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Korea's "Vietnam Question": War Atrocities, National Identity, and Reconciliation in Asia

Korea's "Vietnam Question": War Atrocities, National Identity, and Reconciliation in Asia © 2001 by Duke University Press activist-led investigations of Korean troop massacres of Vietnamese civilians; reflection on the role of Korea as a perpetrator, not only as a victim, of war crimes; and cross-national and cross-cultural dialogues between Korean and Vietnamese citizens. The current public discussions at the local and national levels are fraught with controversy, but they are also promising because they may shed light on Korea’s complicated position in the global, neocolonial world, especially its regional position in Asia. The emerging cultural and political space consequently offers a context for reexamining Korea’s postdictatorial, post–Cold War political identity, and my scholarly project is exploring this issue of postcolonial relationality and identity. My findings suggest that Korea’s relationship with Vietnam and the United States, forged in the context of the “American War,” is helping to reveal the painfully contradictory and layered position of postcolonial Korea. How can Vietnam, as a site of critical inquiry and a place of history, be actively incorporated into Korea’s national memory? How can Korea’s memory and accounting of the Vietnam War reshape Koreans’ collective identity and consciousness? What novel forms of political praxis and language could be found to facilitate reconciliation between the http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png positions asia critique Duke University Press

Korea's "Vietnam Question": War Atrocities, National Identity, and Reconciliation in Asia

positions asia critique , Volume 9 (3) – Dec 1, 2001

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2001 by Duke University Press
ISSN
1067-9847
eISSN
1527-8271
DOI
10.1215/10679847-9-3-621
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

© 2001 by Duke University Press activist-led investigations of Korean troop massacres of Vietnamese civilians; reflection on the role of Korea as a perpetrator, not only as a victim, of war crimes; and cross-national and cross-cultural dialogues between Korean and Vietnamese citizens. The current public discussions at the local and national levels are fraught with controversy, but they are also promising because they may shed light on Korea’s complicated position in the global, neocolonial world, especially its regional position in Asia. The emerging cultural and political space consequently offers a context for reexamining Korea’s postdictatorial, post–Cold War political identity, and my scholarly project is exploring this issue of postcolonial relationality and identity. My findings suggest that Korea’s relationship with Vietnam and the United States, forged in the context of the “American War,” is helping to reveal the painfully contradictory and layered position of postcolonial Korea. How can Vietnam, as a site of critical inquiry and a place of history, be actively incorporated into Korea’s national memory? How can Korea’s memory and accounting of the Vietnam War reshape Koreans’ collective identity and consciousness? What novel forms of political praxis and language could be found to facilitate reconciliation between the

Journal

positions asia critiqueDuke University Press

Published: Dec 1, 2001

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