Nationalism, Meet Socialism, Part 2

Behind chilling practice lies chilling theory, as expounded by a North Korean general:

“Our nation has always considered its pure lineage to be of great importance — I am concerned that our singularity will disappear. Instead of contradicting him, the South Korean delegation said such dilution of the bloodline was “but a drop of ink in the Han River,” adding this would cause no problems “if we all live together.”

Let’s not bicker and argue over who diluted who….

But this failed to mollify the North Korean. “Since time immemorial, our nation has been a land of abundant beauty. Not even one drop of ink must be allowed to fall into the Han River,” Kim thundered.

“Our history shows that we were able to maintain the purity of the Korean race even while living together with the Jurchen and the Manchurians of the region,” Han countered. “That may be true,” Kim pressed on, “but from Old Chosun” — the earliest Korean kingdom that ended in 108 BC and spanned from western Manchuria through the northwestern regions of the Korean Peninsula and according to legend started in 2333 BC ? “through the Middle Ages and the modern era, it is undeniable that we existed as one unified race.”

And they’re willing to do whatever it takes to keep it that way. This, by the way, meets the legal definition of genocide because, unlike the engineered famine that killed about 2.5 million mainly lower-class North Koreans, it is based on ethnicity (religion and nationality also qualify; political and social groups don’t).

It would be technically accurate to say that these talks gave us a better understanding of those who run North Korea.


  1. Scary stuff, and the NK general should be told in no uncertain terms that the wouorld would celebrate the end of Kim Jong-il’s bloodline.


  2. It’s ironic the North should be pushing this considering the history of the norther provinces.

    Until very late in the pre-modern period, the northern provinces of different Korean kingdoms were administered differently from those of the south.

    Long into the Chosun dynasty, they were military districts, not ruled by the civil service – though the military was not the one with the upperhand. Meaning, the civil leaders in the capitol deemed the northern provinces special enough to be put under military rule rather than being part of the regular, more appropriate civil society.

    People from the northern provinces couldn’t sit for the civil service exam or hold high official office.

    People from the south were enticed by the government to move up north, because it was deemed too sparsley populated by Koreans. You could get land, freed from slavery, or moved up the social ladder if you moved up north.

    I also seem to remember at different times the nomadic tribes of Manchuria who frequently raided into Korea (and settled) were given incentives to settle permanently and adapt Korean customs to be brought into the Korean fold.

    I think the founder of the Chosun dynasty was supposed to have Manchurian tribal blood in his veins.

    So much for Pyongyang being the last bastion of the pure Korean strain…