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Target North Korea: Pushing North Korea to the Brink of Nuclear Catastrophe Paperback – February 12, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-1560255574 ISBN-10: 1560255579

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Nation Books (February 12, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560255579
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560255574
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,648,540 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"One of the most important writers in English at work today on all of the countries of Northeast Asia-Korea, China, Japan (and Okinawa) ... [His work on North Korea] has had great influence because of McCormack's insights into North Korean thinking, his refusal to be drawn into Washington's ill-informed cliches about North Korea, and his very powerful historical perspective... McCormack's voice needs to be heard as the U.S once again moves militarily into an area it deeply misunderstands and where resentments against it have festered throughout the Cold War."

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Coyner Thomas Lee on March 22, 2005
Format: Paperback
Writing even a political science book about North Korea without emotion or strong bias is a remarkably difficult task. On the surface the Pyongyang represents what most non-Koreans would instinctively loath. At the same time, there are those foreign writers who have been too uncritical and too willing to give the benefit of the doubt in trying to understand the North's (and South's) logic.

Dr McCormack has somehow been able to steer a remarkable intellectually honest path noting along the way the mistakes and sins of all parties to this ongoing conflict. No one country comes out looking like a champ. Perhaps that is the advantage of writing from an Australian perspective. Regardless, this book is remarkably even-handed and dispassionate without being overly dry.

The book is immensely readable and concise. As a long term resident of Korea and a recognized amateur political analyst, I would recommend this book as an excellent starting point for anyone interested in this subject. I would also suggest this book to any "old Korea hand" who could use an update on this subject as well as a single volume reference dealing with US-Korean relations since 1945.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Brian on July 6, 2004
Format: Paperback
I read this book after Aquariums of Pyongyang to get a better understanding of North Korea's position in world politics. I consider I was very fortunate in choosing this book.
This author challenges typical views of North Korea as simply an evil empire through a very convincing analysis of the political circumstances leading up to the current situation but at the same time he does not defend the regime.
Whereas I suspect other books focus on criticising the DPRK, McCormack is heavily critical of US policy and diplomacy for its role in the current deadlock and the escalating nuclear threat. His insights have greatly helped me to understand current developments and I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to go beyond Washington's over-simplified representation of the state of affairs.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Timothy Baker on June 8, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is a fantastic book. I know a fair bit about Korea, but it wasn't until reading this book that I came to some understanding of North Korea's behaviour, particularly over the past 5-10 years. It seems that when it comes to North Korea, the media simply trumpet what governments say, and push the line that North Korea is irrational and cannot be understood. McCormack shows otherwise. The book is also concise and easy to read.
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12 of 20 people found the following review helpful By David W. Ewing on June 25, 2005
Format: Paperback
Target North Korea gets the history right. That's unusual in a contemporary journalism marketed to a generation raised on Fox News fantasies of evil foreign men and evil foreign nations. The hard truth is that the Korean War was an attempt by the popular forces that defeated Japan to unite the country and expel the U.S installed regime. Kim Il Sung was the paramount leader of the Korean national movement and he won that prominence the hard way - in deadly combat with the better equipped Japanese army. The British regarded the U.S. installed leader of the south, Syngman Rhee, as "a dangerous fascist or a lunatic." See p.24 Rhee came to power in rigged elections that prevented Kim from being a candidate. And Rhee solidified his regime by murdering about 100,000 people he thought might be political opponents. Conditions were so bad in the south that 49% of the population felt that the savage Japanese occupation of Korea was actually better than the American occupation. (p.18) The brutality of the allies in the Korean War is fully documented in Mr. McCormacks balanced history of the north - south divide. U.S. threats to nuke the North have been unrelenting and continue to this day. Living in a constant state of danger and isolation has warped the economy and the society of the north. McCormak hopes that the DPRK can somehow break out of its U.S. imposed isolation and open to the wider world, as China has. Against significant odds, the North seems to be slowly bettering relations with the ROK and complicating U.S. plans to first-strike their defenses. Target North Korea also details the hostility of Japan to the North. Japan hypes the danger of the DPRK much as Bush and Blair hyped the danger of Iraq-to justify the need for a rapid arms expansion and to win military authority over North Asia. This is a much needed book that has become available at a fateful moment in DPRK - USA relations.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Linda Ysebaert on March 25, 2007
Format: Paperback
As I am doing research about this subject I found this one dissapointing. It's biased and often not well supported by facts or references. Still, I would recommend it to people interested in this subject, it at least gives an alternate view on many things.
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