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Saturday, April 24, 2004


Kirk Larsen

Your characterization of juche is a commonly heard one, and there certainly is a sort of "Leave me alone, I can do it myself" tone to much of the juche rhetoric coming out of P'yongyang. It is important to note, however, that juche also signifies not being too dependent on any single outside power (like the Choson Dynasty's sadae (serve the great) relationship with Ming and Qing China). Therefore, it is appropriate to receive help from the outside as long as this doesn't lead to undue dependence. Seeing juche in this light helps explain North Korea's often difficult relationship with humanitarian aid agencies and ngos throughout the 1990s.


That's swell, but juche or no, the norks have been totally dependent on China, the Soviets, and irony of ironies, the U.S., their biggest aid donor.


True that Michael, and strange how America continues to provide aid and the N.Korea continues to accept that aid even though Bush labeled N.Korea as an 'axis of evil'.

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