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NEWS | April 2009

Saturday, April 18, 2009

An Interview with Grace M. Cho, Author ‘ Haunting the Korean Diaspora’

by Uni Park

joined Nodutdol in the summer of 2008 and was a participant on Korea Exposure & Education Program in 2007. She is an associate professor of sociology, anthropology, and women’s studies at the City University of New York, College of Staten Island. She is a contributing performance artist for the art collective Still Present Pasts: Korean Americans and the Forgotten War. Grace’s new book, Haunting the Korean Diaspora: Shame, Secrecy, and the Forgotten War, was recently published in late 2008 by University of Minnesota Press. I finally got a chance to chat with Grace over skype in early April after several emails, coordinating across continents and time zones.

Uni: Grace, first of all, I want to congratulate you on the publication of your new book. I can’t even imagine spending almost a decade on a project. It must have been an arduous process with many ups and downs. What were some of the struggles in writing this book?

Grace: There were many. First of all because it started as my doctoral dissertation, I needed to get institutional support to do this and I faced a lot of criticism because I was doing something quite unorthodox for sociology. I also faced some challenges with a few family members who had objections to me writing this book. And then, it was emotionally taxing to write this book. I found myself holding back a lot because it was so dark sometimes and it was frightening to go into these dark places. But because I was trying to write in a way that also “performed” the trauma I was writing about, I needed to enter those places and feel it myself. I had to face a number of conflicts, both inner and outer. Also, I sometimes wonder if the book is compromised because it is a hybrid between an academic book and a book for a general audience.

Uni: What do you mean precisely by hybrid? Can you elaborate?

Grace: Since it came out of my dissertation, it was shaped a lot by institutional requirements. Then I got a contract with an academic press to publish the book and therefore had to revise it in a way that responded to criticisms of academic reviewers. It was important that I make a new theoretical contribution. The whole time I was very aware that my audience was an academic audience as well as one beyond academia. But I used a lot of different writing styles and research methods, some of them much more akin to creative writing or performance art. That’s what I mean when I call it a hybrid.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

[Column] Was the North Korean launch a “provocation”? on the HanKyoReh, April 14, 2009

[Column] Was the North Korean launch a “provocation”?

by Selig S. Harrison,
Director of the Asia Program at the Center for International Policy

For the direct link, please click Here.

Was the North Korean launch a “provocation”? Not to the United States and Japan, as they allege, but South Korea‘s anxieties are more understandable.

The timing of the launch on the eve of the first Supreme People’s Assembly meeting in six years makes clear that it was mainly a domestic political event, a big show by Kim Jong Il to bolster his prestige internally. Similarly, the 1998 launch was timed to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the DPRK.

With South Korea planning to use a Russian rocket for its own KSLV I launch from Goehung this summer, Kim wanted to show that North Korea is more self-reliant. Military analysts will no doubt emphasize the technical differences that make North Korea‘s launch “military” and threatening in contrast to the South Korean launch and to the 25 Japanese launches since 1971. But the fact is that the rocketry involved in any satellite launch has a potential utility for missiles, and the Japanese J-1 and J-5 rockets have a range and thrust comparable to the best U.S. ICBMs.

The launch was also undoubtedly intended to be an advertisement of North Korean missile capabilities designed to attract Iran, Syria and other buyers of missile components and technology. But ironically, since the second stage failed and “no object entered orbit,” according to the U.S. Northern Command, it was not a very convincing advertisement. The failure of the second stage was dramatized by the fact that the payload splashed down hundreds of miles short of the area where it was projected to fall in the advance maps submitted by North Korea to international agencies, as required under the U.N. Outer Space Treaty.

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Friday, April 10, 2009

Register for Intermediate Korean Class!!!  Start Date Postponed to April 15

Nodutdol is offering Intermediate Korean Class! There is still time to register!
If you are interested, please contact us @ or 718-335-0419 .

4/15/09 to 6/17/09 (10 weeks) Wednesdays 6:30-8:30pm
Students with about 7-8 months of Korean language Instruction.
Corresponding level of Korean proficiency to conduct basic social activities.
Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing.

+ Classes are held in Mid-Manhattan. Each class will be small (a maximum of 10
students) and focus on developing conversational Korean language skills in an
informal atmosphere.
+ Tuition : $300 per 10-week session ($225 for Nodutdol members, low income
and students)

우리 같이 한국어를 배웁시다!  Let’s all learn Korean together! !

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Monday, April 6, 2009

KPI Interview with Selig Harrison ‘ NK Satellite Launch & U.S.-D.P.R.K. Relations’

Interviewed by Paul Liem | Published April 6, 2009
Selig S. Harrison is director of the Asia Program at the Center for International Policy and a senior scholar of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. He is the former director of the Century Foundation¹s Project on the United States and the Future of Korea. Specializing in South Asia and East Asia for fifty years as a journalist and scholar, he has visited North Korea over ten times and on two occasions, met with the late Kim Il Sung. He is the author of six books on Asian affairs and U.S. relations with Asia, including Korean Endgame: A Strategy For Reunification and U.S. Disengagement, published by Princeton University Press in May 2002. Dr. Harrison serves as an advisory board member of the Korea Policy Institute (KPI).

With the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) preparing to launch a satellite and the Obama administration preoccupied with reviving the moribund U.S. economy, KPI caught up with Dr. Harrison on March 27 to gather his assessment of current conditions.

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Sunday, April 5, 2009

Updated: Google Says It Is Still Examining Korea’s Real-Name Verification Law

By Tom Foremski - April 2, 2009

[Updated April 5: Maybe Google has a backbone after all. Korean newspapers had reported that Google had imposed the real-name law but Google Korea tells me that’s not the case and it is still examining the law.]

On April 1 Google was required by law to ban South Korean users from posting videos or leaving comments on YouTube unless they use real names. The law states that South Korean web sites with at least 100,000 daily visitors must force users to register with verifiable real names. It would be the first time for Google to implement such a system, in any of its operations around the world.

Lois Kim, head of corporate communications at Google Korea told SVW: “We have not implemented a so-called ‘real name verification’. It is simple for you to check! - try visiting YouTube site( and you will know. We have examined the law and not decided anything.”

Google’s corporate philosophy states: “...we have a responsibility to protect your privacy and security.” And its top executives and representatives have often spoken about Google’s commitment to privacy and free speech on the Internet.

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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Bail Out People, Not the Banks!


Friday, April 3rd
Rally at 1pm
Wall St. and Broadway
(March at 4pm but Nodutdol will not be present)
Saturday, April 4th 12pm
Meet at Wall St. and Broadway
Rally at 12pm on Nassau between Wall St. and Pine St.
March at 1pm with United for Peace and Justice (down to Battery Park)

Nodutdol will be at ‘Bail Out the People, Not the Banks’, organized by International Action Center, this Saturday to demand a job’s program; moratorium on evictions and foreclosures; end to layoffs, cutbacks, tuition and transit hikes. Nodutdol will focus on demanding an end to U.S. military occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan and less military spending.

Call 646.409.8056 for more info.


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