North Korea nuclear issue and Russia-US-China relations
The changing situation in Korean peninsula arises the question as to whether US, China and Russia could jointly find the adequate answer to the critical issues on N.Korea At the same time all countries should remain in the framework of legality and act only by UN decision. Further testing of nuclear weapons by DPRK is likely to invoke stronger sanctions but the consequences there are uncertain. What is certain, however, is that the status quo cannot be maintained in the long term, as long as North Korea keeps developing nuclear weapons. We can see several paradoxes of the present situation. The first one is that DPRK being a country with very low level of economic development and zero-influence to the world economy was able to galvanize the global alignment of forces and behave as a very important «enfant terrible». In spite of the common threat even today after awesome statements from US and N. Korea’s sides to completely destroy each other and "peace with honor" attitude and real threat of war, it didn’t give birth of the obvious anti-N. Korean alliance with common views to the decision of this situation. The long-lasting situation in Korean peninsula today turned to be a global issue with many actors and vague prospects.
The book "Korea and Russia: Society, politics, history, culture. To the 120th anniversary of Korean studies in the St. Petersburg State University version "includes articles written on the basis of reports presented at the international scientific conference “120 years Russian and Korean Studies at St. Petersburg State University, which took place October 13-14, 2017. In 15 chapters of the book, 5 of which are in English, the reader can get acquainted with the widest range of studies covering areas such as social change in Korean and Russian societies, history, culture, literature, linguistics of Korea, as well as History of Korean studies in Russia and abroad. Also, the book provides an opportunity to get acquainted with a number of achievements of South Korean colleagues in the millet exploring Russia. The book is intended for professionals, students of higher educational institutions of oriental profiles, as well as for all interested history, culture, society of Korea.
The proceedings of the III International Scientific Conference of Young Orientalists, which was held at the Institute of Far Eastern Studies in November 2015, cover different aspects of the development of the countries of Northeast Asia and their cooperation with Russia. Particular attention is paid to the analysis of the current state and prospects of political, military and economic development of China, Japan, Mongolia, North and South Korea in various fields in the context of the current military and political situation in the world and main regional economic trends. Some issues of cultural, social and historical development of Russia's Far Eastern neighbors are also explored.
"White-Head Mountain" is the literal translation of the toponym "Paektusan" or “Mt. Paektu”. This mountain is the highest point of the Korean peninsula; potentially an active volcano, located on the border of the DPRK and China. It is important not only as a significant natural object, but also as a sacred land, a special territory. According to my research, this "status" the mountain received relatively recently: only in the second half of the 18th century, during the reign of the king Yǒngjo (1724 – 1776). I argue that Mt. Paektu acquires its special significance in the 18th century in connection with the changes in spatial representations in Korea and the formation of an opposition "one's own" − "someone else's", where by "else" the culture of the neighboring "barbarous" Manchu empire Qing was meant. Among the reasons of these changes are the Imjin War (1592 – 1598), the formation of ethnic identity and the fall of the Chinese Ming empire. Korea, losing Qing in military power and on the war fields, chose cultural resistance through ritual and the semiotic system appealing to the values of native history, literature and culture. Based on the chronicle “Chosǒn Wangjo Sillok”, on the geographic maps and descriptions of the lands made in the XVII – XVIII Centuries, I trace down the dynamics of terms and event changes connected to Mt. Paektu: from the meeting place with the Ming ambassadors to the “sacred land”, where state rituals were held.
Sociologists and pollsters became interested in measuring attitudes of Russians towards the DPRK and the Republic of Korea already in the early 1990s. Despite the ideological differences between the two states the majority of the Russian population does not distinguish between them well and has approximately the same feelings according to the data of the Levada-Center collected in 2013. About half of respondents have expressed positive towards both of them, 17% have negative attitudes, and 24% have no opinion (found it difficult to answer). The survey demonstrates only one tenth of Russians as having differently characterized their attitudes towards the two countries. In particular, 9% felt sympathy for South Korea and antipathy towards North Korea, and 2% - vice versa. At the same time, very few Russians consider both North and South Korea to be strategic allies or opponents of the Russian Federation. The survey analysis reveals a pronounced positive attitude towards only North Korea (but not towards South Korea) as typical for the older generation born and grown up in the Soviet Union, that could not adapt and did not achieve great success in the new economic conditions and in many respects remained faithful to the communist ideology. Conversely, a positive attitude towards South Korea is typical predominantly for economically successful young and middle-aged people sharing Western values. The attitudes of Russians depend both on the individual social-economic characteristics and historic and cultural background of the relationship with Korea. Despite the different trajectories of the development of relations after World War II, Russia currently maintains good-neighborly relations with both the DPRK and the Republic of Korea.
The present paper focuses on the development of feminist thought and women's movement in Korea in the 20th century. The author aims to reveal the major constraints of women's empowerment in Korea in the process of creating a modern nation-state based on democracy, pluralism and the rule of law.
The 17–18th centuries in Korea are characterized by the sharp increase in the number of works devoted to geography and history. The reason was the emergence of new knowledge about the world, coming to the Korean peninsula through regular contacts with the Manchu empire of Qing. It is worth mentioning that the nature of these works was diametrically opposed: on the one hand, in the higher aristocratic Confucian circles, the mythical “All Under Heavens Map”s called cheonhado, appealing to ancient history, were popular; on the other hand, a group of sirhak scholars who fought for the “real knowledge”, tried to find a compromise between the new methods of studying space and the traditional sinocentric worldview.
This article focuses on one of the geographical writings of the second half of the 18th century the “Description of the Mountains” (Sangyeongpyo) of the court official-censor Shin Gyeongjun 申景濬 (1712-1781). This work is the first proto-scientific attempt to classify all the Korean mountains according to their location and size. The work continues the study of the so-called “The Great Paektu Trunk" of the Baektu-taegan, or the Great Trunk, started earlier by the scholars of the second half of the 18th century. – Yi Chung-hwan 李重煥 (1690-1756?) and Yi Ik 李瀷 (1681-1763).
The article is aimed to reconstruct the biography of Shin Gyeongjun – and for the first time in Russian Korean Studies the research is based on the royal chronicles “Joseon Wangjo Sillok” 朝鮮王朝實錄; and to analyze the content of the “Description of the Mountains” – this is also done for the first time in Russian Korean Studies.
According to Shin Gyeongjun, the Korean mountain range system should be correctly explained through the fifteen different mountain ranges. He believed it is possible to distinguish one “huge trunk” daegan (大幹), one “main trunk” jeonggan (正幹) and thirteen “main veins” jeongmaek (正脈). Shin Gyeongjun was the first state council who presented the whole description of the Korean mountain ranges, and thus he influenced the development of Korean geography and cartography.
Invaluable role of Korean youth in the national liberation movement of Korea, in the fight against the Japanese colonization of the independence of the homeland. Analysis of activity of Korean youth organizations will allow to identify their role and place in the struggle for independence and its influence on the development of self-consciousness and national consciousness of the Korean youth. The article is devoted to the Korean youth movement in the 1920s. For the first time introduced into circulation new documents and materials from Russian archives, presents an analysis of the structure of various youth organizations, including the first Komsomol organizations in Korea, Manchuria, Japan and Russia. The main goals and objectives of youth organizations were directed not only to fight against the colonial domination of Japan, one of the main tasks of the Korean youth was educational activities directed at the elimination of Korean traditional values, the struggle for equality in society and in the family. Intuitively presented and ideological struggle between youth organizations, religious, socialist, communist and nationalist orientation, covers the activities of the Korean section of the Komsomol Communist Youth International (CIY). Sufficiently clear traced and ideological incompatibility not only in the youth movement, but also in general in the Korean independence movement.
The paper focuses on the one of the Kingship symbols in Korea in the Joseon period namely “The Screen of the Sun, the Moon and the Five Peaks” (Irworobongdo). The Screen was one of the obligatory attributes of the ruler, it symbolized his presence and connection with the universe. According to the modern South Korean historians, the first Screen was placed behind the lifetime portrait (1393) of the founder of the Joseon dynasty — Yi Seong-gye (T’aejo, 1335–1408, ruled 1392–1398). According to my research, this statement is unreasonable because the portrait of Yi Seong-gye has not survived, and we can deal only with its copy now, that was painted in the 18th century. The article explains that the Screen originally was only one of the symbols of the royal authority but its role changed in the 17–19th centuries, after the Manchu conquered Korean peninsula — this dramatic events led to sudden increase of anti-Manchu and (later) anti-Qing views which influenced and strengthened Korean self-identity. Basing on the historical examples, I conclude that the Screen started to play an important role in the state ritual starting from the anti-Manchu politics but became irreplaceable part of Kingship only in the late 19th century. Apart from the historical view, the article gives interpretation to visual images on the Screen and studies the meaning of the Screen in the state ritual. According to the results of our research the Screen placed behind a King’s throne symbolically made a King a ruler of space and time.