Download The Real North Korea: Life and Politics in the Failed by Andrei Lankov PDF

By Andrei Lankov

Andrei Lankov has long past the place few outsiders have ever been. a local of the previous Soviet Union, he lived as an trade scholar in North Korea within the Eighties. He has studied it for his complete profession, utilizing his fluency in Korean and private contacts to construct a wealthy, nuanced knowing. within the genuine North Korea, Lankov substitutes chilly, transparent research for the overheated rhetoric surrounding this opaque police nation. After offering an obtainable heritage of the state, he turns his concentration to what North Korea is, what its management thinks, and the way its humans take care of residing in such an oppressive and bad position. He argues that North Korea isn't irrational, and not anything indicates this larger than its carrying on with survival opposed to all odds. A dwelling political fossil, it clings to lifestyles within the face of restricted assets and a zombie economic system, manipulating nice powers regardless of its weak spot. Its leaders will not be ideological zealots or madmen, yet possibly the easiest practitioners of Machiavellian politics that may be present in the trendy international. even supposing they preside over a failed kingdom, they've got effectively used diplomacy-including nuclear threats-to extract help from different international locations. yet whereas the folks liable were ruthless and profitable in keeping directly to strength, Lankov is going directly to argue that this can't proceed ceaselessly, because the previous process is slowly falling aside. ultimately, without or with reform, the regime is unsustainable. Lankov contends that reforms, if tried, will set off a dramatic implosion of the regime. they won't lengthen its lifestyles. in keeping with giant services, this e-book finds how common North Koreans stay, how their leaders rule, and the way either continue to exist.

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Additional info for The Real North Korea: Life and Politics in the Failed Stalinist Utopia

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However, the United States finally decided to join the war, this decision turning the tide. A massive American intervention began in September 1950. In a couple of weeks, the North Korean forces were all but annihilated and the North Korean leadership had to flee to the Chinese border. In turn, China decided to intervene and in late November of that year staged a massive counterstrike that probably became the most successful large-scale operation in China’s recent military history. After much fighting and bloodshed, the front line hardened and stabilized by the spring of 1951, even though trench warfare and intensive bombing campaigns continued for another two years.

Normally, four members of the Kim family are considered worthy of depiction—Generalissimo Kim Il Sung, Marshal (from 2012, posthumously, also Generalissimo) Kim Jong Il, General Kim Jong Un, and General Kim Jong Suk (the latter being Kim Il Sung’s first official wife and Kim Jong Il’s mother). Some other members of the family are occasionally depicted as well, but the images of those four are virtually omnipresent and come in many forms. North Korea is a country of portraits. From the 1940s, depictions of Kim Il Sung were common, but from the 1970s, it was decreed that every house should have a portrait of the Great Leader.

No doubt they have learned their lesson and from now on will probably think twice before admitting to more of their past misdeeds. Obviously, the Japanese were abducted to take advantage of their native language skills and their knowledge of Japanese daily life in order to train the North Korean agents. For example, Yaeko Taguchi, a former hostess kidnapped in 1978 (she was then aged 22), trained Kim Hy oˇn-huˇi, a North Korean intelligence agent whose cover was to be a Japanese national. This decision to rely on the abductees was rather strange since the North Korean authorities could count on the enthusiastic support of a number of people who spoke Japanese as their first language and had firsthand knowledge of modern Japan.

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