This paper, first of all, re-reads the memory of the 1937 deportation endured by the Koryŏin in Kazakhstan from the aspect of it being a traumatic memory. The aim is to see how the memory of deportation constructs into traumatic memory that is repeatedly summoned to the present rather than just remain in the past. In this paper, the deportation is seen as an incident that drove the Koryŏin out to the world of dehumanization where human vulnerabilities become revealed and forced them to live in constant innate fear afterwards. However, after the disintegration of the Soviet Union in the late 1980’s, Koryŏin, rather than forget their past history of deportation, forged their own collective memory and is performing the act of remaining in mourning. I argue that, through such process, the remembering can act as a call for universal human rights to be guaranteed for all ethnic groups in Kazakhstan, against the backdrop of Kazakh-centralism becoming more entrenched.
The process of resettlement in 1937 and adaptation to new places in Central Asia had a dramatic character for Koreans. However, the Koryŏ saram’s history cannot be reduced to a plethora of sad pages. Koreans could and have achieved amazing results in many spheres and have obtained high status in the USSR and later, in Post-Soviet Central Asia. Among them there were/there are the Heroes of Socialist Labor (the highest non-military title in the USSR), Vice-Prime Minister, ministers and vice-ministers, senators, members of National parliament, winners of Olympic Games and World championships, rectors of universities, outstanding scholars and businessmen, etc. Koryŏ saram have lived in different political and economic systems, and in various ethnic environments. Their identity is composed of a multicultural character which includes elements of traditional Korean, Central Asian, Russian, Soviet and Western cultures. This has led to the flexible behavioral models. After collapse of the USSR, Koreans have faced with new challenges that imply new attitudes to the strategies of Koreans and Korean organizations. This article is based on the ideas that have been published and presented at various conferences and in the various works in the 1990s and the early 2000s. However, in the present article these ideas are generalized taking into consideration the changes over the past years.
Imagined ethnic ties and affinities have funneled many Koryŏ saram into South Korea—the divided homeland of their ancestors—as coethnic labor migrants and foreign spouses over the past decade. Based on in-depth interviews with ten Uzbekistan-born Koryŏ saram women who currently reside in South Korea with their Korean husbands and children, this paper examines intersections of gender and ethnicity in the women’s migratory paths and life experiences in the employment and family spheres. After contextualizing the ensuing influx of Koryŏ saram to South Korea from the perspectives of ethnic (return) migration and marriage migration, this study looks into how the ten informants’ skills are devalorized as coethnic migrants who lack Korean language skills but appear “Korean” to contemporary South Korean people. This research also investigates the ways that the incipient Koryŏ saram community allows them to seek new employment opportunities while juggling between work and family as a married migrant with children. By examining two salient social differentiations in (social) mobility of Koryŏ saram, this paper not only betokens the social position of Koryŏ saram in South Korea, but also underscores the agency of the coethnic migrant women who struggle to pursue inclusion in the affluent homeland.
The purpose of this study is to illuminate the veracity of deployment of the North Korean psychological warfare unit to the Vietnam War and its activities. With the South Korean troops as its target, North Korea deployed over a hundred psychological warfare troops every year, beginning with the first unit of four dispatched in June of 1966. The North Korean psychological warfare unit produced and distributed propaganda leaflets and materials; taught the Vietcong the Korean language and means to abduct South Korean troops; operated Korean-language broadcasts; and conducted data investigation and radio monitoring. The most noteworthy of said activities was the distribution of propaganda bills. An analysis of fifty-eight propaganda bills collected at the time demonstrates forms as diverse as writing, photographs, drawings, and a combination of writing and photographs (or at times writing and drawings). The contents involved propaganda regarding the characteristics of the war, instigation of anti-American and anti-government struggles, stimulation of nostalgia and decline of morale, and inducement of defection to North Korea. The illumination of North Korean participation in the Vietnam War is a crucial facet of better understanding the significance of the Vietnam War in contemporary Korean history as well as the security conditions of the Korean peninsula in the 1960s and the 1970s. Essential will be ongoing research on the North Korean involvement in the Vietnam War, a subject that has remained relegated to the sidelines thus far.
In recent years, the relations between the United States (US) and the countries of the Korean Peninsula began to play a more important role for China. With the improvement of the level of Chinese scholarship, as well as the rapid declassification of the archival material on pre-1980 Cold War history, there emerged a lot of academic publications in China on the 1970s history of US relations with the two Koreas. Although Chinese scholars took different perspectives on this subject, the mainstream view maintains that with the ease of the Cold War tensions in the Northeast Asia, the relations between the United States and the countries on the Peninsula changed in the varying degrees in the 1970s: on the one hand, although the United States and South Korea still maintained their alliance, their relationship was characterized by friction and contradictions, as the issue of the withdrawal of the US troops and the human rights debates had vividly demonstrated; on the other hand, US-North Korean relations were marked by the rapid process of bilateral relaxation. In general, Chinese academic literature on US-South Korean relations is much more profound compared to the scholarly work on American relations with North Korea. And while in recent years remarkable progress has been made by Chinese scholars, there is still plenty of room for improvement, especially in terms of broadening interdisciplinary studies and theory, utilizing multi-archival material, conducting in-depth research of the political systems, the decision-making processes in the relevant countries, as well as the politics within the lower levels of government, etc.
Linguistic divergence between standard varieties of Korean has been much studied, however, it has largely concerned itself with fine-grained analyses of single points of divergence, for example vocabulary, and the language policy behind such divergence. In contrast, this paper examines general trends of language in use in the ROK and DPRK in a specific genre of writing. We first briefly review prior research on the linguistic divergence which the standard varieties of these countries have undergone to contextualize our argument that a digital humanities approach could provide new insights for the field. This includes taking advantage of internet mediated data collection and quantitative analyses applied to relatively large amounts of data. In order to demonstrate the potential of this approach more fully, we present a small-scale stylometric analysis of ROK and DPRK journalistic texts. This pilot study suggests that national origin determines the stylistic characteristics of these texts to a greater extent than the topic and allows us to tentatively propose general characterizing features of ROK and DPRK journalistic style. We conclude with a prospectus for the incorporation of such methods into the study of ROK/DPRK linguistic divergence.