since 1965  (really?)

Breaking Down Borders: Korea

This course listing applies to a Spring 2010 course. To find current courses, check out the Find a Course page.

Spring 2010
Asian American Studies 98/198
2 Unit(s)

Human friendly URL (OBSOLETE)


About the Course:

Even with the rush of new information now being made available on North Korea, much about the country is still shrouded in mystery. Yet, the country remains the subject of constant speculation by the rest of the world as North Korea continues to rely on foreign handouts to feed her people while simultaneously building intercontinental ballistic missiles, and, having probably tested a couple nuclear devices. The country also stands as one of the world’s prime proliferators of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles to much of the rogue world.

Some also allege that the country profits from the production and sales of illicit substances and fraudulent dollar bills. The country has also admitted to kidnapping citizens from foreign soil to aid in espionage programs and has harbored Japanese terrorists as well as blown up a South Korean airliner.  

Why does the world continue to give aid to a regime, which by some accounts, systematically violates the rights of her citizens like none other on the planet? And with this in mind, what warranted George W. Bush to take North Korea off the list of states that sponsor terrorism and simultaneously give aid along with promises of more aid in the future? 

This is the mystery that is North Korea. The country sits on the northern half of the Korean peninsula in the heart of prosperous Northeast Asia. Its people number some twenty-three million people. With a literacy rate higher than that of much of the developed world, including the United States, the country is also home to a populace that is seemingly suffering from perpetual malnutrition and starvation. Meanwhile, the southern half of the peninsula is occupied by another, rival Korean state that is home to a thriving, young democracy and an economy that by some measures ranks among the top dozen in the world.

It is a surprise then that much of the world allows North Korea to remain shrouded in obscurity, caring only to frame North Korea as some bizarre, freak state. This purpose of this class is to change this as North Korea will be carefully considered within the context of how North Korea relates to history and her neighboring states (and the United States of course). Note, the course will not go in detail about the human rights situation on the peninsula.

Topics will be covered chronologically and all students will be asked to give one presentation as part of a larger group on one of these topics. Discussion will be encouraged as the main mode of absorbing information in the course. Guest lecturers and documentaries may also be shown.  There will be in class assignments and therefore you must attend to complete them.  Absences are excused only with a doctor's note.  There will also be 5 out of class response papers assigned over the semester.  

How to Enroll:

Enrollment is first come, first served.

students with less than 60 units enroll in 98, CCN: 06053

students with over 60 units enroll in 198, the CCN:06221

Classes are:

Tuesday 6-8pm at Wheeler 10

For more information visit:

Course Contact: koreandecal10 AT


Faculty Sponsor: Elaine Kim

Time & Location:

TuesdaysJoe (Han)
Leah Yi
3020 WheelerTu 6p-8p2/09started

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Course info last modified February 1, 2010. This page has been viewed 2236 times.

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