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(264) North Korean Heroes
No ideology can survive without a hero or, rather, a large number of heroes. Religions need martyrs, to be remembered for centuries, nationalisms cherish the fallen freedom fighters, and states create elaborate rituals to preserve the memory of ..

(263) Small Red Capitalists
The last decade has seen the quiet collapse of Stalinism in North Korea. Yes, while the country's political structure still remains largely Stalinist, its economy has changed profoundly and perhaps irreversibly. This was not a result of some planne..

(262) Goodbye Lenin, Hello Dangun
The early communists were passionately internationalist and anti-nationalist. They sincerely believed that nationalism was a malicious creation of the ruling class and therefore could only exist in a doomed capitalist society.

(261) North Korean Weddings
Like most people who have some experiences with both North and South Korea, I cannot help but occasionally wonder at the similarities between the policies adopted by these two arch-rivals on particular questions. Actually, this is hardly surprising..

(260) Kim Il-sung University
The year 1946 was marked by many firsts in Korean history. The newly independent country (or two emerging countries) was busily acquiring the attributes of nationhood, from road police to a customs service, from an army to a health-care system.

(259) North Koreas Symbols
Every state must have its anthem, flag, and coat of arms - or must it? This package, now taken for granted, became the worldwide standard only about a century ago, when European habits and traditions began to spread across the globe.

(258) Prisoners of Korean War
Perhaps no problem generated by the Korean War caused so much argument and excitement as the "prisoners' question." The plight of Westerners who found themselves guests of the Communists remained a much discussed topic for years after the war was o..

(257) North Korean Policy During China-USSR Feud in 1960s
By 1965 it appeared that North Korea had joined a small number of Communist countries in siding with Mao's China in its quarrel with the USSR. The relations between Moscow and Pyongyang were at an all time low. Pyongyang delegates attending interna..

(256) Trip of a Lifetime to NK by Ethnic Koreans in Japan
By the late 1970s, an estimated 95,000 ethnic Koreans from Japan had moved to the North for good. Even though they did not realize this at the time, for them this was a trip of no return. Once in the North, they would never again be allowed to go o..

(254) Korean War and Chinese Fortune-telling
On the morning of June 25, 1950, the Chinese leaders were told that communist North Korea, had launched a surprise attack against the capitalist South. They learned about this turn of events literally from the media specifically from reports from f..

(253) Southern Biases About North Korea
Last year I was reading a textbook on North Korean history, issued by a group of South Korean scholars. This was a good read, not so much because it provided new data, but because it was a wonderful testimony to the biases now so fashionable in Kor..

(251) Communist Birthright
One of the most common misperceptions of the Korean Left is to see North Korea as an embodiment of social equality. This indeed used to be the case in the first decade of its existence, but nowadays this perception is very far from the truth.

(250) Union of Women
There are numerous definitions of 'Stalinism' but most of them agree on one important point: they refer to 'mass mobilization' as an important feature of Stalinist politics. In other words, Stalinist governments are not satisfied when their subject..

(249) Liberation, War and Exodus
One of the most recurrent thematic images of the Korean War was that of the refugees crowds of refugees following the retreating armies, housed in tents and makeshift huts, undernourished, exhausted, depressed. These people easily caught the eye..

(248) Balancing Between 2 Communist Powers
By 1963, the inhabitants of the huge Soviet Embassy compound in downtown Pyongyang felt themselves under siege. All their communications with Koreans were supervised, and most North Koreans who had expressed some sympathy with Moscow had disappeare..

(247) A Womans Life
About a century ago, in the early 1900s, no major political movement could rival the Marxists in their commitment to gender equality. It was the time when women could not vote anywhere (well, anywhere apart from New Zealand and Australia), when the..

(246) Juche: Idea for All Times
The great and immortal idea of Juche, the most advanced social theory the world has ever known, was created by Kim Il-sung in 1930 when the ever-victorious general was 18 years old. Since then, the theory has been embraced by political and intellec..

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