Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Over at DPRK Studies, Richardson has a run down on the differing political outlooks between the last three generations of Koreans. Pretty enlightening stuff.
“The Korean War generation was born under Japanese colonial rule or in the few short years between the end of World War II and the Korean War in 1951. After the war, they had to deal with a national division that separated many families, as well as crushing poverty and authoritarian rule.

This generation has remained aware and largely thankful that American military intervention was the only thing that prevented Soviet and Chinese-backed Korean communists from seizing control of the entire peninsula. They are conservative, viewing the North Korean regime as a bitter enemy while at the same deeply longing for reunification of both the nation separated families. They hate the communist ideology, but, I think, have concern and compassion for the North Korean people.
The 386 generation, however, grew up with much less poverty and no memory of the Korean War. Although plied with anti-communist propaganda in the South Korean education system and exposed to the stories of the older generation, a different worldview began to form. There will be some irony in this, later.

They were not content under authoritarian rule, which their parents tolerated more easily, and were more sympathetic to the North Korean regime, and ultimately Marxist ideology. As they were growing up in the 1970s, living standards in North Korea were at least equal to those in the South, and the perception of a more independent North Korea also had appeal when compared to South Korea having foreign forces stationed in Seoul.”

1 comment:

Richardson said...

Thanks for the kind words!