Top Menu

Geography Archives: South Korea

Losing Heads and Sending Arms

Two famous heads got lost in Berlin.  Neither loss, I hasten to add, was connected with brutality.  From the past or near future, they caused melancholy or rejoicing, depending on your viewpoint. One loss really occurred twenty-two years ago, when the 62-foot red granite statue of Lenin on East Berlin’s Lenin Square and Lenin Allee […]

Continue Reading

Unraveling Capitalist Globalization

Despite the prolonged global economic crisis since 2007/2008, neo-liberal economic thought and practice continue to reign supreme.  In his important book Capitalist Globalization: Consequences, Resistance, and Alternatives (Monthly Review Press, 2013), Martin Hart-Landsberg makes a number of key interventions unraveling the myth of neo-liberalism as well as the dynamics underlying capitalist accumulation. First, he identifies […]

Continue Reading

Constructing the North Korean Revolution

Suzy Kim.  Everyday Life in the North Korean Revolution, 1945-1950.  Ithaca: Cornell University Press.  Cloth, 45.00, pp 307. With Everyday Life in the North Korean Revolution, 1945-1950, Suzy Kim has filled a major gap in the history of North Korea.  In the West, it has become customary to fixate on the top leadership in historical […]

Continue Reading

Momentous Agrarian Strike Brings Colombian Government to Table

The divide in Colombia between poverty-stricken rural masses and land-hungry ruling elements is famous for leading to serious conflict.  Farmers, agricultural workers, truckers, and traditional miners revived that pattern on August 19 as they launched a nationwide agrarian strike.  Government repression, true to form, was not lacking. Some farmers gain reasonable livelihoods from sales of […]

Continue Reading

Turkey Cools Down Tempers over Syria

As Monday dawned, Turkey kept its fingers crossed in keen anticipation of the nationwide address by President Bashar al-Assad on the situation in Syria.  Ankara sent an open message ahead of Assad’s speech that if he failed to announce reforms even in a third attempt, he would “miss a big chance” to preserve power. Turkey […]

Continue Reading

Turkey’s Not-So-Subtle Shift on Syria

An old story from Istanbul in the Ottoman era mentions a Turkish imam who killed a Christian and confessed the crime, whereupon he was advised by the judge to talk things over with the mufti who told him privately that a good Muslim never admitted felony against infidels and he should simply recant his confession.  […]

Continue Reading

Russia’s U-Turn

Russia went to the Group of Eight (G-8) summit meeting at Deauville as an inveterate critic of the “unilateralist” Western intervention in Libya, but came away from the seaside French resort as a mediator between the West and Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.  The United States scored a big diplomatic victory in getting Moscow to work […]

Continue Reading

Syria, Libya, and Russia’s Retreat from “Reset”

The last thing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev did before departing for France to attend this week’s Group of Eight summit meeting in Deauville was place a call to Damascus. Prima facie, one may think the call made sense, since, as Reuters reported, “Syria’s crackdown on pro-democracy protests” is going to be high on the agenda […]

Continue Reading
Korean Artillery Exchanges on Nov. 23

West Sea Crisis in Korea

  Contested Waters: Background to a Crisis 1. On November 23, 2010, military troops from the Republic of Korea (ROK, or South Korea) and the United States conducted war-simulation exercises, dubbed “Hoguk” [“Defend the State”], a massive joint endeavor involving 70,000 soldiers, 600 tanks, 500 warplanes, 90 helicopters, and 50 warships.  It was slated to […]

Continue Reading
Sinjuku Domannaka Demo

Unquiet on the Far Eastern Front

From the FWIW department, a video of an anti-war demonstration of 160 people in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan, on 5 December 2010. One of the themes of the Shinjuku demo, as shown in this poster, was (to paraphrase rather than translate): “‘China Will Invade Japan’?  Are You Nuts?” In other words, the crazy Japanese right-wingers are […]

Continue Reading

A New Bandung?

  Would you say that you’re among the pessimists who regard the five decades of African independence as five lost decades? I’m not a pessimist and I don’t think that these have been five lost decades.  I remain extremely critical, extremely severe with respect to African states, governments, and political classes, but I’m even more […]

Continue Reading