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Crisis, reform and recovery
Shalendra D. Sharma

The Asian financial crisis 4 Korea: crisis, reform and recovery We don’t know whether we would go bankrupt tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. I can’t sleep since I was briefed. I am totally flabbergasted . . . This is the bottom. It’s a matter of one month, no, even one day. I just can’t understand how the situation came to this (President-elect Kim Dae-Jung, December 23, 1997).1 In the 1950s, Korea was among the poorest countries in the world, with a per capita income of under US$100. In per capita terms, this placed the country below Haiti, Ethiopia, Peru

in The Asian financial crisis
Nazanin Zadeh-Cummings
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
Abstract only
The Korean War in popular memory, 1953– 2014
Grace Huxford

157 v 6 v Forgetting Korea: The Korean War in popular memory, 1953–​2014 Former national service conscript Ronald Larby wrote in his self-​ published memoir that after the war: Everything and everybody connected with … Korea just simply sank out of sight. Years went by during which time I never met anyone who had served in Korea. There were no books in the library and no films about Korea. There was nothing. It was as though it –​the Korean War –​had never happened. A truly forgotten war.1 Popular history has an abundant supply of books claiming to recover

in The Korean War in Britain
Hope, crisis, and pragmatism in democratic transition

How does civil society come together and disperse inside a rapidly industrialised and democratised nation? South Korean civil movement organisations is an ethnographic study of the social movements and advocacy organisations inside South Korea as well as practical methods in democratic transition more generally. The book is based on two years of fieldwork inside a handful of NGOs, NPOs, and think tanks in Seoul as the ‘386 generation’ came to lead during the Roh Moo Hyun presidency (2003-8). It is a rich exploration of the many crises, hopes, practical projects and pragmatic theories that animated South Korean activists, coordinators, lawyers, politicians, ‘social designers’ and academics of various stripes. From the Citizens’ Alliance for the 2000 General Elections (CAGE) to the 2002 World Cup co-hosted by Japan and South Korea, this book tells the stories of consequence to freshly render South Korean politics relevant to many Asian, European, Middle Eastern, and North as well as South American contexts. At the same time, it uniquely frames the theoretical and methodological moments for new ethnographies through the shared, yet disparate experiences of pragmatism, (social) design, and (democratic) transition.

Bruce Cumings

Introduction President Barack Obama’s historic “Pivot” to Asia, formally announced in late 2011, would come to have little appreciable effect on US policy towards the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), other than a dramatic uptick in Kim Jong-un’s nuclear weapons development programme. Obama’s “strategic patience” towards Pyongyang failed to halt or slow its development of weapons of mass destruction, but it did manage to initiate greater levels of Sino-US cooperation over sanctioning the regime, the introduction of more US resources and weapons to

in The United States in the Indo-Pacific
Conventional and alternative security scenarios
Roland Bleiker

D EALING WITH North Korea is perhaps one of the most difficult security challenges in global politics today. 1 Totalitarian and reclusive, ideologically isolated and economically ruined, it is the inherent ‘other’ in a globalized and neo-liberal world order. And yet, North Korea keeps surviving, not least because its leaders periodically rely

in Critical Security in the Asia-Pacific
Carol Medlicott

Introduction North Korea. The common name of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), that truculent little pariah state, conjures an Orwellian image of grim dystopia where the repressed population struggles under poverty as appalling as the dogma is rigid. Proclaimed by George W. Bush as part of an ‘axis of evil’, North Korea since the mid-1990s has garnered

in Cinematic countrysides
Experiencing battle
Grace Huxford

52 v 2 v You’re in Korea my son: Experiencing battle In 1951, a soldier poet calling himself ‘Rudyard N.G. Orton’ subverted Rudyard Kipling’s famous poem ‘If ’: If you can work on trucks when spanners freeze you With a bolt … it’s agony to touch When a mug o ‘char’s the only thing to please you And news of note is never very much If you can wait in some towns for one minute While other people burn and run Yours is the stores and everything that’s in it And which is more, you’re in KOREA my son.1 This light-​hearted reimagining of Kipling’s poem lists the

in The Korean War in Britain
Hyangjin Lee

Class is one of the foremost factors in the formation of cultural identities of contemporary Koreans living as a divided nation. Class conflict was a major contributor to the breakout of the Korean War, 1 and the ongoing confrontation between North and South is, arguably, the manifestation of their fundamentally irreconcilable stances on class issues. Class defines Koreans’ selfhood in both personal

in Contemporary Korean cinema
Cheolung Choi

guaranteed a huge sum of money if they manage to survive. Many Koreans sympathise with this grim scenario. As one young freelance office worker in Seoul was quoted as saying in The New York Times , ‘I wonder how many people would participate if Squid Game was held in real life.’ 3 Empathising with the precarity of the drama’s protagonists, he imagined that many of his peers would risk it all. The

in Clickbait capitalism