North Korea, Past and Future

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Victor D. Cha, the former Director for Asian Affairs at the National Security Council discusses North Korea, the world's most controversial and isolated country. His book The Impossible State: North Korea, Past and Future documents the rise of the Kim family dynasty, and the obsessive personality cult that empowers them, and he illuminates the repressive regime's complex economy and culture.


Victor D. Cha

Comments [8]

Michael Villacres from Queens, NY

Mr. Cha mentioned the Associated Press' (AP) new bureau office in North Korea (NK). There is also a NK AP photo exhibit at The 8th Floor Gallery showing both AP and NK news agency photos. Some of those photos include the death of Kim Jong il, his successor and son, Kim Jong Un; as well as the visits of both former US Presidents Carter and Clinton. The exhibit runs until next Thursday, April 12, 2012, even though the website says the 13th. Enjoy!

Apr. 04 2012 02:56 PM
FG from Queens

The USA has a private deal with the PRC to "manage" N Korea which is why the "problem" is always "parked"

Apr. 04 2012 01:53 PM
antonio from bayside

Can Mr. Cha explain the racial hierarchy in North Korea and how it affects the rest of the region? How they view other nations, groups even America since they're so closed off...

Apr. 04 2012 01:32 PM
MC from Manhattan

Ok so we ( the US ) dump on N Korea. The Soviets did not occupy NK, in fact they left when the US did not. If any one says that they did not then ask them why were there no RUSSIAN or Soviet troups in NK during the Korean war. China was NOT a proxy state of the SU if you attempt to deflect my question with "well all the communists were the same" After 60 years of exploitation under a cruel and racist Japanese Imperial regime Korea was on the road to social revolution and resentment against the Japan and its allies and supporters well before the end of WW2.
Before the war ended as the Japanese were retreating Koreans were fighting the Japanese and anticipating the defeat of Japan formed the People's Republic of Korea which sent representatives to meet the Americans and Soviets who came in to accept the Japanese surrender. The Soviets recognized this socialist government which sought to break up the exploitative structures set up by imperial Japan, the Americans did not. Ironically the US instituted a break up of these oligarchies in Japan and introduced land reform in Japan but made the mistake of re empowering those hated collaborators with Japanese exploitation in the parts that the Americans dominated. This cause riots in S Korea and even during the Kuang Chu rebellion in the 80's sentiments towards N Korea were always positive. The Time magazine correspondant reported that during the Kuang Chu rebellion North Korean Flags were flying

Apr. 04 2012 01:28 PM
Steve from Manhattan

Great program! I am looking forward to the evening on North Korea and human rights with Blaine Harden's new book at The Korea Society on Thursday, April 12. Cha's comments on the show and Harden's new book too tell us a great deal!

Apr. 04 2012 01:27 PM
Ed from Larchmont

Christopher Hitchens said that religious life was like living in North Korea, but he had it exactly upside down: North Korea is a country without religion.

Apr. 04 2012 01:05 PM
Steve from Rockville Centre, NY

The Kim's remain in power through fear and self-preservation. The personality cult is just window dressing. These days nobody in the country actually believes in the Kim's special powers.
"Nothing to Envy" by Barbara Demick illustrates this well. Demick was interviewed on this show last year.

Apr. 04 2012 12:03 PM
Ed from Larchmont

North Korea has the distinction of being the only country in the world (probably) where there is not a single Catholic priest. The Sacrifice is not offered there. They are indeed a country in the dark.

Apr. 04 2012 06:05 AM

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