The contentious field of North Korean studies: Schools of thought and divisions
Analysts and researchers often disagree on core issues, from how to label the Kim regime to the DPRK’s nuclear program
Despite its small size, the field of North Korean studies is highly divided and often contentious.
The field encompasses a wide range of academics, think-tank scholars, activists, journalists and nongovernmental organization workers. Its schisms dovetail with disagreements about whether to describe the DPRK as communist or fascist and the regime’s responsibility for human rights abuses, as well as different specialties focusing on weapons and culture.
But passion and a desire to learn more about ordinary North Koreans drive many to study this remote country in Northeast Asia. Despite ideological and analytical splits within the
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