Description : Concentrating on the years 1953-64, this history describes how North Korea became more despotic even as other Communist countries underwent de-Stalinization. The authors principal new source is the Hungarian diplomatic archives, which contain extensive reporting on Kim Il Sung and North Korea, thoroughly informed by research on the period in the Soviet and Eastern European archives and by recently published scholarship. Much of the story surrounds Kim Il Sung: his Korean nationalism and eagerness for Korean autarky; his efforts to balance the need for foreign aid and his hope for an independent foreign policy; and what seems to be his good sense of timing in doing in internal rivals without attracting Soviet retaliation. Through a series of comparisons not only with the USSR but also with Albania, Romania, Yugoslavia, China, and Vietnam, the author highlights unique features of North Korean communism during the period. Szalontai covers ongoing effects of Japanese colonization, the experiences of diverse Korean factions during World War II, and the weakness of the Communist Party in South Korea.
Description : In this text, Andrei Lankov traces the formation of the North Korean state and the early years of Kim Il Song's rule, when the future Great Leader and his entourage were nurturing their power base.
Description : Armstorng examines the genesis of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) both as an important yet rarely studied example of a communist state and as part of modern Korean history.
Description : Kim Jong Il came to power after the death of his father Kim Il Sung in 1994. Contrary to expectations, he has succeeded in maintaining enough political stability to remain in power. Kim Jong Il's Leadership of North Korea is an examination of how political power has been developed, transmitted from father to son, and now operates in North Korea Using a variety of original North Korean sources as well as South Korean materials Jae-Cheon Lim pieces together the ostensibly contradictory and inconsistent facts into a conceptual coherent framework. This book considers Kim and his leadership through an analytical framework. composed of four main elements: i) Kim as a leader of a totalitarian society; ii) as a politician; iii) as a Korean; and iv) as an individual person. This illuminating account of what constitutes power and how it is used makes an important contribution to the understanding of an opaque and difficult regime. It will be of interest for upper level undergraduate, postgraduates and academics interested in North Korean politics, and also those in Political theory.
Description : This is a case study of Soviet foreign policy in the formative years of the Cold War, 1945 to 1947. It concerns Soviet policy in Korea, opening with the military operations in August 1945 which resulted in the occupation of the part of the peninsula north of the 38th parallel by the Red Army. The following month the American occupied the southern half. After a period of tense Soviet-American negotiations on Korean reunification, the United States relinquished the matter to the United Nations in September 1947. The study is divided into three sections which cover: the Soviet war plans for Korea in August 1945 and the Soviet attitude towards a Korean trusteeship; the Soviet power structure in North Korea; and the negotiations on Korean reunification by the Joint Soviet-American Commission in 1946 and 1947.
Description : Ranging from Geneva to Pyongyang, this remarkable book takes readers on an odyssey through one of the most extraordinary forgotten tragedies of the Cold War: the "return" of over 90,000 people, most of them ethnic Koreans, from Japan to North Korea from 1959 onward. Presented to the world as a humanitarian venture and conducted under the supervision of the International Red Cross, the scheme was actually the result of political intrigues involving the governments of Japan, North Korea, the Soviet Union, and the United States. The great majority of the Koreans who journeyed to North Korea in fact originated from the southern part of the Korean peninsula, and many had lived all their lives in Japan. Though most left willingly, persuaded by propaganda that a bright new life awaited them in North Korea, the author draws on recently declassified documents to reveal the covert pressures used to hasten the departure of this unwelcome ethnic minority. For most, their new home proved a place of poverty and hardship; for thousands, it was a place of persecution and death. In rediscovering their extraordinary personal stories, this book also casts new light on the politics of the Cold War and on present-day tensions between North Korea and the rest of the world.
Description : To much of the world, North Korea is an impenetrable mystery, its inner workings unknown and its actions toward the outside unpredictable and frequently provocative. Tyranny of the Weak reveals for the first time the motivations, processes, and effects of North Korea’s foreign relations during the Cold War era. Drawing on extensive research in the archives of North Korea’s present and former communist allies, including the Soviet Union, China, and East Germany, Charles K. Armstrong tells in vivid detail how North Korea managed its alliances with fellow communist states, maintained a precarious independence in the Sino-Soviet split, attempted to reach out to the capitalist West and present itself as a model for Third World development, and confronted and engaged with its archenemies, the United States and South Korea. From the invasion that set off the Korean War in June 1950 to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Tyranny of the Weak shows how—despite its objective weakness—North Korea has managed for much of its history to deal with the outside world to its maximum advantage. Insisting on a path of "self-reliance" since the 1950s, North Korea has continually resisted pressure to change from enemies and allies alike. A worldview formed in the crucible of the Korean War and Cold War still maintains a powerful hold on North Korea in the twenty-first century, and understanding those historical forces is as urgent today as it was sixty years ago.
Description : A non-fiction thriller by international bestselling author Blaine Harden (Escape from Camp 14) that explores the world's most repressive state through the intertwined lives of two North Koreans, one infamous, one obscure: Kim Il Sung, the former North Korean leader and No Kum Sok, once the state's youngest jet fighter pilot. Shortly before the Korean War ended, No Kum Sok met Kim Il Sung, who congratulated him for his flying skill and his courage. A few months later, No Kum Sok stole a Soviet-made MiG-15 and flew it to a US airfield in South Korea. Beginning with the arbitrary division of Korea in 1945 and ending two months after the shaky armistice that halted combat in the Korean War, The Great Leader & the Fighter Pilot is an ambitious and gripping book which digs deeply into the character of the Kim family dictatorship. At once an irresistible adventure story and an authoritative guide to the notorious state, it explains why North Korea remains so isolated, why it created and maintains a vast gulag of concentration camps, and why it is still so angry at the western world.