The Emergence of ‘North Korea’ in a Cold War United States
Chung, Young Chul
North Korea is commonly portrayed in the West as the most opaque society that cannot be penetrated, much less understood by outsiders. This paper traces the origins of North Korea’s opaqueness to the early days of the Cold War and argues that it has resulted as much from an intended blindness in the perceptions of American society toward North Korea as from North Korea itself. During the Korean War, North Korean society was studied through the conceptual framework that reflected the emergent Cold War in the U.S. As the American Army intensified its psychological warfare against the North Koreans, its representations of them were shaped by Cold War ideology. This paper concludes that the emergence of ‘North Korea’ as a Soviet puppet in American representations of the period laid the basis for America’s perceptions of North Korea and its ‘intended blindness’ in the later period.
Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies
North Korea; Cold War; Perception; Soviet Union;