The Korean War Armistice Agreement established the Military Demarcation Line (MDL) and the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) as a boundary and buffer zone between the two Koreas. While the DMZ operates as a core space for the armistice system on the Korean Peninsula, it is also a space where that Armistice Agreement is violated, such as by the concentration of military forces and military clashes. This article examines the laws and agencies regulating the DMZ and the Armistice Agreement by examining the conflict at Guard Post Ouellette. GP Ouellette sits about 50m from the MDL and in the Military Armistice Commission Headquarters Area at Panmunjom. In April 1967, just below GP Ouellette, five North Korean soldiers were killed for violating the MDL. This article examines the political and military symbolism of GP Ouellette and the clash between North Korean and American forces that occurred there, examining the Armistice Agreement and subsequent agreements, as well as the working methods and vulnerabilities of related organizations (Military Armistice Commission and Joint Observer Teams). It is argued that these institutional limitations have made possible the militarization of the DMZ and are the major causes behind the instability of both the DMZ and the armistice.
This study investigates North Korean refugees’ experiences and their implications as part of a process of reconstructing the destruction and loss caused by the Korean War. In particular, this study focuses on women who migrated from North Korea to South Korea and labored in the settlement projects. Migration between North and South in a divided political system was a path by which the aims of the two newly founded nations and the choices of individual agents interlinked and crisscrossed. The refugees’ reasons for migration were complicated and involved oppression by the socialist system in the North as well as familial and personal motivations. Furthermore, many were involuntarily evacuated due to military operations. After the war, resettlement projects were carried out in South Korea to incorporate refugees into society. During this time, women from North Korea struggled to survive and, in particular, to protect their families formed after marriage. They also worked hard to earn a living in resettlement areas after the war, laboring out of a will to survive, devotion to their families, and in an effort to overcome obstacles.
This paper analyzes Hwang Sok-yong’s visit to North Korea in 1989 and his associated travelogue to examine the popular view of South Korean society toward North Korea in the 1980s as well as changes in inter-Korean relations. The novelist Hwang became the first South Korean writer to visit the North since the division of Korea. His unauthorized visit to North Korea was a culturally and historically significant event that showed how the new détente created in the 1980s was projected on the Korean Peninsula in a transformative way. Additionally, his travel journal contributed to changing the way South Koreans perceived the cultural signs of North Korea and how they pictured their northern counterpart. Hwang’s travelogue warrants serious research in that it brought a new perspective to the discourse on North Korea through the previously unimaginable concept of “visiting North Korea” and laid a foundation upon which the genealogy of the North Korea travelogue could be rewritten after the lengthy hiatus following the establishment of our independent government in 1948. This paper aims to delve into the case of Hwang to illustrate how the South’s perception of the border between the two Koreas was being reconstructed based on the politics of encounter and the imagination of actual contact.
This study analyzes North Korean human rights for North Koreans abroad using three approaches—the concepts of nationality, refugee, and migrant. The first approach is that North Koreans abroad be given South Korean citizenship under the Korean Constitution. Yet, no country except South Korea recognizes North Korean defectors as South Koreans and this approach has contributed little to the protection of North Koreans from repatriation to North Korea. The second approach is that North Korean defectors as a group be granted refugee status. Each government, however, can determine a North Korean defector’s refugee status according to its own assessment of the North Korean asylum-seeker. The third approach is that North Korean defectors be considered migrants. By viewing North Korean defectors as migrants, North Korean human rights issues may be reduced to universal human rights ones with which the government of an asylum country has to deal. These three approaches should not be mutually exclusive. They each represent an aspect of North Korean human rights and they should be compromised in order to enhance the human rights of North Korean defectors in practice.
Despite much media and public criticism of megachurches, the strong preference of young adults for megachurches over small churches warrants further research. This study explores how megachurches have become an appealing religious space for young evangelical Protestants in South Korea by closely observing women adherents’ narratives. Drawing on in-depth interviews with millennial laypersons in South Korea, the findings of the study suggest that megachurch is a place to integrate youth culture through contemporary worship service and the recognition of transnational lifestyles and is perceived as shielding young people from hierarchical local culture, offering a room of privacy and enacting an egalitarian elder leadership. By focusing on how megachurches transition to meet the needs of changing religious consumers, such as millennials, this study suggests that the church’s efforts to recognize young millennials’ quest for individual autonomy and freedom was perceived positively compared with small local churches. Overall, this study offers a contextual meaning of the megachurch as a space where young people feel relatively free from an age-based hierarchy and collective culture but are actively recognized for their own secular youth culture to create sacred beliefs.
Qiu Jun of Ming China, with the aim of “rendering the Zhuzi jiali both accessible and practicable for ordinary folks,” compiled the Jiali yijie. Among the annotations of Jiali in the Ming dynasty, Jiali yijie gained the widest popularity and greatest influence, and was regarded as a new classic, on par with the Jiali itself. In the 16th century, Jiali yijie was also introduced to Joseon Korea, where it was regarded as “an important supplement to the Zhuzi jiali” by Korean scholars, attaining a high level of popularity. This paper draws on 23 versions of the Jiali yijie from the Ming dynasty and 33 from the Qing. Historically, the Jiali yijie was introduced to the Joseon dynasty from China by Kim Anguk in 1518. Through the comparison of these four Joseon print versions and their Chinese counterparts, we are led to the conclusion that it was the Yingtian prefecture’s print, dated the twelfth year of the Zhengde Era, that Kim Anguk brought back to Joseon from Ming China.
This paper probes the ways in which Baek Yun-shik’s film persona, produced during the early to mid-2000s, reflects an encounter with the legacy of the authoritarian Park Chung-hee regime in the wake of the IMF Crisis. One noteworthy cultural phenomenon following the IMF bailout in Korea was the rise of discourse concerning Park, marked by a desire to reflect on our unnoticed embeddedness in developmentalism, even during the postauthoritarian period. By centering the intergenerational pairing of Baek’s characters, all of which reference the authoritarian era, with young protagonists ignorant of the historical implications of their struggles, Baek’s films simultaneously envision the state of epistemological blindness in the postauthoritarian period and our confrontation with the legacy of Park’s developmentalism in the wake of the IMF crisis. It is only after cinematically reconstructing what was missed under the epochal marker of “postauthoritarian,” up until the IMF crisis, that the films delve into describing the unprecedented nature of the crisis itself. Hence, I redefine the modifier of “postIMF” to designate a modality grappling with a series of epistemological shifts provoked by the IMF crisis, and suggest that Baek’s film persona has “postIMF” traits which facilitate a collective reckoning with Park’s surviving legacy, problematized retroactively during the crisis.
Immigration scholarship agrees that ethnic enclaves that arise from the concentrated settlement of immigrants provide opportunities for cooperation that fortify members against the host society’s hostility. However, the scholarly image of cohesive enclaves often ignores the larger context that may influence the internal dynamics of the community. Drawing upon in-depth interview data from 58 Korean-Chinese immigrants in Korea, this study examines how the ethnic community experienced by coethnic immigrants is susceptible to the policies and social environment governing their presence in the host society. Our findings reveal that the ethnic enclave promotes the exchange of instrumental and expressive resources among immigrants. Yet, the Korean government’s selective inclusion politics lead Korean-Chinese immigrants to duplicate the negative attitudes toward their community common among South Korean natives, resulting in the degeneration of cohesion. These findings suggest that a host society’s sociopolitical practices strongly influence the interpersonal dynamics within enclaves, which are seemingly marked by unobstructed solidarity.