North Korea: A Strange Socialist Fortress

Hardcover | November 1, 2000

byHy-sang Lee

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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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From the Publisher

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 histori...

Format:HardcoverDimensions:264 pages, 9.46 × 6.38 × 0.98 inPublished:November 1, 2000Publisher:Praeger PublishersLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0275969177

ISBN - 13:9780275969172

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?Although some readers may find Lee's book top heavy on economic matters, the in-depth analyses of the Kim's pet projects, from goat raising to dam building, are interesting as well as highly informative. Much of this information can be found in no other book on North Korea. Whenever the spotlight of public attention shines on isolated North Korea, as it did with the nuclear controversy of the early 1990's and more recenlty with President George W. Bush's designation of North Korea as a member of the "axis of evil," political pundits come out of the woodwork to speculate eagerly about what North Korea is up to and where it is going. Lee's solid research reminds us that North Korea was the same before it emerged from the shadow's and, notwithstanding the West's engagement, is likely to pursue its perverse "socialism in our own style" for some time to come.?-Journal of Asian Studies