North Korea’s hidden history

Issue: 109

Owen Miller

Recent writing on North Korea from South Korea’s internationalist left

North Korea is often in the news these days, albeit relegated to the inside pages of the papers, while English-language books on the country have proliferated in the last few years. But all these tend to approach North Korea from the perspective of the ‘Korea problem’, international relations theory or even a voyeuristic fascination with the last true Communist dictatorship cum workers’ paradise. What about the view from South Korea, where the ‘Korea problem’ is all the more immediate and potentially disastrous?

In recent times there has been a clear divergence between the interests of the South Korean ruling class and their erstwhile patrons in the US. Although some 36,000 US troops remain on the southern half of the peninsula and the US is still ostensibly protecting the democratic South from Communist aggression, the current government of Roh Moo-hyun has taken a more independent and nationalist stance in its foreign policy and
relations with the North, somewhat to the chagrin of the Bush administration. While the US appears to favour the status quo in north east Asia as part of its China containment strategy (actually its room for manoeuvre is severely curtailed by the current disaster in Iraq—hence the recent softening of its stance towards North Korea), the dominant sections of the South Korean ruling class want a ‘soft landing’ for North Korea. They see the workers of the North as a source of cheap labour to rival Chinese workers, and even harbour ambitions for a future united peninsula that will be a powerful political and economic player in the region—an outcome that China, Japan and Russia all seem rather keen to forestall.

A more nationalist, North-friendly mood has also come to dominate popular attitudes towards North Korea in the South. As opinion of the United States has plummeted, so the old anti-Communist rhetoric towards North Korea has lost its grip, with some 47.6 percent of South Koreans in a recent survey saying they would back the North if the US bombed the country.1 Although the forces on the Korean left that are still openly pro-
North Korean have dwindled, ideas about the history and formation of North Korea that were once the preserve of the pro North left have become more mainstream.

A professor at a leading university in Seoul has recently caused great controversy by making supposedly pro North Korean comments to the effect that the Korean War was started by the North for unification, and that after liberation from Japanese colonial rule in 1945 most Koreans wanted to live in a communist or socialist society. But the controversy has centred as much on the attempt to witch-hunt Professor Kang Jeong-koo using the outdated anti-Communist National Security Law as it has on his actual comments.2 Professor Kang and others like him appear to represent a tendency to look somewhat nostalgically at the early years of North Korea and to compare the origins of the North very favourably with the US-dominated origins of the South Korean state.

Andrei Lankov, a historian of North Korea who has made extensive use of Soviet archives opened in the 1990s, used a recent article in the Asia Times to attack left nationalists like Kang, who he believes have come to dominate South Korean academia, for their romanticised and counterfactual approach to the origins of the North Korean state. He says:

They [the left intellectuals] chose to believe that the early North Korean state was a complete opposite to the allegedly corrupt and dependent Seoul government of the era. There are hard facts that demonstrate that until 1950 for all practical purposes the North Korean state was a Soviet puppet, but these
facts do not fit into their world picture nicely, and hence are not mentioned. Even a cursory look through now-available historical documents clearly indicates: in 1945-50 the North Korean regime operated under complete control of Soviet supervisors. Who drafted the above-mentioned land reform law? Soviet advisers. Who edited and, after some deliberation, confirmed the North Korean constitution of 1948? Joseph Stalin himself. Who arrested all major opponents to the emerging Communist regime? The Soviet military police. Where were the dissidents sent to do their time? To Siberia, of course.3

But, whether knowingly or not, Lankov disregards recent writing
coming from within South Korea’s increasingly important internationalist left. Some recent examples of such writing include Han Kyu-han’s current series on the modern history of Korea in the socialist newspaper Ta Hamkke (All Together), published to mark the sixtieth anniversary of liberation, and Kim Ha-yong’s important 2002 book The Korean Peninsula from an Internationalist Perspective.4

A long article within this book, entitled ‘The Formation of North
Korean State Capitalism’, actually goes further than simply mounting a polemic against the nationalist or pro-North left in South Korea. It attempts to understand the origins and subsequent development of North Korean society prior to the Korean War of 1950-53 by making use of the theory of state capitalism. This is a significant development because, although Marxist ideas became very popular in both social movements and academia during South Korea’s ‘democratic revolution’ of the 1980s, Trotskyism and the theory of state capitalism have only had an audience more recently.

‘The Formation of North Korean State Capitalism’ is divided into
four chapters: the occupation of the North by Soviet troops; the emergence of Kim Il-sung as their chosen leader; the consolidation of the country’s long-term division into two opposing states; and the economics of its transformation into a ‘people’s democracy’. Here I will present some parts of Kim Ha-yong’s analysis, concentrating on those sections dealing with the
Soviet occupation and the subsequent transformation of North Korean society on the model of the Soviet Union’s state capitalist economy.

The liberation and division of Korea

Kim begins by looking at how the North Korean state has viewed its own origins, revealing the huge change that occurred in the late 1950s as the North began to assert its independence from Soviet control and develop its Juche ideology5 as a protection against the upheavals that were besetting the Stalinist countries in the wake of Stalin’s death. In August 1946 Kim Il-sung read aloud a letter of thanks from the Korean people to Stalin:

Long live the great Generalissimo Stalin, liberator, supporter, benefactor and friend of the Korean people. The people of North Korea recognise that their liberation and development has been achieved only as a result of your affectionate consideration and the assistance of the Red Army, and they offer their greatest respect to you.6

As late as 1956 writings praising the ‘Great Soviet Army’ can be
found alongside illustrations depicting their triumphant march into P’yongyang, complete with women throwing flowers and smiling Russian soldiers bouncing Korean children on their hips.7

But by the late 1950s things had changed remarkably, and the North Korean state set about eliminating records of the Soviet Union’s central role in its own formation, even erasing Soviet officers from a photograph of Kim Ilsung at a rally in October 1945.8 The official record of Korea’s liberation from Japanese colonial rule became very different and aimed primarily at promoting the burgeoning personality cult around the ‘Great Leader’ Kim, as in this passage from a publication of the 1980s: ‘Above all, we should understand that it was not the people of some other country but our leader who restored our
fatherland and established in this land our flourishing socialist nation’.9

The reality is not only that Soviet troops liberated the northern part of the Korean peninsula from Japanese rule by occupying it in mid-August 1945, but the Soviet Union continued to exercise close control over North Korea for at least the next five years. As Lankov points out, even seemingly small matters such as the staging of a parade in 1948 required approval from Moscow.10 The North Korean regime was a ‘puppet government’ of a
variety not significantly different from the current regime in occupied Iraq.

As Kim Ha-yong emphasises, the Soviet Union did not simply
stumble into this position at the end of the Second World War—it had been aware of the strategic importance of the Korean peninsula for some time, and negotiated with the Allied powers at Potsdam and Yalta with an eye to gaining a strategic foothold in north east Asia and regaining the territory and concessions in the region lost by Tsarist Russia after its defeat in the 1904-05 Russo-Japanese war. For Kim this clearly demonstrates the imperialist nature of the Soviet Union’s intentions on the Korean peninsula:

The basis for Soviet policy towards the Korean peninsula was not revolutionary internationalism but the desire for imperialist expansion. Stalin’s ambition was to inherit the old possessions of the Tsar’s empire and to restore its former glory.11

She also points out the significance of the Soviet acceptance of the US military’s ‘General Order No 1’. Under this order the US divided east Asia into Soviet and US occupation zones, unilaterally splitting the Korean peninsula at the 38th parallel. In 1945 the Soviets were at pains not to upset the Americans, and dutifully observed the line arbitrarily set down across the peninsula. Both sides must have known that this actually meant the long-term division of the country into two halves, and from early on they began to construct their own systems within their zones of occupation.12

The nature of the Soviet occupation

What of the occupation itself then? The nationalist and pro-North left in Korea has been keen to contrast the Soviet occupation of North Korea with the US occupation of the South. They cite the fact that soon after their arrival the Soviets handed over civilian administration to the Committees for the Preparation of Korean Independence—or People’s Committees as they later became13—formed by Korean nationalists and Communists, whereas in the South these committees were bloodily suppressed. It is not only prominent left nationalist Koreans like Kang Jeong-koo who see this aspect as positive—the American historian Bruce Cumings also argues that:

The Soviets had pursued a highly cost-effective strategy in creating a regime that was responsive both to their minimum demand—a friendly border state—and to the desires of the mass of Koreans in the liberation era… [This was] quite in contrast to the American occupation.14

However, as Kim Ha-yong points out, the Soviets’ original decree
on administration, issued on 25 August, had called for the continuation of Japanese administrative structures and personnel. She argues that their Uturn a day later when they decided to recognise the Peoples’ Committees:

…did not mean a massive change in policy for the Soviets. It meant only that by recognising the People’s Committees and controlling them, the Soviets could realise their interests in Korea. This method looked better and offered more stability than using the old Japanese-staffed administrative organs.15

Kim Ha-yong also argues that the main task facing the Soviet occupation forces was not the establishment of a society controlled by the Korean people, but actually the suppression of popular demands for democracy, independence and workers’ control of production. She writes:

With Korea’s liberation on 15 August 1945 the long-suppressed demands of the Korean people began to explode into the open. The Japanese surrender created a power vacuum, and people became excited with the hopes of constructing a new state. All over the country organs of self-government were
created. The situation in the northern part of the peninsula was not particularly different to other areas.16

The northern part of the peninsula was also the industrial heartland of the country, with an estimated 1 million workers out of a total population of 10 million in 1945. In the early days of liberation many factories in industrial cities like Hamhung and Haeju went over to workers’ control once the Japanese managers had been driven out, and in the major port city of Wonsan an organisation called the Korean Labour Union took charge of keeping public order.17 But this movement was swiftly suppressed by the Soviet army when it arrived on the scene and enforced the ‘normal operation’ of factories.

Besides this, the Soviet occupation forces were also responsible for shutting down or censoring Korean-language newspapers and banning various organisations that they saw as ‘anti-Soviet’, such as the Democratic Youth association of Hamhung. Crucially, Kim argues that the big difference in popular resistance to occupation between the Soviet-dominated North and the US-occupied South can be accounted for not by the relative benevolence of the Soviets but by the swiftness of their arrival in the North:

The Soviets nipped in the bud popular movements that might otherwise have broadened further. This provides us with one of the answers to the question of why it was that the mass struggles that erupted so fiercely in the South immediately after liberation did not occur in the North. The masses of the North had to face the Soviet occupation army before they had even had a chance to wake up properly. Whereas the US army was not stationed in the South of the peninsula until 8 September, the Soviets had started to advance into the North on 12 August.18

Against the claims of nationalist historians that the Soviets guaranteed the autonomy of the People’s Committees in the North, Kim shows clearly that the occupiers saw them as more of a safety valve and a means through which they could exercise their control more effectively.19 Once an overarching administrative bureau was formed to coordinate the People’s
Committees in November 1945, the Soviets made sure that it followed orders from the Soviet civil administration or army headquarters, and all its proclamations had to be approved by them. As Kim writes:

The People’s Committees suddenly found themselves reduced to mere representatives of the administration, rubber-stamping decisions at the request of the Soviets… In contrast to [Kang Jeong-koo’s] evaluation that ‘the power of the provincial People’s Committees rested upon the popular masses’, real power lay with the Soviet army.20

Other aspects of the Soviet occupation also made it clear that this was an imperialist occupation. In fact, as with the current US adventure in Iraq, economic interests were not too far behind military and geopolitical ones. Soviet economic plunder of the North took a number of forms: the enforced use of Soviet-issued military certificates as currency; continuous demands to the nascent North Korean government for money for the upkeep of the Soviet military; the removal of large quantities of industrial
plant from factories and other facilities in North Korea; aid directed towards industries producing goods for them to be taken back to the Soviet Union; and extremely unequal trade terms.21

Resistance to the Soviet occupation

Despite the Soviet anxiety to ‘nip in the bud’ popular movements for genuine self-government, there was resistance to the Soviet occupation of North Korea. Like the occupying army of any imperialist nation, the Soviet soldiers did not treat the Koreans as their equals, and cases of looting, theft, rape and murder committed by soldiers were common, especially in the early period of the occupation.22 In late 1945 and early 1946 there was growing antagonism towards the occupying forces and towards the internal security forces, called the poandae, commanded by the Soviets’ rising protégé, Kim Il-sung. Kim Ha-yong describes how in this context there were two significant uprisings against the occupiers. These, she argues, were genuine expressions of popular anger towards the Soviet occupation and the increasingly arrogant behaviour of their Korean Communist allies, not anti-Communist demonstrations organised by the far right as people on the nationalist left in South Korea have argued.

The first incident occurred in November 1945 at Sinuiju in the
north west when hundreds of middle and high school students in the city marched to the courthouse, currently occupied by the local headquarters of the Communist Party, to protest at interference by the party in local schools. The students attempted to occupy the building themselves but were savagely attacked by the poandae and Soviet troops, with the loss of between 15 and 24 lives. Although Kim Il-sung is said to have been very worried by the incident and heavily criticised the local Communist Party, the resistance spread to the city of Hamhung in March of 1946. Once again students were at the forefront, but this time the demonstration took on a more explicitly anti-Soviet complexion, with calls for the Soviet troops to go home and stop taking local rice while the Koreans were starving. When the students attempted to attack the local Communist Party offices they were again brutally repulsed by Soviet troops and the poandae, and as 1946 went on the jails of North Korea were filled with the enemies of the new state.23

The ‘people’s democratic revolution’ and land reform


Most people believe that the reforms accomplished in North Korea beginning in 1946 brought into being the ‘socialist mode of production’ there. Whether people like the North or not, the belief that North Korea is socialist has been a continuous feature of the last few decades [in South Korea]. Professor Kang Jeong-koo has gone as far as to state that ‘if one does not recognise North Korea as a socialist state it is not possible to understand or investigate North Korean society’.24

But as Kim Ha-yong points out, there was never a workers’ revolution in North Korea, and in the late 1940s Kim Il-sung himself did not talk much about socialism, but rather the ‘people’s democratic revolution’, a theory that Lankov describes as ‘specially designed for Soviet-controlled territories’.25 The basic idea of ‘people’s democracy’ was that the countries
liberated by the Soviets after the Second World War would move gradually to socialism via ‘people’s democratic’ reforms, without the need for a revolution like that experienced by Russia in 1917. But according to Kim Ha-yong, ‘People’s democracy was not the path of non-revolutionary transition from capitalism to socialism, but nothing more than the establishment from above of capitalism (a national economy)’,26 or what might also be termed an independent centre of capital accumulation.

One of the main elements of the people’s democracy reforms was
the North’s land reform, much praised on the South Korean left. The reform took place in the space of only 20 days during spring 1946, and consisted of land confiscation without compensation and free land distribution to the former tenant farmers:

Pro-Japanese landlords, those owning more than 500 hectares and other landlords not working their own fields had all their land confiscated, completely liquidating the tenant farming system in a stroke… Thus, by eliminating the old parasitic landlord class, the state bureaucrats were able to create the conditions for the effective exploitation of the peasantry and workers.27

This reform created a very big layer of small landowning peasants who were naturally averse to sending large amounts of their produce to market to feed the urban working classes. On the other hand, the advantage of the reform for the North Korean bureaucracy was that it produced a great deal of goodwill for the new regime among the peasant class and avoided the reliance on large farmers who might build up economic or social power. However, as Kim writes, while the North Korean bureaucracy chose the small-scale agricultural production path, ‘they put in place measures that would subordinate agricultural production to the state capitalist economy’.28

In fact, Kim claims that, ‘although the form was different, the North Korean peasants’ legal position was really quite similar to that of the collectivised Russian peasants’. Supplying the cities with food required huge state intervention in agriculture, and the peasants were forced to give the government around 25 percent of their yield as a tax in kind that appeared little different to the portion of their crop they had given up to the landlords under the old sharecropping system or the exactions of rice by the Japanese colonial administration. Ultimately, this made it quite similar to the much less praised South Korean land reforms of the late 1940s, where the peasants had to pay for their allotments of land but then only had to give up around 15 percent of their crop in taxes. The bureaucracy also found other ways to squeeze the peasants—through various miscellaneous taxes, through the low prices paid for rice at the farmers’ co-ops, and even through the continued use of corvée labour.29

The drive for rapid industrialisation

After liberation, factories and other industrial facilities formerly owned by the Japanese remained under the effective control of the Soviet administration until late July 1946, when the Korean-run government (now called the North Korea Provisional People’s Committee) took them over and soon after announced their nationalisation. Further nationalisation happened rapidly, and by 1949 state-run industry accounted for 90.7 percent of total industrial production.30 The nationalisation of industry and the commencement of a series of one-year plans in the late 1940s are one of the main developments that have led historians and commentators, whether hostile or friendly to the regime, to call North Korea socialist from this time on.

In opposition to this view, Kim Ha-yong puts North Korea’s state
ownership of industry into the context of the worldwide trend towards state capitalism, particularly in the period after the Second World War:

It was very common, particularly in developing countries, for the state to take a direct role in planning and overseeing resources and means of production in order to achieve rapid industrial growth. Representative examples include China, Cuba and African countries such as Mozambique, but South Korea’s economic development strategy under Park Chung-hee31 cannot be excluded either. In the period immediately after liberation, even right wing parties such as the Korean Democratic Party (Hanmindang) insisted that the main industries needed to be nationalised in order to overcome the society’s backwardness. From this point of view, North Korea’s nationalisation programme
of 1946, far from being a break away from capitalism, was only an extreme manifestation of the trend towards the statisation of capital that continued from the 1930s through to the 1960s.32

Kim goes on to address two important aspects of North Korea’s economic organisation that bring into sharp focus its character as a state capitalist economy oriented towards rapid industrial development rather than a workers’ state. First, there was the complete separation of North Korean workers from ownership or control over the means of production. Not only were workers ‘free’ of the means of production in the Marxist sense, but there was also a complex labour market in the new state-run
economy, with a great many gradations in wage levels and the active encouragement of competition between workers. Although there was an officially-sanctioned trade union federation and there were consultative councils including workers in the factories, in reality North Korean workers had no say in the running of factories or the overall planning of the economy and could not even organise themselves to improve their conditions and wages. In fact, organisations such as the North Korean Federation of Trade Unions and the ‘production consultation councils’ were really means for the state to better mobilise workers to meet production targets.33

The second aspect was the relentless drive for capital accumulation under the newly nationalised and planned economy of North Korea in the late 1940s. What this meant was a massive concentration of production into producing further means of production rather than consumer goods. As Kim Ha-yong shows, North Korea’s concentration on producing means of production even outstripped what the USSR had managed after more than a decade of five-year plans, reaching 77.3 percent of total production in 1948, as compared to 61 percent for the Soviet Union in 1940.34 North Korean industry was able to recover in the late 1940s and impressive growth was achieved, but only as a result of huge exploitation of the workers, spurred on by a continuous stream of Stakhanovite productivity campaigns and mass mobilisation movements.35

Kim also isolates the mechanism that drove the North Korean
bureaucracy to rapid industrialisation and the primitive accumulation of capital. Not surprisingly, it was similar to that which drove the state capitalist economies of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. The economy of North Korea, like those of Eastern Europe, was subordinated to the needs of the Soviet ruling class and its military competition with the emerging
Western bloc.36 But a further element in the North Korean case was the proximity of the US-backed South and the military threat that it posed:

Small-scale skirmishes began to arise in the border zone around the 38th parallel from early 1949. The economic strategy centred on heavy industry reflected this military competition between North and South. As the Communist Kim Il frankly pointed out at the time, the level of productivity would determine victory or defeat in a war… The North Korean bureaucracy was able to use this atmosphere of tension to force workers to make even bigger sacrifices.37


In 1946 the bureaucracy were claiming to be carrying through the ‘antiimperialist, anti-feudal democratic revolution’, and from early 1947 they claimed to have begun the ‘transition to socialism’, but as Kim Ha-yong says, ‘what they had created had nothing in common with socialism—it was merely a state capitalist society in which the bureaucracy exploited the working class collectively.’

Although Kim Ha-yong’s work focuses on laying to rest some of the myths expounded by the nationalist left in South Korea, confused ideas about North Korean history and society are by no means limited to Korea itself. The tendency to see North Korea as a form of socialist society or to view the role of the Soviet Union in its origins as fundamentally different to the US role in the formation of South Korea also exists in the English-language literature on the country. As we have seen, the most well known left-leaning US scholar on the subject, Bruce Cumings, has written that the Soviets created a regime that was (to paraphrase) ‘responsive to the desires of the mass of Koreans’, while both he and Martin Hart-Landsberg have described North Korea as a ‘socialist-corporatist’ state.38

The Korean peninsula is one part of the world where arguments over the true nature of a brutal regime that calls itself socialist still have great relevance. This recent writing from the South Korean internationalist left is therefore an important corrective to the prevailing views of a left that has not yet been able to disassociate itself entirely from Stalinism. For the Korean left, and the international left that takes an interest in this part of the
world, a realistic understanding of the North’s history and a clear analysis of its present character are crucial for political strategy today.

1: Opinion poll reported in the Munhwa Ilbo newspaper, 5 May 2005. A more recent poll of 15 to 25 year olds produced
a figure of 65.9 percent supporting the North in a war with the US (Chosun Ilbo newspaper, 14 August 2005).
2: For more on this issue see ‘Prosecutors Trigger Roh’s Anger and the Feeling Seems Mutual’, Joongang Daily, 18 October 2005; ‘Ideological Battle Polarizes Society’, Korea Times, 18
October 2005.
3: A Lankov, ‘Interpreting North Korean History’, Asia Times Online, 18 August 2005.
4: Kim Ha-yong, Kukche chuui sigak eso pon hanbando (Seoul, 2002).
5: Juche is a sort of extreme voluntarist philosophy that places great emphasis on human will. It is also used to justify the
absolute rule of a single ‘great leader’. Kim Ha-yong describes it as a ‘mutation of Stalinism’ (Kim Ha-yong, as above, p213).
6: Quoted in Kim Ha-yong, as above, p232.
7: An example of this is the Korean language textbook, Kugo, published in 1956.
8: Kim Ha-yong, as above, p233; Andrei Lankov notes that although this rally is now officially known in the North as the
‘Rally to Welcome Kim Il-sung’ it was in fact a rally to honour the Soviet army at which Kim read a speech written for him
in Russian and translated into Korean. He was only one among a number of Korean politicians participating and stood on the
platform wearing a Soviet medal pinned on his chest—A Lankov, From Stalin to Kim Il Sung: The Formation of North Korea 1945-1960 (London, 2002).
9: Kulloja [Worker], July 1987. Quoted in Kim Ha-yong, as above, p232.
10: A Lankov, ‘Interpreting North Korean history’, as above.
11: Kim Ha-yong, as above, p236.
12: As above, p238.
13: Immediately after liberation Nationalists and Communists who were in the country began to form provincial committees taking
charge of administration and peace-preservation duties. Initially these had a variety of names, but were commonly called
Committees for the Preparation of Korean Independence (CPKI, or in Korean Kon’guk chunbi wiwonhoe). Branches were quickly formed at levels below the provincial administrations and soon there were hundreds of these committees all over the
peninsula at every level from provincial down to town and village committees. By early October 1945 these committees were
uniformly known as People’s Committees (inmin wiwonhoe). See B Cumings, The Origins of the Korean War I (Princeton, 1981); A Lankov, From Stalin to Kim Ilsung, as above.
14: B Cumings, as above, p426.
15: Kim Ha-yong, as above, p241.
16: As above, p243.
17: As above.
18: As above, p244.
19: Claims such as those of Pak Segil in his widely-read history of modern Korea, Tasi ssunun han’guk hyondaesa [Rewriting Korea’s Modern History].
20: Kim Ha-yong, as above, p250. The Kang Jeong-koo quotation is from Han’guksa 21—Pukhan ui chongch’i wa sahoe (1) [Korean History, vol 21: Politics and society of North Korea] (Seoul, 1994), p102.
21: Kim Ha-yong, as above, pp250-253 and 319-322.
22: See A Lankov, From Stalin to Kim Il-sung, as above, p4.
23: Kim Ha-yong, as above, p257; see also C Armstrong, The North Korean Revolution, 1945-1950 (Ithaca, 2003), pp62-63.
24: Kim Ha-yong, as above, p307.
25: A Lankov, From Stalin to Kim Ilsung, as above, p8.
26: Kim Ha-yong, as above, p310.
27: As above, p313.
28: As above, p315.
29: As above, p318. For a good summary in English of the extraction of surplus from North Korean farmers see C Armstrong, as above, pp144-148. 30: Kim Ha-yong, as above, p323.
31: South Korea’s military dictator who came to power in a coup in 1961. He is often credited with creating the conditions for the country’s rapid economic development during the 1970s. He was
assassinated by the head of the Korean Central Intelligence Agency in 1979.
32: Kim Ha-yong, as above, p327.
33: C Armstrong, as above, pp160-163.
34: Kim Ha-yong, as above, p334.
35: As above, p336. Pak No-ja also discussed the nature of these campaigns at a recent talk in Seoul, pointing out how similar the techniques used by the North Korean bureaucracy were to those
employed by the former Japanese colonial regime. A transcript of his talk (in Korean) can be found here:
36: Kim Ha-yong, as above, p341.
37: As above, p342.
38: See B Cumings, The Origins of the Korean War 1, as above; M Hart-Landsberg, Korea: Division, Reunification, and U.S. Foreign Policy.