Reading List: North Korea and the Korean War [UPDATED]

We’d like to help every worker who is curious about the history of the North Korean workers state, and who would like to begin the process of working their way through the massive anti-North Korea propaganda operation being run by US imperialism and its NATO allies.

To this end, we’d like to recommend three books that shine much-needed light on this subject, as well as to send you to the source of news coming directly from the North Korean government itself.

For all your North Korean news from the North Korean side, there is only one source: the official North Korean news agency: the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).  The capitalist press will tell you that you’ll find nothing but pro-regime propaganda there – as if it’s all that different reading the pro-US propaganda in every US news media outlet.   Our perusal of the KCNA website shows that it has a lot of information on the North Korean side of the argument, as well as news on North Korean art, history, culture and tourist attractions.  It’s a lot more interesting that the bourgeois press would have you believe.

The Korean Central News Agency – English Website

For your Korean War history needs, there’s American historian Bruce Cuming’s excellent books:   The Korean War and  Another Country.

“The Korean War” is, in our humble opinion, THE book to read for a very balanced view of the truth of what the United States did to the Korean people in that brutal war.  Once you understand the extent of what the Korean people were forced to live through, you will be far more understanding about why they are so desperately trying to build nuclear weapons to defend their heroic nation from another US attack.

“Another Country” describes more of the history of how the long, storied history of Korea – and especially its long, tortured struggle for independence from Japan and the US –  has created in the North a very different culture from Western society.  It could not have been otherwise.  Cumings, who is a professor of history at the University of Chicago – no hotbed of left-wing politics – is fluent in the Korean language, has visited the country many times and is a Koreaphile while not in any way being a Kim Il Sung fanboy.  Both of these relatively brief books should be required reading before anyone even tries to say a word about the subject.  Do yourselves a favor and pick them up at your library or buy them.

We would also like to recommend an excellent work of fiction by the well-known Chinese exile author Ha Jin:  “War Trash”.

This book – which is based on first-hand accounts of Chinese and Korean prisoners of war during the Korean War – describes in harrowing detail how the US’ South Korean puppet regime of Syngman Rhee systematically tortured and murdered tens of thousands of Communist workers captured during the war.    It’s a real tour of hell and another way you will come to understand why the North Koreans have absolutely no intention of ever letting that shit happen to their citizens ever again.

Last but definitely not least, we would like to suggest for your reading displeasure the harrowing account of just one of the thousands of war crimes committed by the United States military during their rape of Korea: the massacre of hundreds of Korean civilians at No Gun Ri.  It is portrayed quite brilliantly in the Pulitzer-prize winning book  “The Bridge at No Gun Ri”.

This book tells the story of how United States soldiers were ordered to open fire on civilians – men, women and children – in order to stop imaginary “North Korean infiltrators” from crossing the border into the new puppet state of South Korea.  The story is told by people who were there on both sides of the conflict:  Koreans who were children at the time of the massacre, who were shot as they tried to hide from the US soldiers’ bullets and the US Air Force’s strafing jets; as well as in accounts told by US soldiers who were there and dutifully opened fire on the civilians after being ordered to do so.  Voluminous official documentation of the incident from the North and the US is presented.   In this brutal war, this was one of the minor war crimes committed by the US military.

IWPCHI

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