Back to Events of Wednesday 07th July 2021

Monday
22
FEB

01:00 PM

Two Keys to Pyongyang’s Past and Future – Moral Center and Korean War

Dr. Mee-Kyung Jung (Dankook University, Seoul)

Pyongyang has been described as a center of evil that threatens the world with nuclear weapons. The city is perceived as both aggressive and controlled. This study explains those particularities of Pyongyang utilizing Wagner’s (2000) theory of the Northeast Asian city as a moral center under the ongoing Korean War (although a ceasefire has been called, the war has not officially ended). This study starts by drawing similarities between Pyongyang and Hanyang, the capital of the Joseon Dynasty, which was established as a moral center according to the Rites of the Zhou Dynasty. The lecturer also looks at the influence that the Korean War had on Pyongyang and finds that Pyongyang was constructed to express the North Koreans socialist Juche ideology (self-reliance, subjecthood), while Hanyang expressed Confucian ideology. Pyongyang is more than just a moral center; it is “the Holy Land of Revolution” according to the “Administration Act of the Capital City Pyongyang”, where the war still takes place to defend the Juche Ideology and its supreme leader. The Korean War justifies the control in North Korea. The country utilizes the five-family control system inherited from the Joseon Dynasty. Its origin is legalism during the Warring States period (770−221 BC) in China. Control in Pyongyang has been strengthened because of the need for military operations in the unfinished Korean War, compared to Hanyang. Having relaxed political tensions in 2019, North Korea offers a vision for the future of Pyongyang as a “socialist fairyland” (仙境), which is related to Korea’s own Taoism (神仙思想). Developing Pyongyang with the Juche ideology from a Confucian tradition in the war, the city now reveals a unique means of cultural entanglement.

Streaming / Video URL

https://heiconf.uni-heidelberg.de/zmta-7tur-3nkr-xnzt

Organizer

Zentrum für Ostasienwissenschaften

Homepage Organizer

https://www.zo.uni-heidelberg.de

Contact

Institut für Sinologie

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