As tensions rise between the North and the South, will the Korean peninsula see a second major war?
Brian Myers, a professor and author of “The Cleanest Race: How North Koreans See Themselves and Why It Matters” argues that North Korea suffers from a superiority complex, similar to that of Imperial Japan during the Pacific campaign of WWII.
“It’s really a very radical kind of nationalism, it’s a sort of race based nationalism,” said Myers.
North Korean see the Korean race as morally and spiritually superior to all others.
“The Korean people were not always like this. They did not have any strong sense of racial belonging actually until, ironically enough, until the Japanese instilled it in them during the colonial period,” said Myers.
North Korea is continuing to threaten all-out war with the South if it chooses to retaliate for the sinking of the Cheonan navy ship. This is not the first time North Korea has threatened war, but Myers argues this time it may be different and that North Korea could act on its threats.
“North Korea is undergoing an economic crisis right now; it’s also undergoing an ideological crisis in the sense that the North Korean people are gradually becoming aware that the South Korean people are not only richer then they are, but that they are perfectly happy living in their own Republic of Korea; that they have no desire to live under Kim Jong-Il’s rule. That’s something that’s quite new,” said Myers.
An increased chance of military conflict exists because of the internal domestic crises in North Korea.
“It might very well make it more necessary for the regime to engage in some kind of diversionary conflict. In other words, some kind of conflict with South Korea that would divert the attention of the North Korean people away from the ongoing economic crisis and ideological crisis that they’re going through at home,” said Myers.
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