Lankov traces the impact of Soviet reforms on North Korea, placing them in the context of contemporaneous political crises in Poland and Hungary. He documents the dissent among various social groups (intellectuals, students, party cadres) and their attempts to oust Kim in the unsuccessful August plot of 1956. His reconstruction of the Peng-Mikoyan visit of that year the most dramatic Sino-Soviet intervention into Pyongyang politics shows how it helped bring an end to purges of the opposition. The purges, however, resumed in less than a year as Kim skillfully began to distance himself from both Moscow and Beijing. The final chapters of this fascinating and revealing study deal with events of the late 1950s that eventually led to Kim s version of national Stalinism. Lankov unearths data that, for the first time, allows us to estimate the scale and character of North Korea s Great Purge.
Meticulously researched and cogently argued, Crisis in North Korea is a must-read for students and scholars of Korea and anyone interested in political leadership and personality cults, regime transition, and communist politics."
Numerous interviews with defectors paint a worrying picture of the escalating drug abuse. This evidence comes from multiple unconnected sources, and in most cases the defectors' statements demonstrate remarkable coherence. This article outlines the ongoing methamphetamine epidemic and traces its origin and its spread throughout North Korean society. A new challenge is emerging, and we have to be prepared to deal with it, or at least to take it into account.
A New Face of North Korean Drug Use, a McFarland E-Single, originally appeared in the North Korean Review, Vol. 9, No. 1 (Spring 2013).