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Talk & Seminar [CKS Colloquium] North Korea between Hope and Despair (Nov 2)

2007.10.30 08:44

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THE CENTER FOR KOREAN STUDIES,

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA AT BERKELEY

cordially invites you to the following COLLOQUIUM


North Korea between Hope and Despair

- Ideology, Rhetoric, and Reality in the Juche State


Darren C. Zook
University of California, Berkeley

Friday, November 2, 2007, 4:00 p.m.

Institute of East Asian Studies
2223 Fulton Street
6th Floor Conference Room



Recent reports from North Korea have been filled with stories about an emerging “market culture” that has managed to flourish outside the control of the party and state apparatus in North Korea. There have even been official announcements from the North Korean government about the need for ongoing economic and legal reforms. But how well do these reports and announcements of nascent prosperity match with the proverbial “reality” on the ground in North Korea? Is there hope that the regime might well reform itself into obsolescence? Are the cries of despair of the North Korean people really dissipating into a mere low-level hum of complaint?

Based on notes from a recent trip to North Korea, this talk will suggest that the state apparatus in North Korea, along with the official ideology of juche (“self-reliance”), remain firmly entrenched in North Korea, and the scattered archipelago of “emerging markets” in North Korea poses no real or effective challenge to the state. But there may yet be room for cautious optimism for change in the near future for North Korea, based on evidence of the potential emergence of disaffected factions within the regime itself.


Darren C. Zook is Lecturer of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley.

FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

Sponsored by a Grant from the Koret Foundation

For more information, call (510) 642-5674 or e-mail cks@berkeley.edu