NKIDP is pleased to announce the publication of Working Paper #3, "'Mostly Propaganda in Nature:' Kim Il Sung, the Juche Ideology, and the Second Korean War" by Mitchell Lerner

Dec 16, 2010

NKIDP is pleased to announce the publication of Working Paper #3, "'Mostly Propaganda in Nature:' Kim Il Sung, the Juche Ideology, and the Second Korean War" by Mitchell Lerner. Based on newly declassified Czech, (East) German, Russian, and Hungarian archival documents, Lerner explores the origins of North Korea's military adventurism in the late 1960s. Lerner argues that the source of North Korea's conduct during this period was an attempt to compensate for internal failures by generating external crises that would help North Korean leader Kim Il Sung offset any potential threat to his control largely by using these crises as a platform to demonstrate his adherence to Juche, or "self-reliance" ideology, which by the mid-1960s had been established as the nation's primary value system.

The Working Paper includes an extensive appendix of translated Czech, (East) German, Russian, and Hungarian archival documents.

Click here to read NKIDP Working Paper #3.

Mitchell Lerner is associate professor of history at the Ohio State University and the Mershon Center for National Security Studies. He is the author of The Pueblo Incident: A Spy Ship and the Failure of American Foreign Policy (Kansas, 2002), and has published articles about US-Korean relations in Diplomatic History, Diplomacy and Statecraft, the Korea Society Quarterly, and the Journal of Cold War Studies. Professor Lerner is also the editor of Looking Back at LBJ, a collection of essays about the Johnson Administration which was published in 2005.

Experts & Staff

  • Christian F. Ostermann // Director, History and Public Policy Program; Global Europe; Cold War International History Project; North Korea Documentation Project; Nuclear Proliferation International History Project
  • James Person // Deputy Director, History and Public Policy Program; Cold War International History Project; North Korea Documentation Project; Nuclear Proliferation International History Project
  • Charles Kraus // Program Assistant
  • Roy O. Kim // Program Assistant