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2020-10-16

A cultural question for the division and unification of the Korean Peninsula

KIM Sung Kyung 
University of North Korean Studies, Seoul, South Korea 

North Korea, often described as a “hermit kingdom,” has been widely demonized as irrational and barbaric. On the other hand, North Koreans are portrayed as passive victims subject to state violence. Within this simplistic dichotomy, it is hard to grasp the complex reality of North Korea where lives are intertwined with the regime, but at the same time daily life operates in different spaces with completely different meanings and resistance to the regime. A lack of understanding on North Korea and people tackles the further development of peace building process and the possible integration among Koreans. Therefore, the feature section of this issue aims to provide new perspectives on both North Korea in relation to the context of division and possible unification of the Korean Peninsula through the “question of culture”; in particular, the everyday cultural practices of North Koreans. The rise of the active agency, the widespread of technology, the increase of consumeristic desire and the reorganization of everyday life in North Korea are important aspects to be unpacked. By doing so, the papers in this section examine the potential changes that might happen in the future of North Korea and the division/unification of the North and South by inter-referencing comparable experiences of Vietnam, China, the Soviet Union and Germany. 
 

Inter-Asia Cultural Studies: Movements    
Volume 21   Number 3   September 2020


Editorial statement
Kuan-Hsing CHEN and CHUA Beng Huat                                                                            


Essays

“Race” and “Racism” in contemporary Africa-China relations research: approaches, controversies and reflections 
Roberto CASTILLO                                                                                                             

Rewriting “the personal is political”: young women’s digital activism and new feminist politics in China  
HOU Lixian                                                                                                                

The emergence and development of Zainichi Korean media in post-war Japan: focused on the topography of magazines from 1945 to 1979
LEE Seungjin                                                                                                                       

Resistance in disguise and the re-construction of identity: a case of the Pashtuns in Pakistan
Usman KHAN, Yu CHENG, Zahid Ali SHAH, Shakir ULAH                                          


Visual essay

The 2019-2020 Hong Kong protests and the everyday
LEE Chun Fung                                                                                                                     


Rethinking movements 

From resistance to co-Living: rural activism in contemporary Hong Kong
Shaw-wu JUNG                                                                                                            


Reconciliation/Integration

A cultural question for the division and unification of the Korean Peninsula
KIM Sung Kyung                                                                                                                    

On possible transformation of everyday life in North Korea via referencing other East Asian socialist nations in transition
CHUA Beng Huat                                                                                                               

The German unification as a process of dominance culture and its implications for the situation in South Korean society
Ingrid MIETHE and Hee-Young YI                                                                                    

Politics of identification of Zainichi Koreans under the divided system 
CHO Kyung Hee                                                                                                      

Landscape of the minds of South and North Koreans: unification perception, mutual recognition and the possibility of cultural integration
Moonyoung LEE                                                                                                                  


Pandemic

Pandemic musings in inter-Asia
Tejaswini NIRANJANA    
 

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