The Guerilla Dynasty: Politics and Leadership in North Korea

The Guerilla Dynasty: Politics and Leadership in North Korea

The Guerilla Dynasty: Politics and Leadership in North Korea

The Guerilla Dynasty: Politics and Leadership in North Korea

Excerpt

North Korea or, as I will refer to it throughout this work, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) has developed its identity in four distinct phases: revolutionary struggle (up to 1945), communist oligarchy in power (1945-58), dominant leadership by Kim Il Sung (1958-67), and personal autocracy under Kim Il Sung and his son Kim Jong Il (1967 to the present). The leading role of Kim Il Sung and the pursuit of the goals of economic development and Korean reunification under the leadership of the Korean Workers' Party (KWP) has been common to all four periods as has been the pursuit of these objectives under the ideological guidance of a Leninist party. Otherwise, each period is distinct in terms of leadership characteristics, policies, and personnel.

The purpose of this book is to describe the evolution of the DPRK state. This is not a comprehensive history of the DPRK, for such a work cannot in truth be written on the basis of information currently available. Instead, I have concentrated attention on events and developments which seem to me to best explain the history and current prospects of the DPRK. I have therefore sought to link a detailed interpretive framework, covering such factors as Leninist party culture, Korean political tradition, the history of the Korean nationalist and communist movements, the military community, and Stalinist principles of organisation and state-building to actual events over an extended period of time. To date, the most thorough example of this type of approach to the DPRK remains Scalapino and Lee (1972), and their interpretation of Korean communism through the . . .

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