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The Revolutionary People of Mount Baekdu: North Korea, Third World Liberation, and the Exportation of Mountain Insurgency
This talk examines the ways in which the North Korean regime exported its own theory of insurgency to the Third World during the Cold War era and used mountains as the primary source of inspiration and revolutionary struggle. Unlike the rural-oriented Maoists in China or the urban-focused Soviet Union, North Korea perceived its revolution to be mountain-based and derived the Kim family's legitimacy from their historical closeness to Mount Baekdu, a sacred mountain to all Korean people.
Benjamin Young (Left) is an Assistant Professor of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness at Virginia Commonwealth University's Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs. He is the author of Guns, Guerillas, and the Great Leader: North Korea and the Third World (Stanford University Press, 2021). He received his Ph.D. in history from The George Washington University in 2018. He has previously taught at the U.S Naval War College and Dakota State University. He has published peer-reviewed articles on North Korean history and politics in a number of scholarly journals and is a regular contributor to NKNews.org.
Gregg Brazinsky (Right) is a Professor of History and International Affairs and Deputy Director of GW Institute for Korean Studies. His research seeks to understand the diverse and multi-faceted interactions among East Asian states and between Asia and the United States. He is the author of Nation Building in South Korea: Koreans, Americans, and the Making of a Democracy (University of North Carolina Press, 2007) and Winning the Third World: Sino-American Rivalry during the Cold War (University of North Carolina Press, 2017). He served as Interim Director of the GW Institute for Korean Studies during the Spring 2017 semester.