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Descriptive Features regarding North Korea and Unification in the High School KOREAN HISTORY Textbook : Focused on the Mutual Restriction of Consciousness about North Korean History, Unification Discussion, and the History of North-South Relations

  • The Journal of Northeast Asia Research
  • Abbr : NEA
  • 2015, 30(1), pp.71-102
  • DOI : 10.18013/jnar.2015.30.1.003
  • Publisher : The Institute for Northeast Asia Research
  • Research Area : Social Science > Political Science > International Politics > International Relations / Cooperation

Kim Ji Hyung 1

1서원대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper critically analyzes North Korean history, unification discussion, and inter-Korean relations described in the high school Korean history textbook 2014 edition. The historical recognition reflected in the description of the North Korean history seems to be stemming from the confrontation of the structures and the superior or inferior way of thinking. It is focused on the critical descriptions of the situation and raising questions rather than stressing the internal context of the North Korean historical development. These cold war-like, friend-or-enemy descriptions acted as a problem limiting the following unification discussions and inter-Korean relations description. For the description regarding the unification discussions, it is focused on discussions of economical values. It is a reflection of the discussions mainly led by the government and press after the post-cold war era. As for the Korean history textbook, wide historical description is demanded about the various unification discussions and the North-South unification policies after the division. Inter-Korean relations part is centered on the major agreements the North and South have made. For some parts, not only were core contents and educational focus inaccurate, but the successive governments’ relaxed descriptions of unification policies were also found. Before anything else, unilateral descriptive method of the inter-Korean relations can be pointed to as a problem. More of an objective description of interactive influence of both parties is needed. From the future oriented viewpoint for overcoming the division, it still fundamentally has not overcome the limits of past government designated textbooks.

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