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Nazanin Zadeh-Cummings
and
Lauren Harris

Introduction The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, or North Korea) is well known in the media and amongst policymakers in relation to its cult of personality surrounding the Kim family, abuses of human rights, and nuclear weapons programme. In recent years, the DPRK’s relationship with the United States and the Republic of Korea (ROK, or South Korea) has seen both flickers of engagement and periods of increased animosity. In 2017, US President Donald Trump was threatening the DPRK with ‘fire and fury’, but less than a year later met with North

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Heonik Kwon

The Hill Fight of the Korean War constitutes an important chapter of the formative military conflict of the mid-twentieth century where the South Korean and other UN forces confronted the Chinese and North Korean forces. Currently, it has become a vital site of contested memory, especially in relation to the growing contest of power between the United States and the People’s Republic of China. Describing South Korea’s recent initiative of missing in action (MIA)/killed in action (KIA) accounting activities on these old battlegrounds since 2000, this article looks at how public actions concerning the remains of war are intertwined with changing geopolitical conditions. This will be followed by a reflection on the limits of the prevailing art and technology of war-remains accounting.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
The Korean Horror Films of Ahn Byeong-ki
Ian Conrich

The new wave of Korean cinema has presented a series of distinct genre productions, which are influenced by contemporary Japanese horror cinema and traditions of the Gothic. Ahn Byeong-ki is one of Korea‘s most notable horror film directors, having made four Gothic horrors between 2000 and 2006. These transnational horrors, tales of possession and avenging forces, have repeatedly been drawn to issues of modernity, loneliness, identity, gender, and suicide. Focusing on the figure of the ghostly woman, and the horrors of modern city life in Korea, this essay considers the style of filmmaking employed by Ahn Byeong-ki in depicting, in particular, the Gothic revelation.

Gothic Studies
Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s policies for repatriating soldiers’ remains and accounting for the missing after the Chinese Civil War and the Korean War
Liu Zhaokun

After the Chinese Civil War (1946–49), hundreds of thousands of graves of the People’s Liberation Army soldiers dotted the country’s landscape; the ensuing Korean War caused more casualties. Honouring this immense sacrifice and mobilising the survivors for its reconstruction were indispensable for the nascent People’s Republic of China. This research probes China’s policies to repatriate soldiers’ remains and account for those missing after these wars. The dilapidating status of soldiers’ graves threatened the morale of soldiers’ families, the backbone of the country’s socialist revolution. The state acknowledged families’ wishes to retrieve soldiers’ remains and nationalised their repatriation to salvage popular support. However, the deceased were not to drain the labour and resources reserved for the revolution. This principle had effectively prevented most families from retrieving remains. Accounting for missing soldiers was to ensure that only the revolutionary martyrs’ families could receive due honour and privilege.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Actions for the missing: scientific and vernacular forms of war dead accounting
Tâm T. T. Ngô
and
Sarah Wagner

This special issue examines Asian experiences of war and mass death in the previous century, with case studies from China, Japan, Korea and Vietnam (North and South, among its diaspora and across multiple generations). In this introduction we highlight several of the wider analytical interventions offered by the articles: (1) the spatiopolitical dynamics of war dead accounting in which forms of vernacular forensic expertise interact with and inform internationally honed, empirically grounded practices of exhumation and identification; (2) the complex hierarchy of authority over remains that structures programmes of war dead accounting; (3) the variegated (as opposed to monolithic) nature of war dead themselves; and (4) the material ecosystems of remains, graves, cemeteries and the non-human forces of decay acting upon them. Finally, the introduction highlights the issue’s comparative potential: that is, what these different cultural, religious and ideological modes of meaning-making reveal about why and how human remains matter in the aftermath of war – and not just according to Western notions of national memory politics in which the soldier stands in for the state and collective mourning animates the national imaginary.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Open Access (free)
Fernando Espada

of coronavirus cases in real time were not long ago scanning Twitter feeds in dread of the moment when US President Donald Trump would make good on his promise to unleash ‘fire and fury like the world has never seen’. Fortunately for life on earth, two summits, a ‘very beautiful letter’ to Trump from Kim Jong Un and a brief encounter between the two leaders in the Korean Demilitarised Zone appear to have delayed the moment of truth. However, as Nazanin Zadeh-Cummings and Lauren Harris explain in ‘The Impact of Sanctions against North Korea on Humanitarian Aid’, the

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
José Luís Fiori

identifies the threats to American national interests ( ibid .: 25–6): 1) Russia and China, the two great ‘revisionist powers’; 2) North Korea and Iran, two ‘rogue states’ that undermine geopolitical equilibrium in Northeast Asia and the Middle East; 3) ‘Jihadist terrorist groups’ and international criminal organisations that propagate violence and traffic drugs and arms. The document offers an extensive list of actions to be undertaken by the US to achieve strategic objectives and confront rivals, from controlling borders to increasing military

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
An Interview with Celso Amorim, Former Brazilian Foreign Minister
Juliano Fiori

states, others, like the GATT [General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade], were only for the capitalist world. There was an order, which, in theory, combined Western democracy with a more-or-less regulated capitalism: the so-called liberal order – although perhaps ‘liberal’ isn’t the most precise term, either in political or economic terms. There were of course other characteristics. The promotion of human rights became one, for example, albeit selective. When South Korea was still under dictatorship, we would ask ‘What about South Korea? Shouldn’t it

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Humanitarianism in a Post-Liberal World Order
Stephen Hopgood

. Your enemy will not be afraid of your retaliation if it has nuclear weapons and you do not, as Iran, Israel, North Korea and the US all understand. This need for parity is always an issue, classically captured by the relative stability of mutually assured destruction. But where China, Russia and the US are concerned, it doesn’t hold. Without the leverage provided by the US, whether through threats or incentives, China and Russia only need to agree to international rules when they choose to. Who could compel them to do otherwise (unless one of

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
A Congolese Experience
Justine Brabant

experienced this, and some have dared to describe this blindness. One was Jack London, the famous American writer sent to Korea to cover the Russo-Japanese war in 1904, who wrote, confused, of ‘black moving specks’, the ‘hubbub’, in short, ‘a war of ghosts’ (quoted in Audouin-Rouzeau, 2008 : 244). And when Le Figaro sent special correspondent Tanguy Berthemet to Sévaré (Mali) as France began its 2013 military operation (Operation Serval), he reported: ‘There is a war in

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs