File Size: 7075 KB
Print Length: 302 pages
Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (April 10, 2013)
Publication Date: April 10, 2013
I highly recommend this. The pundits on TV and radio only give small clips. Lankov brings his heavy knowledge of DPRK from the time he studied there as a Soviet exchange student right through to today. North Korea is his full time job.
The minimal possibilities for the Ellie regime and its fascinated semi-allies and enemies are sobering., Excellent read that doesn't follow the typical school of thinking and evaluation about DPRK, I experienced not previously read much about North Korea, so the amount of historical and current information on the country was interesting to explore. The topic is outlined well and the reason of why the North Korean government works as it does is clear enough. One problem I had with the book was that is seemed it was trying to be a scholarly/academic work, but it didn't quite achieve this-- perhaps because the author inserts himself in the text (somewhat awkwardly) with personal anecdotes. Second criticism: the English translation was poor-- at times uncomfortable for the publisher. General, if you wish to be knowledgeable on North Korean historical past, politics, and current issues, it's not a bad book to read., Most exterior analyses of DPRK leave me nodding off. Lankov's book is refreshing while being informative, setting the right tone and interspersed with mini-stories and anecdotes that keep the book feeling modern and energized. The author's regional and ideological expertise and experience from growing up in the USSR and residing many years in the DPRK are obviously evident. I actually highly recommend., It is a very factual well research book, good sharing and analysis on historical facts and stories using world wars events and North East Asia tension as a backdrop, we have to understand the relationship between DRPK and Russia, between DPRK and China. Andrei Lankov is an expert on DPRK, closely observing whats taking place in the North and allow your pet to give accurately evaluation on DPRK. He opened up a subject that to numerous appear so mystical yet he was able to make it friendly readable and not burdened by history that could become bothersome. I recommend this book to any one like to know the real North Korea from the background of historical facts., To many of us, North Korea's recent behavior seems irrational. The younger Kim (like his father Kim Jong Il) is portrayed as a nuclear armed madman who threatens nuclear war against the US one day and then invites Dennis Rodman the next. Dr. Andrei Lankov's book describes the reason behind this seeming madness and provides an awareness of what is going on with North Korea.
Lankov is a highly regarded expert on North Korea. He currently lives in Seoul and teaches at Kookmin University but he had attended Kim Il-Sung University in Pyongyang and had a rare first-hand look at North Korea as well as its elites. His articles have always been insightful and educating which book is upwards to par.
He describes the history of North Korea and how their dysfunctional economy has guide its leadership to resort to nuclear blackmail. He gives a sobering look at why they can not initiate Chinese-style reconstructs nor afford to give up their nuclear guns without risking their own survival. The North Korean language leaders can not manage to spread out their people to outside information, since the existence of a productive South Korea will eliminate their legitimacy. This makes financial reforms patterned after China impossible and criticizes their economy to count after foreign aid. These people can not afford to relinquish their nuclear guns, or give up their nuclear blackmail and provocations against South Korea because if they do so, they will lose control over the distribution of any aid and concessions contributor provide. The Orwellian nightmare that the North Korean language leadership has created is their only solution for survival.
The options for South Korea and the US are limited since no stick is just right to scare them (as hardliners wish), and no carrot is sweet enough (as those who support dialog wish). Retaliation (military or diplomatic) will only lead to escalating brinksmanship. Attempts at dialog will lead to broken guarantees. These patterns have become familiar over the final decade and current crisis. Lankov shows that such patterns, however strange and difficult to understand, are actually rational and calculated moves that insure the survival of the Kim dynasty and the elites. For these elites, it is a matter of Machiavellian survival - they realize if they do not hang up together, they will hang up with the children from lamp-posts.
But in the long run, Lankov predicts that change will have to come to North Korea from the bottom-up. The underground economy of markets, private plots growing food, the unauthorized trade with China are growing and are a few survival for the non-elites of North Korea and even the lower levels of the party members. The nomenklatura cannot control these markets or censor the information that is flowing in with Chinese consumer goods.
However, the road to freedom for the North Korean language people will be long and difficult. While there is little South Korea, the and the sleep of the world can do to disarm North Korea's nukes, there is much that can be done to help ease the inevitable transition. Lankov's level-headed analysis teaches the rest of us what we can do about North Korea and what we can not. With any luck ,, we will get the fortitude to live with what we can not change, the courage to change what we can and the wisdom to tell the difference., This is an amazing book. Well written. Author really knows and has experienced his subject matter. No polemics here. Just a very honest history of the leaders and country. He does not be reluctant to debunk some misconceptions about the country. When you read this book you will feel like you really have a great feel for the country., good
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