September 21, 2023

Comrades no more? How North Korea picked sides in the Sino-Soviet split

The machinations of Cold War ideology drove Pyongyang into the isolation that continues today

One of the most important, although often forgotten, aspects of the Cold War was the Sino-Soviet split. In the late 1950s, Moscow and Beijing, who had once hailed their “eternal friendship," began to openly attack each other.

A typical Chinese publication of the age would decry “A Disgusting Image of Soviet Social-Imperialism," which argued that “Brezhnev’s gang is going down the same way Hitler did." Moscow, meanwhile, published books like “Maoism - the threat to the humankind."