A Conversation for North Korea

Several questions about this entry

Post 1

Max C

This entry raised quite a few questions in my mind.

While it's true that not much is known about the origins of the Korean people, is this really because of it being "cut-off from the rest of the world"? After all, it's pretty handy for a day-trip to China, a very politically important country, long engaged in many ways with Korea.

I suggest that we know little about the origins of Korea because it's rather old. Korea has been inhabited by one ethnic group for at least the last 2000 years. The best information available is that today's Koreans descend from successive migrations into the penninsula between 5500BC and 2000BC. So it's almost as old as history itself.

Dragons do not play anywhere near such a strong role in Korean culture as they do in China. Is the high prominence given to this statement appropriate?

As another researcher has pointed out, Cheju Island couldn't be further from North Korea!

North Korea certainly did not "separate itself from the South in 1948". Korea was forcibly separated by outside agents, and anyway, the South Korean state was estabished a month or two before the DPRK. Famously, two young American officers met in a building near the White House in 1945 and decided on the US occupation zone in a late night meeting with only a National Geographic map to help them.

Whether North Korea has (or had) a religion is debatable, but the juche philosophy must carry something close to religious status.

Koreans do not eat dogs because they are starving. Instead, some people eat dog meat because it is a traditional part of the Korean diet. This is currently being discouraged in the South in the interests of internationalism, but is popular nonetheless even though nobody is starving. There is very little grass in Korea because of the climate.

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