Director Geir Helgesen at the Nordic Institute for Asian Studies (NIAS), together with Professor Rachel Harrison from SOAS, University of London, has invited a number of particularly competent contributors to look at the phenomenon of "demonization" in the book. East-West Reflections on Demonization. This is happening not least in light of the press and heads of state's treatment of the now – incredible – 70-year-long conflict on the Korean Peninsula and the tension in East Asia.
I first became aware of NIAS when NRK one morning interviewed Helgesen. He stood out with a more nuanced consideration than the wide black brush I had come to expect about the closed North Korea and the history of war on the peninsula. When I eagerly turned on the news broadcast later that day, Helgesen was weeded out. Now the well-known commentary was in place and repeated stories about the strange and dangerous North Korea with its nuclear missiles, violence against its own population, brother-murderer dictator, stupefying propaganda and self-inflicted hunger…
As I write this section, I imagine the reader's reaction that I, as a critic, am a brainwashed, contradictory procommunist who wants to applaud everything that comes. . .
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