Kim, Joungwan A.
October 1969
Foreign Affairs;Oct69, Vol. 48 Issue 1, p166
This article focuses on the establishment of South and North Korea as separate political entities. The North Korean regime is well aware of the necessity of identifying itself with Korean nationalism in order to survive. In an effort to secure a nationalist image, Kim Il-sŏng, the rotund leader of the North Korean regime, has become the center of a cult of personality of ludicrous extremes. No government, in either North or South, can secure permanent legitimacy in a divided nation. So long as the division persists, Kim's position can be continuously undermined by the existence of an alternative focus of loyalty in the South. The continued possibility that one regime may be able to outbid the other in the competition for national loyalty derives from the influence of a nationalism which denies the legitimacy of the national division. Therefore each regime must go out of its way to prove that it alone represents genuine nationalism and that the other is a foreign puppet. North Korea must depict the Southern government as a stooge of American imperialism. Indeed, the Southern government is no less pressured than is the Northern one to lay out a timetable for the national unification.


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