Geography Archives: South Korea

  • The Imperial War Museum in London: A Lesson in State Propaganda?

    In January 2016, I attended Tate Britain’s Artist and Empire: Facing Britain’s Imperial Past, a disappointing exhibition that in spite of its title did not face Britain’s past in any meaningful way.  On the contrary, as I argued in my review, it shied away from this bloody history in favour of quasi-glorification, non-committal wording and […]

  • Anatomy of a Hatchet Job: Regarding Women Cross DMZ in CNN’s Situation Room

    A television news program opens with a clip of marching soldiers, an obligatory image when the subject is North Korea.  A voiceover intones: “A bold, ambitious plan apparently sanctioned by Kim Jong Un.  Is he in league with the women’s group to promote peace between North and South Korea?” The program in question is the […]

  • “Today Is the Day Democracy Is Murdered”: Wave of Repression Sweeps South Korea

    On December 19, the South Korean Constitutional Court delivered a devastating blow against the progressive movement when it disbanded the Unified Progressive Party (UPP) with immediate effect.  That act came as the culmination of a long campaign by South Korean President Park Geun-hye to shackle the labor movement and smash political opposition. The Constitutional Court […]

  • Imperialism and The Interview: The Racist Dehumanization of North Korea

      The haze of political chaos in America surrounding the Ferguson protests, the Torture Report, and the “relaxing” of US-Cuba relations has been broken by a media spectacle almost too ridiculous to comprehend.  A hacker group called the “Guardians of Peace” conducted a “cyber attack” on Sony Pictures Entertainment, leaking emails, documents, presentations, and information […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • What’s Behind the US Escalation Against North Korea?

      Aijaz Ahmad: Ever since this young man [Kim Jong-un] became the president, the head of state, of North Korea . . . the West has been testing his will, to see whether he can be stared down. . . .  Every year these very provocative war games take place, involving South Korea and the […]

  • Capitalism, Crises, and a Socialist Alternative: In Conversation With Michael A. Lebowitz

      Rebekah Wetmore and Ryan Romard (RW/RR): The crisis of world capitalism starting in 2007 was the most severe crisis of capitalism since the Great Depression and thus far the recovery, both globally and within Canada, has been weak at best.  With this mind, to what extent is the current crisis cyclical and in what […]

  • 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 […]

  • Russia, Turkey, and the US Push for Regime Change in Syria

    Seldom it is that the Russian Foreign Ministry chooses a Sunday to issue a formal statement.  Evidently, something of extreme gravity arose for Moscow to speak out urgently.  The provocation was the appearance of a United States guided missile cruiser in the Black Sea for naval exercises with Ukraine.  The USS Monterrey cruiser equipped with […]

  • Macroeconomic Policy Changes Have Helped Brazil Increase Growth, But Much More Is Needed

    From 2004 to 2010, Brazil’s economy grew at an average of 4.2 percent annually, or more than twice as fast as it had grown from 1999-2003; or for that matter, more than twice as fast as its annual growth from 1980-2000.  This was despite the impact of the world recession of 2009, which left Brazil […]

  • 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.  […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • The War Party Pushes Obama for Even More Iran Sanctions

    The first issue of The Weekly Standard for 2011 includes an article by Reuel Marc Gerecht and Mark Dubowitz, entitled “The Logic of Our Iran Sanctions: Accelerate Them Now.”  Gerecht and Dubowitz are both affiliated with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and are prominent voices in neoconservative circles focused on Iran.  We highlight their […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]