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1 Beaverton World History- Korea

North Korea Through the Looking Glass

by

North Korea Through the Looking Glass Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Book News Annotation:

Oh (researcher, the Institute for Defense Analysis and the Brookings Institution) and Hassig (consultant on Korean affairs and psychology, U. of Maryland University College) offer a highly critical analysis of North Korea's political system, including the official ideology of Juche and how it influences state economic and foreign policy.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

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 nations 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 researchincluding interviews with two dozen North Koreans who made the painfuldecision to defect from their homelandKongdan 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 uniformitynot a " state, " but a community of twenty million individuals who have, through no fault of their own, fallen on exceedingly hard times.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780815764359
Author:
Oh, Kong Dan
Author:
Hassig, Ralph C.
Author:
Oh, Kongdan
Publisher:
Brookings Institution Press
Location:
Washington, D.C.
Subject:
Politics and government
Subject:
International Relations
Subject:
Government (non-U.S.)
Subject:
Korea
Subject:
Korea (north)
Subject:
Asia - Korea
Subject:
International Relations - General
Subject:
Government - Comparative
Subject:
Korea (North) Politics and government.
Subject:
World History-Korea
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Series Volume:
v. 39, [no. 1]-
Publication Date:
20000831
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
270
Dimensions:
9.06x5.98x.70 in. .93 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Asia » General
History and Social Science » Asia » Korea
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Politics » International Studies
History and Social Science » Politics » Leftist Studies
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Foreign Policy
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
History and Social Science » World History » Korea

North Korea Through the Looking Glass Used Trade Paper
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Product details 270 pages Brookings Institution Press - English 9780815764359 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , 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 nations 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 researchincluding interviews with two dozen North Koreans who made the painfuldecision to defect from their homelandKongdan 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 uniformitynot a " state, " but a community of twenty million individuals who have, through no fault of their own, fallen on exceedingly hard times.
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