Monday, January 18, 2010


South Korean and international news media are filled with stories of the latest rhetorical salvo issued by P’yôngyang. Shortly after accepting and ROK offer of food aid, the North Korean National Defense Commission issued a statement condemning ROK contingency plans for the North and promising "Holy War" (성전) on the South (see here and here for reports).

I find the use of "Holy War" terminology interesting (and rare; the English version of the KCNA has only one use of the term I can find and only when the term is supposedly used by the U.S.; a search for the Korean term finds only the recent usage). So, what's up with this? A sign of the religious overtones of North Korean nationalism? Something else?

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