Korea

Organized Panel Session

3 - Ideology in the Twilight of Communism: The Curious Case of North Korea's Ideological Solidarity with East Germany and Foreign Youth Groups in the 1980s

Friday, March 23
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Location: Madison A, Mezzanine Level

During the 1989 World Festival of Youth and Students, thousands of people from around the world gathered in Pyongyang under the banner of “anti-imperialist solidarity, peace, and friendship,” at a time when the international ideological unity that marked the early Cold War had long receded into the past. Indeed, as the Cold War was drawing to a close in the late 1980s, North Korean ideology was more unique and independent than at any other point of the Cold War period. East German ideology, which had followed Soviet orthodoxy, was now more different from North Korean ideology than in previous years, making ideological solidarity between the two rather curious. Just as curious is North Korea’s increased solidarity with non-communist youth groups. Unfortunately we lack studies that deal with the relationship between North Korean ideology and late Cold War trends. Drawing on the East German archives and North Korean materials, this study pioneers an analysis of North Korean ideological solidarity with global forces, namely East Germany and foreign youth groups, during the twilight of communism. An examination of changes in Soviet ideology is crucial. These changes not only promoted solidarity with East Germany, but at the same time also threatened to hamper the utility of solidarity with non-communist youth. Navigating this ideological scene and learning from East German experiences, North Korea found a way to entrain foreign youth for its ideological purposes without their knowledge or consent and without exposing its population to heterodox ideas, thereby legitimizing its own leadership.

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3 - Ideology in the Twilight of Communism: The Curious Case of North Korea's Ideological Solidarity with East Germany and Foreign Youth Groups in the 1980s



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Send Email for Ideology in the Twilight of Communism: The Curious Case of North Korea's Ideological Solidarity with East Germany and Foreign Youth Groups in the 1980s