North Korea's Juche ideology and the German re-unification experience
Juetten, Stephan A.
Yost, David S.
Olsen, Edward A.
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This thesis analyzes potential socio-cultural discord upon eventual Korean national reunification, owing to the predominance of the cultic state ideology of Juche in North Korea. Juche has become the fundamental framework of orientation for North Koreans. The hypothesis investigated is that, upon eventual Korean reunification, significant problems of national social cohesion, at least as serious as those faced by the reunified Germany since 1990, should be expected. To this day- nearly two decades, and an estimated 1.5 trillion after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989- reunified Germany is recurrently affected by socio-cultural conflicts, based on ingrained values, past ideological conditioning, and resulting emotional ties and behavior patterns of the former East and West German societies. Juche could foster similar or graver phenomena in a reunified Korean society, manifest in mutual and estranging grievances, ultimately impeding successful reunification. However, the Kim dynasty's established virtuosity in adapting and developing Juche might in some circumstances combine with Juche elements of potential appeal to both Korean societies, such as national self-reliance. Instead of constituting an ideological barrier, Juche's pan-Korean components might hypothetically be transformed into a common ground to alleviate societal conflict and eventually facilitate Korean national reunification.
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