Bruce Cumings

History & Memory in the Korean War:

Apocalypse, Absence, Amnesia--& Kim Jong Il


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Cumings' lecture examines the extraordinary destructiveness of the Korean War, why this remains a burned-in memory in North Korea, why South Koreans are only now able to comprehend how terrible this war was, why Americans know next to nothing about this apocalypse (absence) and/or choose to forget (amnesia), the peculiar way in which Kim Jong Il signifies to Americans everything that is wrong with North Korea, and the ways in which this mutual incomprehension still affects U.S.-North Korean relations nearly sixty years after the armistice.