London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

War & Democracy: A Comparative Study of the Korean War and the Peloponnesian War.

David McCann & Barry Strauss (eds) (ME Sharpe, 2001) Crazy title, seemingly of limited readership: ancient historians also interested in modern East Asian history (or vice versa). But it’s a fascinating collection of articles. “How like Alcibiades was General MacArthur?” asks one article… Read a grown-up review of this book over at the Korean Studies … [Read More]

Paul French: North Korea – the paranoid peninsula

(Zed, 2005) Highly readable and wide-ranging book on North Korea. Describes clearly some of the eccentricities of the regime, such as the Sinuiju economic zone, and describes clearly for the benefit of non-economists how it is that a rigid centrally-planned economy is doomed to fail. Links: Buy North Korea: The Paranoid Peninsula at Amazon [Read More]

Elizabeth Kim: Ten Thousand Sorrows

(Doubleday, 2000) This one’s really depressing, and it’s amazing how the author (this is autobiographical) seems to have ended up reasonably unscathed — outwardly at least. If ever you think you’ve had a tough time, read this book and you’ll feel better: someone’s had it worse. This is the story of the mixed-race daughter of … [Read More]

Hwang Sok-yong: The Guest

(Seven Stories, 2005) Translated by Chun Kyung-ja and Maya West Originally published as 손님, Seoul 2001 The Guest of the title is an unwelcome foreigner: originally applied to smallpox, it is used by extension to cover the cultural imports of communism and Christianity. The theme of the book is that until the ghosts of the … [Read More]

New book on Kim Ki-duk

For all you fans of this inventive director, there’s a new book out. I’ll post some comments once I’ve read it, but that won’t be for a while as I’ve got quite a backlog to get through. That plus the fact that the English version won’t be available until November 2006, according to Amazon. Update: … [Read More]