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IEE 3131: North Korea: State and Society
Yonsei University
International Summer School
Summer 2008
Monday-Thursday 1:20 – 3:00 PM
Theology Hall B101
Instructor: Peter M. Beck
Office Hours: Before/after class and by appointment
e-mail: beckpeterm@gmail.com
Course Description

This course will delve into one of the most opaque and enigmatic countries in the world: North Korea. After a brief review of North Korean history, we will examine the North Korean state and the institutions of social control. Despite the collapse of the North’s economy in the 1990s and the death of his charismatic father, Chairman Kim Jong-il continues to rule North Korea with an iron fist. How does he maintain control? What are the prospects for regime survival? We will then take an in-depth look at North Korean society. What is daily life like for the average North Korean? We will also learn about North Korea’s least fortunate people: The 200,000 trapped in gulags. Finally, we will examine the first (1993 - 4) and second (2002 - present) nuclear crises and the efforts to negotiate a peaceful resolution. Is negotiating with the North a waste of time, or can a lasting peace and denuclearization be achieved in our times?

A myriad of books have been written about North Korea, but most are long on opinions and short on facts, yielding much heat (arguments), but little light (insights). We will skip the hyperbole and instead focus on trying to objectively understand the North. By the end of this course, you will not only be able to understand what holds the country together, but also the prospects for political and social change, and ultimately, a peaceful reunification with the South.

Course Requirements
1. One 20-30 min. class presentation (20%) based on the assigned readings. Prepare a 2-3 page outline.
2. Take-home mid-term (30%).
3. Take-home final Exam (50%).

Required Texts (available from www.amazon.com and the Yonsei copy shop)

French, Paul. 2007. North Korea: The Paranoid Peninsula (2nd Edition).
Hunter, Helen-Louise. 1999. Kim Il-song’s North Korea.
Funabashi, Yoichi. 2007. The Peninsula Question: A Chronicle of the Second Korean Nuclear Crisis.
Lankov, Andrei. 2007. North of the DMZ: Essays on Daily Life in North Korea.
Wit, Joel et al. 2004. Going Critical: The First North Korean Nuclear Crisis.

Class Schedule


Week		Topics & Assignments (*)

1		Introduction to Course & North Korean History
		*Handouts from instructor and French
		Presentation:  SerenaTrinh

2		The North Korean State:  The Institutions of Control	
		*Oh et al. http://www.brookings.edu/papers/2004/06northkorea_oh.aspx
		Presentations:  (7/7) Amanda Porciau; (7/8)	Shara Cook; Lee Ga-young; 
		(7/9) Michelle Cho (Gause) & Ellen Choi (Hassig)
		(7/10) Hae-young Choi (Mansurov) & Delia Hong (Smith)  

3		North Korean Society Under Kim Il-sung		
		*Hunter and Lankov
		Presentations:  (7/14) Sharon Im (Hunter Ch. 1-6) & Esther Joe (Ch. 7-15)
		(7/15) Jean Kim (Ch. 16-18) & Leah Kim (19-Epilogue)
		(7/16) Sophia Kim (Lankov Pts. 1-4) & Sarah Moore (Pts. 5-9)
		(7/17) Hannah Na (Pts. 10-13) & Duy Nguyen (Pt. 15-end)  
		(7/17)  Receive Take-home Midterm

4  		Negotiating with North Korea
		*Witt et al. & Funabashi
		(7/21)  Take-home Mid-term Exam due!
		Presentations:  (7/21) Oh Moo-jin (Chs. 1-3) & Haedun Park (Chs. 4-5)
		(7/22) Hyun Park (Chs. 6-7) & Ina Park (Chs. 8-9)
		(7/23) Charlotte Powers (Chs. 10-12)
		(7/24) Roh Min-seong, (Funabashi, Chs. 1-2)

5		Negotiating with North Korea
		* Funabashi 
		Presentations:  (7/28) David Shin (Chs. 3-5)
		(7/29) Jeffrey Tran (Chs. 6-8)
		(7/30) Christopher Yoo (Chs. 9-10)
		(7/31) Daree Yu (Chs. 11-12) 

6		Review
		(8/4) Review
		(8/5) Film “Another Country”
		(8/6) Take-home Final Exam due!

See pictures of North Korea

See student outline in MS Word

See 2nd student outline in MS Word

See Beck's Jan. 2007 Article
"Meet an American Imperialist", April 28, 2007
"Expanding Korea's Soft-Power", May 26, 2007
"Leaving Seoul", July 11,2007
"Leaps of Faith", Sept. 2,2007
A Brewing Revolution, Oct. 2007
Talking-points for The Sejong Society, Feb. 2008
Every body should see the film, "The Crossing". May 31, 2008
"Whats The Beef?", June 18, 2008

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