, and theoretically contextualized way." ---Charles K. Armstrong, Director, Center for Korean Research, Columbia University "One of this book's strengths is how it deals at the same time with historical, geographical, political, artistic, and cultural materials. Film and theatre are not the only arts Kim studies---she also offers an excellent analysis of paintings, fashion, and what she calls 'everyday performance.' Her analysis is brilliant, her insights amazing, and her discoveries and conclusions always illuminating." ---Patrice Pavis, University of Kent, Canterbury No nation stages massive parades and collective performances on the scale of North Korea. Even amid a series of intense political/economic crises and international conflicts, the financially troubled country continues to invest massive amounts of resources to sponsor unflinching displays of patriotism, glorifying its leaders and revolutionary history through state rituals that can involve hundreds of thousands of performers. Author Suk-Young Kim explores how sixty years of state-sponsored propaganda performances---including public spectacles, theater, film, and other visual media such as posters---shape everyday practice such as education, the mobilization of labor, the gendering of social interactions, the organization of national space, tourism, and transnational human rights. Equal parts fascinating and disturbing, Illusive Utopia shows how the country's visual culture and performing arts set the course for the illusionary formation of a distinctive national identity and state legitimacy, illuminating deep-rooted cultural explanations as to why socialism has survived in North Korea despite the fall of the Berlin Wall, the collapse of the Soviet Union, and China's continuing march toward economic prosperity. With over fifty striking color illustrations, Illusive Utopia captures the spectacular illusion within a country where the arts are not only a means of entertainment but also a forceful institution used to regulate, educate, and mobilize the population. Suk-Young Kim is Associate Professor in the Department of Theater and Dance at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and coauthor with Kim Yong of Long Road Home: A Testimony of a North Korean Camp Survivor.
Like many ideological dictatorships of the twentieth century, North Korea has always considered cinema an indispensible propaganda tool. No other medium penetrated the whole of the population so thoroughly, and no other medium remained so strictly and exclusively under state control. Through movies, the two successive leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il propagandized their policies and sought to rally the masses behind them, with great success. This volume chronicles the history of North Korean cinema from its beginnings to today, examining the obstacles the film industry faced as well as the many social problems the films themselves reveal. It provides detailed analyses of major and minor films and explores important developments in the industry within the context of the concurrent social and political atmosphere. Through the lens of cinema emerges a fresh perspective on the history of North Korean politics, culture, and ideology.
The first documentary filmed in North Korea by Westerners, the film follows two young gymnasts, 13-year-old Pak Hyon Sun and 11-year-old Kim Song Yon, for over eight months as they as they balance school and family life with intense training in preparation for participation in the Mass Games. Made up of three elements--gymnastics, backdrop and music--they are similar to Olympic opening ceremonies, mind-bogglingly elaborate, but on an impressively larger scale. Inside this synchronized athletic display are two giggling girls--proof of the resilience of smaller human freedoms--in the face of paranoia and almost constant mind control.
Documentary film about the seven surviving members of North Korean national football team who participated in the Football World Cup 1966. Its victory over the Italian team propelled the North Korean team into the quarterfinal: it was the first time an Asian squad had advanced so far in a World Cup.
The first of its kind, this book provides a unique inside look into the hidden world of ordinary North Koreans. Mike Kim, who worked with refugees on the Chinese border for four years, recounts their experiences of enduring famine, sex-trafficking, and torture, as well as the inspirational stories of those who overcame tremendous adversity to escape the repressive regime of their homeland and make new lives. One of the few Americans granted entry into the secretive "Hermit Kingdom," Kim came to know the isolated country and its people intimately. His North Korean friends entrusted their secrets to him as they revealed the government's brainwashing tactics and confessed their true thoughts about the repressive regime that so rigidly controls their lives. Civilians and soldiers alike spoke of what North Koreans think of Americans and war with America. Children remembered the suffering they endured through the famine. Women and girls recalled their horrific experiences at the hands of sex-traffickers. Former political prisoners shared their memories of beatings, torture, and executions in the gulags. With the permission of these courageous individuals, Kim now shares their stories and recounts his dramatic experiences leading North Koreans to asylum through the six-thousand-mile modern-day underground railway through Asia. His unflinching narrative exposes the truth about North Korea, stripping away the last veils that still shroud this brutal dictatorship.