The Real North Korea : Life and Politics in the Failed Stalinist Utopia / Andrei Lankov.Material type: BookPublisher: New York, NY : Oxford University Press, Description: xvii, 315 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.ISBN: 9780199390038 (pbk. : acidfree paper).Subject(s): POLITICAL SCIENCE / General | HISTORY / Asia / General | POLITICAL SCIENCE / Government / Comparative | Korea (North) -- Politics and government -- 1994-2011 | Korea (North) -- Politics and government -- 2011- | Korea (North) -- Foreign relations | პოლიტიკური მეცნიერებები კორეა საგარეო ურთიერთობები პოლიტიკა მთავრობაDDC classification: 951.9305
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"Fully updated and revised."
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Machine generated contents note: -- Acknowledgments -- Introduction -- Transcription -- CHAPTER 1 The Society Kim Il Sung Built and How He Did It -- Captain Kim Returns Home -- The War and What came after -- Between Moscow and Beijing: The Foreign Policy of Kim Il Sung's North Korea -- Dealing with the South -- The Command Society -- A Country of Camps -- The World According to Kim Il Sung -- The Silver Lining in a Social Disaster -- The Birth of Juche, the Rise of the Son, and the Slow-Motion Demise of a Hyper-Stalinist Economy -- CHAPTER 2 Two Decades of Crisis -- And Then the World Changed -- Capitalism Reborn -- The State Withers Away -- Taking the Exit Option: Not an Exodus Yet, But. -- Arrival in Paradise, aka Capitalist Hell -- Changing Worldviews -- CHAPTER 3 The Logic of Survival (Domestically) -- Reform as Collective Political Suicide -- Putting the Genie Back in the Bottle: (Not-So-Successful) Crackdowns on Market Activity -- A Disaster That Almost Happened: The Currency Reform of 2009 -- Still Poor and Malnourished, but Starving No More -- CHAPTER 4 The Supreme Leader And His Era -- The Belated Emergence of a "Young General" -- The Sudden Dawn of a New Era -- Collapse of the old guard -- The New Policy -- The New Logic -- Tensions with the South -- CHAPTER 5 Survival Diplomacy -- Playing the Nuclear Card -- Aid-Maximizing Diplomacy -- Meanwhile, in South Korea. (the Rise of 386ers and Its Consequences) -- A Decade of Sunshine -- The Sun Sets -- The Entry of China -- Interlude The Contours of a Future: What Might Happen to North Korea in the Next Two Decades -- CHAPTER 6 What to Do about the North? -- Why Sticks Are Not Big Enough -- Why the Carrots Are Not Sweet Enough (and Why "Strategic Patience" Is Not a Great Idea, Either) -- Thinking Long Term -- The Hidden Benefits of Engagement -- Reaching the People -- Why They Matter: Working with the Refugees in South Korea -- CHAPTER 7 Being Ready for What We Wish For -- A Perfect Storm -- A Provisional Confederation as the Least Unacceptable Solution -- Something about Painkillers. -- Conclusion -- Notes -- Index.
"Andrei Lankov has gone where few outsiders have ever been. A native of the former Soviet Union, he lived as an exchange student in North Korea in the 1980s. He has studied it for his entire career, using his fluency in Korean and personal contacts to build a rich, nuanced understanding. In The Real North Korea, Lankov substitutes cold, clear analysis for the overheated rhetoric surrounding this opaque police state. After providing an accessible history of the nation, he turns his focus to what North Korea is, what its leadership thinks, and how its people cope with living in such an oppressive and poor place. He argues that North Korea is not irrational, and nothing shows this better than its continuing survival against all odds. A living political fossil, it clings to existence in the face of limited resources and a zombie economy, manipulating great powers despite its weakness. Its leaders are not ideological zealots or madmen, but perhaps the best practitioners of Machiavellian politics that can be found in the modern world. Even though they preside over a failed state, they have successfully used diplomacy-including nuclear threats-to extract support from other nations. But while the people in charge have been ruthless and successful in holding on to power, Lankov goes on to argue that this cannot continue forever, since the old system is slowly falling apart. In the long run, with or without reform, the regime is unsustainable. Lankov contends that reforms, if attempted, will trigger a dramatic implosion of the regime. They will not prolong its existence. Based on vast expertise, this book reveals how average North Koreans live, how their leaders rule, and how both survive"-- Provided by publisher.