Engagement in Korea

A very interesting discussion in NKZone, a blog on North Korea (DPRK), on the recent visit of New York Philharmonic.

It quoted Andrei Lankov's view
  • Hardline critics may be right that North Korean officials will portray these visits as a foreigners' tribute to their "Dear Leader". However, one should not overestimate the efficiency of this propaganda. I grew up in the Soviet Union in the 1970s and officially approved cultural and academic exchanges were a critical source of information about life overseas and helped arouse serious doubts about the communist system.
Professor Lankov's comment is consistent and supported by everything I heard from the Chinese in the 1970s. e.g., the visit of Nixon, Ping-pong diplomacy, opened their eyes to the west, and paved way for Deng's reform which followed. Even though, as Lankov correctly pointed out, Mao was still in power and Deng in the village at the time.

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