Friday, April 28, 2006

North Korean View: Tainting Pure Korean Blood is Treasonous

"[T]o deny the the uniqueness and excellence of our homogenous race
is an act of treason preaching the spiritual disarmament of the race."
-Rodong Sinmun (cf. translation by Robert J. Koehler), April 27, 2006

Antti Leppänen, a Ph.D. candidate in Cultural Anthropology at the University of Helsinki, Finland and an expert on Korean topics, provides a link in his blog to an article in North Korea's official newspaper, the Rodong Sinmun (로동신문: Worker's Daily), that expresses the North's position on mixed-blood Koreans:

"다민족,다인종사회>론은 민족말살론"

Antti helpfully translates the title, "The Idea of a Multinational, Multiracial Society Means Destruction of the Korean Nation," and several crucial paragraphs:

Recently bizarre pursuits for a 'multinational, multiracial society' are appearing in South Korea, weakening the basic characteristics of our nation .... The perpetrators of this agitation are presenting strange ideas like "area of mixed blood", "overcoming the close-minded nationalism" or "inclusiveness and openness of a multinational country" like United States .... This is nothing but agitation which necessarily evokes national wrath .... The conclusion of this is that the "multinational, multiracial society" of the South Korean pro-US flunkeyist traitor forces denies the unity of the Korean people (minjok), displaces, muddles, and Americanizes the Korean people, and is an unforgivable idea for national destruction .... South Korean pro-US traitors of the nation, proposing the idea of "multinational, multiracial society" are fools who do not have the faintest idea of the national consciousness (minjokkwan) and social and historical development, and are empty of any national spirit.
Antti lacked time to translate more, but Robert J. Koehler has since translated the entire article for his blog, The Marmot's Hole. Here is an interesting quote:

[T]he argument for "multiethnic, multiracial society" cried for by pro-American flunkeyists in South Korea is an unpardonable argument to obliterate the race by denying the homogeneity of the Korean race and to make an immigrant society out of South Korea, to make it a hodgepodge, to Americanize it.
Uh-oh. The North Korean 'vangardians' of the revolution have been reading my blog, have noted my surname, and imagine that I'm trying to 'hodgepodge' the entire nation. Well, worry not, my children have received their mother's surname: "Hwang."

All joking aside, here's the North's real concern:

Homogeneity, which no other race in the world has, is the pride of our race and becomes the source of the unity needed in the struggle for eternal development and prosperity. Because the homogeneity of the race is so precious, our people have sacrificed blood and lives to walk the long and difficult path of reunification, and now we are cultivating the June 15 era of reunification with all our patriotic fervor. If we cannot save the homogeneity of the race, we cannot protect the fate of either the race of the individual before American schemes for domination, nor can we block the schemes of the Japanese reactionaries to reinvade based on claims of sovereignty over the Dokdo islets. The anti-national character of the arguments for "multiethnic, multiracial society" is that it denies the race itself and entrusts the nation and race to the imperialists.
This passage, as well as the entire article, actually seems more heart-felt than a lot of the other official North Korean writings that I've looked at -- though I'm only reading English translations. Be that as it may, the North's view of Korea as a nation state is that Korea truly is a nation state in an older sense of "nation" as "race," indeed, as the world's only pure race. From this racial uniqueness flows Korea's legitimacy as a political nation whose autonomy depends upon maintaining its ethnic Korean purity. Mixed Koreans will be Koreans of divided loyalty, prone redrawing national borders to reflect their own redrawn racial borders.

This sounds antiquated to most of us, mixing a notion of nation as 'race' with a concept of nation as state -- 'mixed up,' one might suggest -- but I think that the North's 'vangardians' are in earnest on this one.


At 1:58 AM, Blogger harshini said...

I'm sorry i have read this psot in a great hurry! So could't get the real sense of it. But does this mean any danger to and your children?

At 3:54 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

The North's attitude would only pose a problem for me and my family if North Korea were to successfully invade the South and impose its system here, but I don't see that happening.

So, no, there's no danger.

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 2:13 AM, Blogger harshini said...

Thats a relief to hear.


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