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Are North Korean Compatriots “Korean”? The Trifurcation of Ethnic Nationalism in South Korea during the Syngman Rhee Era (1948–60)

Are North Korean Compatriots “Korean”? The Trifurcation of Ethnic Nationalism in South Korea... Focusing on the question of whether South Koreans’ notion of “we, the people of Korea” (uri taehan kungmin) included North Korean compatriots or not, this study examines the trifurcation of ethnic nationalism in South Korea during the Syngman Rhee era (1948–1960). Specifically, by analyzing columns and editorials of three Korean newspapers, Chosŏn ilbo, Tonga ilbo, and Kyŏnghyang sinmun, this study reveals that, following the division of Korea (1948), Korean nationalism trifurcated, at least in South Korea, into three different but closely related versions, each of which did not deny that historically all Koreans belonged to the same nation, but defined “we, the people of Korea” differently: (1) tanil minjok (one nation) nationalism, which included not only South Koreans but also North Korean compatriots in “we, the people of Korea”; (2) anticommunist nationalism, which included South Koreans and “patriotic compatriots” of North Korea in “we, the people of Korea” while excluding North Korean “commies”; and (3) Taehan Min’guk (the great ROK) nationalism, which identified only South Koreans as “we, the people of Korea.” In doing so, this study suggests that, as the division of Korea solidified after the Korean War, South Koreans began to “imagine” themselves as a different national community, separated from North Korean compatriots. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Korean Studies Duke University Press

Are North Korean Compatriots “Korean”? The Trifurcation of Ethnic Nationalism in South Korea during the Syngman Rhee Era (1948–60)

Journal of Korean Studies , Volume 24 (1) – Mar 1, 2019

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Copyright
Copyright © 2019 by the Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York
ISSN
0731-1613
eISSN
2158-1665
DOI
10.1215/21581665-7258094
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Focusing on the question of whether South Koreans’ notion of “we, the people of Korea” (uri taehan kungmin) included North Korean compatriots or not, this study examines the trifurcation of ethnic nationalism in South Korea during the Syngman Rhee era (1948–1960). Specifically, by analyzing columns and editorials of three Korean newspapers, Chosŏn ilbo, Tonga ilbo, and Kyŏnghyang sinmun, this study reveals that, following the division of Korea (1948), Korean nationalism trifurcated, at least in South Korea, into three different but closely related versions, each of which did not deny that historically all Koreans belonged to the same nation, but defined “we, the people of Korea” differently: (1) tanil minjok (one nation) nationalism, which included not only South Koreans but also North Korean compatriots in “we, the people of Korea”; (2) anticommunist nationalism, which included South Koreans and “patriotic compatriots” of North Korea in “we, the people of Korea” while excluding North Korean “commies”; and (3) Taehan Min’guk (the great ROK) nationalism, which identified only South Koreans as “we, the people of Korea.” In doing so, this study suggests that, as the division of Korea solidified after the Korean War, South Koreans began to “imagine” themselves as a different national community, separated from North Korean compatriots.

Journal

Journal of Korean StudiesDuke University Press

Published: Mar 1, 2019

References