Academic journal article North Korean Review

Editorial Comments

Academic journal article North Korean Review

Editorial Comments

Article excerpt

The first journal to be focused exclusively on North Korea

It is a very special honor for me to introduce the inaugural issue of the North Korean Review, the first academic journal in North America or Europe to be focused exclusively on North Korea.

North Korea is one of the few countries that could suddenly involve the United States in major military operations. In his 2002 State of Union address, President George Bush referred to North Korea, Iran, and Iraq as the "axis of evil" and since then, a series of hard-line moves taken by both the United States and North Korea has caused their relationship to deteriorate. U.S. policies have moved from engagement to containment, from containment to confrontation, and now from confrontation to crisis.

Meanwhile, North Korea su∂ers within its own borders. International aid organizations estimate that the number of premature North Korean deaths from food shortages and related diseases ranged from 1,000,000 to 3,000,000 in the 1990s, one of the most severe famines in modern history.

Although Korea is a mid-sized country, its heavyweight geographical neighbors include China, Japan, and Russia. These countries' spheres of influence, along with that of the United States, overlap in Korea. Furthermore, China, Japan, and South Korea are countries the United States cannot a∂ord to slight; together they possess more than half the world's foreign currency reserves and comprise three of the world's largest economies.

Given their gravity and urgency, it is critically important for the United States to address all issues related to North Korea. The U.S. was responsible for the division of Korea in i948 and the establishment of South Korean sovereignty, and is at least partially responsible for developments in the Korean peninsula for years to come. The U.S.-North Korean relationship is the most significant external factor a∂ecting the political and economic conditions of North Korea. Many observers believe this relationship is also an important factor in the development of near future political and economic conditions in the United States.

Issues pertaining to North Korea are too important for scholars and policy makers to depend on only a few established North Korean experts. McFarland & Company, Inc., and the College of Business Administration's Institute for North Korea at the University of Detroit Mercy have founded North Korean Review to provide opportunities for Americans and Europeans to deepen their understanding of North Korea through the means of focused research and analysis. …

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