Charles Armstrong, Columbia University
In May – June 1984, North Korea’s leader Kim Il Sung took a six-week tour of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, his most extensive and high-profile visit to the region since 1956. As it turned out, Kim had reaffirmed North Korea’s solidarity with the socialist community of nations just as this community was about to collapse, which contributed significantly to North Korea’s economic crisis in the 1990s. Archives of the former communist countries in Eastern Europe opened since the end of the Cold War reveal the complex and often ambivalent relationship between North Korea and its socialist allies, and help explain the continued viability of the North Korean regime more than twenty years after the end of communist rule in Eastern Europe.
Charles K. Armstrong is the Korea Foundation Professor of Korean Studies in the Social Sciences in the Department of History at Columbia University. A historian of contemporary North and South Korea, Professor Armstrong’s published books include The Koreas (second edition, 2013); Korean Society: Civil Society, Democracy, and the State (second edition, 2006); Korea at the Center: Dynamics of Regionalism in Northeast Asia (2006); and The North Korean Revolution, 1945-1950 (2003). His most recent book is entitled Tyranny of the Weak: North Korea and the World, 1950 – 1992 (Cornell, 2013).
This talk is open to the public.
Sponsor(s): Center for Korean Studies
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