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Nationalism And Beyond : Humanitarian Assistance To North Korea (DPRK) And The Case Of The Korean Sharing Movement

  • Korean Social Science Journal
  • Abbr : KSSJ
  • 2008, 35(2), pp.79-117
  • Publisher : Korean Social Science Research Council
  • Research Area : Social Science > Social Science in general

한승미 1

1연세대학교

Candidate

ABSTRACT

This paper examines the dynamics of humanitarian assistance to North Korea in South Korea by situating it within the broader contexts of the transformation of South Korean civil society and the “national unification movement (minjok tongil undong).” Rather than analyzing NGO working conditions within North Korea or inter-Korean relations perse, this paper is more about the rise and growth of humanitarian assistance by South Korean civilian groups and the problems they faced. The case of the Korean Sharing Movement is analyzed more closely, mainly because it is the largest organization in the field. With the North Korean nuclear crisis developing into a serious phase (2002- ), the validity and effectiveness of humanitarian aid is increasingly questioned. The paper argues for the necessity of carving out a separate dimension of humanitarian assistance, which is sensitive to the local contexts of aid recipients, and is more oriented to a long-term “sustainable development.” A new vision of “unification movement” that goes beyond the simple logic of sentimental nationalism is necessary in South Korea, in order to build a more effective network of transnational civil society for the humanitarian cause and also to avoid the escalation of current nuclear crisis into a recklessly dangerous situation.

Citation status

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