SWOT Analysis: North Korea
The Intelligence Community had made significant strides against North Korea when it comes to that country's nuclear weapons program. However, that does not mean that everything has been figured out or that there are no other issues that have to be considered. With that in mind, a SWOT analysis can provide more insight into whether the Intelligence Community is doing the right thing, and whether it has enough knowledge to adequately plan for what North Korea might do in the future. Understanding the nuclear weapons program that North Korea currently has, and what kind of program it may still be developing in the future, is vital to making sure that the Intelligence Community is prepared for changes that the country might be making to the power it has in the world (North, 2005). The danger that North Korea presents is real, and should not be underestimated just because the country is relatively quiet about what it is doing with its nuclear program.
There are a number of strengths that the Intelligence Community has when it comes to knowledge of North Korea's nuclear program. These include:
Knowledge that the country actually does have a nuclear power program.
An understanding that the nuclear power program is not just about powering the country, but also about weapons.
Insider information based on inspections that have been done of the nuclear power program in that country (Busch, 2004).
The ability to have a dialogue with the leaders of the country in an effort to discuss the nuclear program.
Sanctions and other options that can be used if North Korea does not comply with inspections and information (Myers & Sang-Hun, 2012).
A number of allied countries that will work together to ensure that North Korea is transparent about the information it provides in its nuclear program.
Agreements with a number of countries that have dealings with North Korea, so that many countries will work together to keep all of those countries honest -- and that includes North Korea.
The power of international dealings that can be used in order to keep each country in line when it comes to nuclear power.
Even though the strengths of the Intelligence Community are important, there are also weaknesses that have to…… [Read More]
Iraq and North Korea's threats to America. Is Iraq a greater threat or is North Korea? It is explained that Iraq has to be greater threat to America's interests as the latter wishes to protect the integrity of North Korea's neighbors. Iraq's threat to America is also seen as more dangerous than that of North Korea because of Hussein's global reputation.
Threat to America: Iraq or North Korea?
Using force against North Korea seems inappropriate because the Communist nation looks less vulnerable to attack than Iraq, and thus, less of a threat to America than Iraq. There are three reasons for opposing an attack on North Korea and these reasons have to do with the protection and honor of the neighbors of North Korea. War also appears as a less compelling option in dealing with North Korea because its nuclear weapons threaten American interests less than Iraqi nuclear arms would. A nuclear-armed Saddam Hussein would be more dangerous to the United States than a nuclear-armed Kim Jong-il. Besides, the protection of the interests of Iraq's neighbors stays as less of an interest to America, making it almost irrelevant for America to oppose war on Iraq based on the interests of the neighbors of Iraq.
A war to destroy the North Korean nuclear program does not seem feasible for three reasons. First, the Pyongyang regime may already have such weapons, which it could hurl at South Korea in response to an attack. Second, even without nuclear arms, North Korea has enough firepower to inflict severe damage on South Korea, especially the capital, Seoul -- even though a war would surely end with the demise of the Communist government. One reason countries seek nuclear weapons has to be to deter attacks by their neighbors. North Korea can already do this without nuclear arms. Third, North Korea's neighbors, whose views the United States must respect, strongly oppose war. South Korea naturally…… [Read More]
Korean Peninsula and World Politics: A study of North Korea
Having been described as one of the most secretive states in the world, where even calculations of economic indicators is a difficult job to attain, there seems to be two very different perspectives of what North Korea is and the sentiments towards it. One is obviously the sentiments of the West, which has long considered it as an enemy state due to its strict regime and censorship policies, which has provided its citizens with no human rights. USA in a fact has put up quite an argument against the regime of North Korea stating again and again how the citizens of North Korea are being suppressed under the authoritative rule of Kim Jong Li.
The second perception is that which is delivered to us through the documentary "A State of Mind" which follows the lives of two gymnastics, who are training to appear for the Mass Games -- the perfect emancipation of the North Korean philosophy of collective over individual. It follows their routine and provides us an insight into their thinking and how they themselves perceive this regime and its leader. This perception is the complete opposite of whatever is being perceived by the West. The documentary shows the high sense of love and respect that people have for their leader, whoever, and it can be argued whether the means of maintaining this love and respect are in anyway legitimate.
The documentary in its own is rather about the lives of these two young gymnasts, but it ponders on every topic that may arrive when one thinks about North Korea. There is a constant hint on the status of the women by mentioning the mother and the grandmother of these two gymnasts as housewives only.
The children, the main focus of the documentary, have the same trivial issues that any child may feel at this young age, ranging from for a need for friend or brother or sisters, or not waking up for school without resistance, etc. however, this document of the lives is enough to establish the fact that through a severe propaganda, in which the image of the Supreme Leader and the Communist state is induced into people through every form and medium, so much so that it is impossible to escape from it. You find it in the school…… [Read More]
Military Structure and Capabilities of North Korea
The objective of this study is to examine the military structure and capabilities for North Korea including North Korea's Army, Navy, Air Force, and Special Forces. This work will answer as to how the military is employed in the development and protection of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD).
Scobell and Sanford (2007) write that since the beginning of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) in 1948 "the Pyongyang regime has had two national strategic objectives: (1) the perpetuation of the regime; and (2) reunification of the Korean Peninsula under North Korea's control." (p. viii) Lovelace writes that militarianism "has remained an essential aspect of the DPRK throughout its existence, and the armed forces constitute a central element of the regime. The Korean People's Army (KPA), the name given to all services of North Korea's military, is the core element for the realization of North Korea's national strategy. This strategy calls for giving priority to military issues over everything else and the DPRK constitutes the most militarized state on earth measured by a variety of indicators." (Scobell and Sanford, 2007, p.viii) Lovelace writes that the KPA is such that emerged in the 1920s from guerrilla origins then evolving into a "Hybrid force with elements of Soviet and Chinese doctrines and organization." (Scobell and Sanford, 2007, p. viii) Embraced by this tradition, according to Lovelace are concepts of "self-reliance and self-sufficiency" which are reported as being "consistent with the DPRK ideology of Juche." (Lovelace, Scobell and Sanford, 2007, p. viii)
II. North Korean Military Doctrine
The military doctrine of North Korea is reported as having shifted away from "the doctrine of regular warfare to a doctrine that embraced People's War." (Scobell and Sanford, 2007, p. viii) Lovelace reported that Kim II Sun "espoused Four Military Lines" including those stated as follows:
(1) arm the entire population;
(2) fortify the entire country;
(3) train the entire…… [Read More]
The U.S. Army 2d Infantry Division, together with South Korean forces, is likewise poised near the demilitarized zone. The 2d Infantry Division is also supported by massive air power that could easily -- and quickly -- decimate North Korea just as air power was used during the Korean War to level hundreds of North Korean cities, towns and villages. According to Bechtel, "The 2d Infantry Division operates 30 multiple-rocket-launcher systems and 30 M109A6 Paladin self-propelled howitzers" (p. 76).
Taken together, the research showed that it is little wonder that North Korea is jittery about tens of thousands of American troops remaining on South Korean soil and its nuclear arms program and military buildup can be better understood when these issues are taken into account. Given the uneasy state of affairs that exists between North and South Korea as well as the United States today, an objective observer might suggest that North Korea was justified in its militarism. After all, it is unlikely that the United States would tolerate a North Korean infantry division armed to the teeth stationed right across the border in Canada or Mexico. By maintaining a substantial military presence in South Korea, the United States may be doing more harm than good by keeping the North Korean leadership nervous and forcing them to counter with their own military forces along the 38th parallel. The research also showed that there were in fact two sides to this story, and a more balanced view of the historical events that created the current situation on the Korean peninsula is needed to help understand North Korea's views about the West.… [Read More]
m. To 6 a.m.), the overtime premium is 100% of the hourly wage rate. In some cases, North Korean workers have asked for additional night shift or weekend work in order to qualify for additional pay. Companies also may pay cash rewards as a special incentive. KIC employees receive 14 days per year in vacation time. At first, North Korean workers were reluctant to ask for leave time, but now they do. Female employees receive 60 days paid maternity leave. Labor costs in Kaesong are approximately 8% of those in a South Korean metropolitan area. South Korean labor laws extend to South Korean workers in the KIC." (Nanto and Manyin, 2008)
It was reported that Unification Ministry officials confirmed in April 2007 that the DPRK had made a request that pay be raised 30% and 10% for members of the North Korean workforce who had graduated from two- and four-year colleges respectively. The two categories comprise approximately 11% each of the workforce of North Korea in the KIC. It is related that wages are paid in dollars to North Korean workers. Additionally the labor law in Article 43 of the Labor Law of the Kaesong Industrial Complex states that "wages must be paid directly to employees in cash." (Nanto and Manyin, 2008) However, according to the DPRK "this is not being implemented now because of the lack of foreign exchange centers in the KIC." (Nanto and Manyin, 2008) According to the ROK Ministry of Unification "...$57.50 minimum monthly salary, $7.50 or 15% of the base pay goes for social insurance (providing for unemployment and occupational hazards). The government also deducts $15 or 30% for a socio-cultural policy fee that goes for rental of state-owned housing, education, medical services, social insurance, and social welfare and reportedly is given to the Kaesong City People's Committee. According to the Ministry, the remaining $35 is paid to the workers in cash (upwards of 5% in North Korean won) or as chits that can be exchanged for daily supplies (food…… [Read More]
Were it not for the rarity of books on this subject, it is unlikely it would have found a publisher. One can only wish that Breen had a more scrupulous use of words and analysis to make up for what he lacks in facts. His challenging thesis and advocacy of negotiation is thought-provoking, but more evidence and research is required to take it seriously from a policy maker's viewpoint.
One of the reasons Breen's analysis may be lacking is that he is not an academic or a policy analyst. Rather, he is a Seoul-based management consultant, hence his possible sympathy to the prospect of negotiating with North Korea, which has considerable support in the South, for obvious emotional reasons, as the split between the two sides sundered families and loved ones. Breen was once a journalist. This explains his surprisingly colloquial style. He now specializes in advising businesses how to profit from their dealings with the communist state. This is yet another reason why financial dealings with the Jong regime may be less off-putting to him than other policy analysts and may ultimately have biased his judgment (Runkel, 2007).
Works… [Read More]
The World Politics of the Korean Peninsula: North Korea
The History Channel produces and broadcasts both a provocative and informative special about modern political history in North Korea. The focus is upon the leader, the dynasty, and the legacy of the leader Kim II Sung and Kim Jong-il. The film focuses upon the current leader as well as the leadership of his father of the same name. Documentaries, particularly those about history, have an arduous challenge of maintaining the attention of the viewers and maintaining a cooperative balance between being educational and serving as entertainment. This short documentary by the History Channel achieves this balance successfully. As a historical documentary, a significant portion of the content consists of interviews, necessarily. A documentary full of "talking heads," (a term used in the film and media industries to indicate what is only on the screen i.e. people talking) is boring and loses the audience almost immediately. Variety keeps documentaries interesting no matter how compelling the subject matter, as is the case of the subject matter of "Kimjongilia."
The producers and research team of this documentary weave together interviews that in of themselves exceptionally compelling. The interviews vary in how they are shot (cinematography) in some cases to protect the identities of those interviewed and in other cases simply to offer aesthetic variety. Nonetheless, the interviews are compelling for several reasons. Firstly, each person interviewed comes from a very different social and class background from the others. Many times when people in the world learn of social atrocities committed in other countries, there is a presumption with support from media representations that the people who suffer in these kinds of situations are very poor, uneducated and deprived of other privileges of society. The endeavor to understand or investigate North Korean politics is no doubt arduous and ultimately doomed as Koh writes:
"Simply put, hard empirical data on the most pivotal aspects of North Korean politics -- such as its decision-making processes, recruitment and mobility patterns of its political, bureaucratic,…… [Read More]
Diplomatic Relations with North Korea
North Korea has a centralized government under the rigid control of the communist Korean Workers' Party (KWP), to which all government officials belong (U.S. Department of State, 2012). There are a couple other parties that are in existence in North Korea, however these parties have virtually no power or membership. Given the tight reign of control the government keeps on its population, much of the countries activities are elusive. North Korea and the United States have a long history of conflict that has stifled many diplomatic efforts. Furthermore, the United States has backed South Korea since the Second World War and recent military actions by North Korea have also heightened tensions (Yang, Hall, & Vanden, 2010).
There are no official diplomatic relations between the U.S. And North Korea and the unofficial ones are strained from many sources. First of all North Korea has a substantial army, one of the biggest militaries in the world. Their military forces are estimated to contain roughly one point two million active duty members; nearly double the force of their South Korean neighbors (U.S. Department of State, 2012). Some analysts had believed that the Pentagon has inflated the North Korean threat in order to rationalize a missile defense system that would allow the U.S. To fight two wars simultaneously (Feffer, 1999). However, more recently North Korea has emerged as a potential nuclear threat that makes the adversarial relationship more credible.
North Korea just announced a series of economic reforms under its new leader Kim Jong-un. However, analyses are still speculating about the status of North Korea's nuclear program even though news of this has largely been dropped from the major headlines (Snyder, 2012). North Korea did agree to a moratorium on its nuclear development in exchange for "food aid." However, recently the…… [Read More]
Stabilizing International Relations in East Asia and Possibility of Institutionalization
The current relationship status between nations in East Asia is souring as the clock ticks. There is major instability with regards to the security problems especially as far as the North and South Korea are concerned. An arms race is going on with North Korea trying to accumulate Weapons of Mass Destruction. Recently it announced of its possession. This project aims to find a solution to eliminate this instability and how the nations can come together to ensure peace in the region.
Asian countries are facing a block in their relationship with each other. India and Pakistan are hardly moving forward on the Kashmir Issue while the Koreas are still in an unstable environment. The common denominator to cause such instability is the proliferation of weapons and the question of how to set the standards of common security. With the U.S. aiming for the elitist weapons, and aiding South Korea, begins a chain reaction in countries like China and North Korea that opt for producing more sophisticated weapons 'China's chief of arms control issued a new warning ... that U.S. plans for a national missile defense system, even if intended to stop attacks from countries like North Korea and Iraq, would set off a global arms race and cause more countries to develop nuclear weapons" (Eric Eckholm: 1999)
The Koreas have fought previously with the U.S. aiding the South while China aiding the North. At the 38 parallel there lies now a 2000m wide demilitarized zone. The relations of the East Asian countries have always been sour and China has fought nearly all of its neighbors. In the early 1990s, an analysis of the relationship of East Asian countries as well as East Asian security has resulted in labeling them as a dangerous neighborhood. North Korea remained a state with…… [Read More]
History Of Kim Jong Il
In today's deeply heated political push with North Korea, my would like to know more about Kim Jong Il? Little is to be found about him, which fuels speculation and rumor. North Korea claims that Kim Jong Ils official birthplace is on sacred Mount Paektu, according to Carol Clark, CNN reporter. However, she states, "objective" researchers place his birth in the Far Eastern region of the Soviet Union on February 16, 1942. (CNN). Kim Jong Il graduated from Pyongyang's Kim Il Sung University in 1964. Shortly after graduating, he assumed the role of culture czar for the Workers Party, focusing on producing plays and films. (CNN) Clark reports that in 1980 Kim Jong Il was formally designated as successor to his father. (CNN)
Following his succession, Kim Jong Il attained high-ranking posts in the Military Commission and the Party Secretariat. (CNN) According to Bruce Cumings, author of Korea's Place in the Sun, preparations were being made for Kim Jong Il's succession in the 70s, and by 1973, he was already involved party organizational work. (Cumings 409) Kim Jong Il assumed the title "Dear Leader" and the government "began spinning a personality cult around him patterned after that of his father, the 'Great Leader'" (CNN).
According to the Korean Overseas Information Service, who published the Handbook of Korea, North Korea has not hesitated to show that it would use "terrorism to carry out a policy of animosity against the South" (Handbook of Korea 337). For example, the South Korean presidential delegation was bombed in 1983 and Korean Alight 858 was bombed in 1987 killing 115 people aboard. (337) North Korea has also consistently broken off any chances for discussing reunification or refused to follow through with participation toward any type of peace. (337)
In fact, recently, representatives from the United States, China, Japan, Russia and both Koreas met in Beijing in an attempt to diffuse the nuclear tension with Pyongyang. After the meeting, North Korea "angrily dismissed the need for more talks and threatened to strengthen its 'nuclear…… [Read More]
Such a fact has troubled the international community greatly. Other reactions have included international condemnation of the tests as a blatantly executed threat.
In 2006, sanctions were placed against North Korea among other nations by the international communities to cease their nuclear development.
However, this tactic has only proven to provoke North Korean resistance to cease nuclear testing.
This leads the international community to wonder about what will happen next. How will the international world react to these blatant moves towards nuclear capabilities?
How will other nations react to North Korea's actions will determine real political action in the future. There are several major nations within the Western World and its allies which have the potential to be seriously affected by both threats and exercises of North Korean nuclear strength. U.S. friendly South Korea is in direct line for nuclear North Korean aggression.
Democratic Japan and United States are also in potential range for more developed North Korean weapons.
Such nations are reacting defensively, and arming themselves in preparation. The U.S. has been particular to show distress and call for injunctions against further North Korean testing.
Yet, may others have expressed the need for the international community to not allow North Korea to provoke aggression.
Some even claim the tests to be nothing more than a show of power.
Understanding this tension provides a way to potentially avoid disastrous situations.
That is why this case is so important to current political study.
Associated Press. "North Korea Missile Tests Puts World on Edge; U.S., Japan ad South Korea Deploy Warships." New York Daily News. 2009. Retrieved November 23,… [Read More]
Firstly, he is seen as a dictator and one of the last posts of the communist regime by most of the western world. Therefore, the power given by the possession of a nuclear device is indeed a worrying perspective, considering the fact that the Korean leader is known for his opaque foreign policy. At the same time, the Western countries are worried by the latest tests also in the light of the 9/11 events, which reshaped the perspective from which we tend to view threats. Thus, it is possible that the technology used by the North Koreans to reach third parties, such as terrorist organizations. If a state's bellicose intentions to some extent can be controlled through sanctions and even military strikes, in the case of non-state actors, this is practically impossible, as the recent experiences involving especially Al Qaeda have shown. Therefore, in such a situation, the international system would indeed become rather unstable and subject to constant threats.
Taking this into consideration, it may appear quite odd that the international community does not engage fully in the initiatives to try and stop the North Koreans in their actions. This lack of unanimity is justified by the national interests of all those involved. There are two consecrated ways of dealing with the Korean situation. On the one hand, there is the side which favors a negotiated, peaceful, and gradual agreement with the Korean part. Each in its turn is following their national dictated position. Russia and China are in no means eager to accept to rally to the U.S. position seeing that this would enable the American side to have the upper hand in subsequently conducting the negotiations. At the same time it would be a certification of the fact that the U.S. has indeed the right and capabilities to intervene in every aspect both national and international. Therefore, they are reluctant to support the U.S. stand. Moreover, there is also the matter of the economic impact that more strict sanctions would have over the relations between them. The fact that Il's…… [Read More]
North Korea has acknowledged that it has a development program for nuclear technology. International talks and pressure tactics have attempted to halt this perceived proliferation of nuclear weapons; however, the methods used (from political pressure to sanctions) have not been successful. I will argue that North Korean proliferation is not the security threat feared by the West and explore how nuclear advances in Southeast Asia may actually help stabilize the region, as opposed to the prevailing opinion that a nuclear North Korea is a situation to be avoided at all costs.
In order to study the international relations of the Korean Peninsula and make the argument that a North Korean nuclear program may actually increase regional security, I am going to endeavor to find sources which are related to the subject both generally as well as specifically. This will first include an investigation of the major theories of international relations and the research of political scientists such as Cho, Waltz, Mearshimer, Nye, and Walz, to name only a few of the significant theories that may be applied to the North Korean situation.
To investigate the current political situation there, I will be using many of the secondary sources such as books and journals that are more reliable and recognised than ones on the Internet. As the topic is dealing with the issue of nuclear weapons proliferation, which is updated on regular basis, it is essential that I also put a focus on newspapers and magazines. One of my subjects this semester is called "Contemporary Asian Security;" research and current developments in this are will constitute a significant portion of my dissertation. Because the subject itself is mainly about East Asian security reading and research throughout the course should be helpful to understanding general relations in the area, which will contribute to a better understanding of specific relations; specifically, the regional debate and potential consequences of a North Korean nuclear program..In exploring these different resources, I will detail how different international relations theories treat the North Korean issue. Secondly, I will examine the specific situation in North Korea and the influences on the nation to develop a nuclear program; this section of the dissertation…… [Read More]
The fundamentals of exchange theory are illustrated at Appendix a. This approach to analyzing the current situation in North Korea will help add to the existing body of knowledge by developing fresh insights into the possible motivating factors that have characterized North Korea's negotiations with the West in general and the United States in particular in the past and will help address the hypothesis to be tested which is stated below.
The likelihood that it will be possible to persuade North Korea to dismantle its nuclear capability will be increased if American military forces are removed from South Korea.
This hypothesis will be qualitatively tested based on a preponderance of the evidence that results from the critical review of the literature described above.… [Read More]
Furthermore, an outright war could embroil the United States in a conflict far bigger than Iraq or Afghanistan, causing serious detriment to life, liberty and economic stability (Farrell, 2006).
At this point, North Korea is still engaged in a process of saber-rattling. Their ability to impact markets and security is limited, but should the North Korean government make a bolder move, or force the West into a response, the situation on the Korean peninsula could destabilize the entire world.
Works… [Read More]
After dividing into the two nations, the Korea's still had problems with what their arrangement turned out to be. South and North Korea both wanted land that turned out to be in each other possession, something that they did not want. Because of this fight over land, politics, and rights, a civil war broke out. South Korea received most of the blame for this war within one country. South Korea was said to provoke the North and were actually the ones who not only started most battles, but also was the side that sent the most troops in to invade North Korea. This strong overwhelming insurgence from both sides made this civil war one that would damage land and its people far beyond repair.
This was a very sad occurrence as it was a war between a nation that had high hopes of being freed from an overbearing power, such as Japan. After so many decades under Japanese rule, Korea was finally free to establish itself as its own independent nation, but instead had so many political, governmental, and outside forces influencing their every decision, that it instead caused a turmoil that is still present till this day. When Korea was finally no longer under Japan's colonization, it instead turned one people against another and at the cost of so many lives. What is even more astonishing about all this, the disagreements, the civil war, is that even after all that fighting, and all the deaths, everything is still the same. Nothing was won, but so much was lost. Had it not been for so many outside influences, influences that did not fully comprehend their already established culture, and their way of living, things could have turned out differently. If maybe from the beginning Korea itself could have determined where divisions were to be set, or if even divisions were necessary, this civil war could have been avoided, or if not avoided, it's damage on families, land, and culture could have been far less than it actually…… [Read More]
This policy has led to an increasingly negative view of this country abroad, as well as likely increased the danger presented by unstable regimes like that in operation in North Korea.
The changes that are likely to occur after Obama's inauguration are difficult to predict. As mentioned above, an increase in negotiations and the possibility of more concessions on the part of the United States, at least in terms of aid, are likely to be seen. By appointing the more hawkish Hillary Clinton to the position of Secretary of State, however, Obama may be signaling that is approach will be hard-lined than has previously been believed (Beck 2008, par. 5). Only time will tell, of course, although North Korea's announcement that they have discontinued their nuclear weapons research is encouraging place at which to begin the historical negotiations.… [Read More]
North and South Korea
The war between North and South Korea is now a few decades old. Ever since the two countries split in the 1950's, the world has been trying to find a way to reunite both the land and its citizens, some of whom have not seen their family for many decades. No other country in the world exists in the same complete (literal) darkness as North Korea. Sheltered from the world, the country and its citizens are living stuck in time, without modern technology and conveniences. However, North Korea does show its prowess once in awhile to discourage other from encroaching upon its authoritarian territory. This short analysis will focus on the situation between the two countries, complete with an analysis of their respective populations. [1: McDonald, M. (2010). "Crisis Status' in South Korea After North Shells Island." New York Times. Retrieved April 19, 2011, from . ]
North and South Korea were once one country. In the 1950's as aforementioned, the South allied with the United State and the North became community, thus successfully splitting. Since that time, the North's philosophy has been one of "self-sufficient industrialization." The government in the North, headed by Kim Jong-Il, is a centrally planned Communist republic, who control foreign trade and any other contact with the outside world. To make matters worse, North Koreans are not allowed to travel outside their country at all. Even within the country, citizens need special visas to visit a neighboring city, and spies are everywhere. [2: Source provided by customer. ]
In the South, however, the situation is much better. The South has been able to use American principles to advance its economy, and now it is one of the most powerful economies in the world. The difference between the two countries is remarkable. For example, take GDP. North Korea is at…… [Read More]
North/South Korea + Korean-Americans
The Two Koreas:
South Korea is known today as one of the rising economic giants of the industrialized world. The nation is a respected U.S. ally, and a center for fashion and technology, not to mention other industries. While South Korea's "star" is on a constant rise, its neighbor, North Korea, continues to live in a tightly closed society, with restrictive and degrading practices, whereby its citizens are almost like robots, not allowed to think for themselves, to eat properly, or to explore their world. The different between the two countries is stark, and in order to even begin to understand South Korea's ability to progress so much, one must analyze its history. However, for the purposes of this paper, three main questions will be analyzed in order to begin to understand the two countries in an initial phase:
South Korea's path of democratization in the 1980s and 1990s will be described,
North Korea's policies in the 1990s will also be described, and,
3. Lastly, the paper will describe the Korean diaspora with a focus on America.
South Korea Democratization in the 1990s
Korea was "supposed to be" a mix of "cheap and disciplined labor, talented technocrats," high GNP, equal distribution of wealth, and citizens who "never said Yankee, go home," according to Bruce Cummings who writes about the phenomenon in his book Korea's Place in the Sun, upon which the following paragraphs are based. However, according to Cummings, this model did not quite work out. Until 1992, every single Korean republic, in the South, was ended by either a coup or a massive uprising. In order to illustrate this, the author has separated the period from the 1960's to 1992 in two segments:
The first period is from 1961-1979, ruled by Park Chung Hee, and known as the Third Republic. This period ended due to a coup that eventually resulted in Park's murder "at the hands of his own intelligence chief," according to the author.
The second period is from 1980-1987, under Chun Doo Hwan, and this was the next longest period in Korean history. It began and ended with popular rebellions, "that…… [Read More]