Title Reorganization of Political Representation of Prominent Mountains and Its Influence on Mount Geumgang in North Korea, 1945-1998
Authors 성나연(Sung, Nayon) ; 전봉희(Jeon, Bong-Hee)
DOI https://doi.org/10.5659/JAIK.2022.38.2.93
Page pp.93-104
ISSN 2733-6247
Keywords North Korea; Socialism; Juche Ideology; Nationalism; Mount Geumgang; Mount Myohyang; Mount Baekdu; Political Representation
Abstract This study aims to examine the changes in status, meaning, and role of Mt. Geumgang from 1945 to 1998 as it relates to Mt. Myohyang and Mt. Baekdu. After liberation, North Korea established a socialist state with support from the Soviet Union. In 1967, when Kim Il-sung came into power, he purged his political rivals, who were supportive of establishing a socialist state, to politically transition into an autocracy. Originally, Mt. Geumgang was designated to display North Korean socialist ideas, however, its status and plan to use for propaganda purposes shifted to Mt. Myohyang and Mt. Baekdu; gradually it became marginalized as Kim’s Juche ideology was emphasized. Mt. Geumgang instead converted into a space to recall memories of the Korean War, embody anti-American sentiment and to symbolize Kim Jeong-sook’s loyalty to Kim Il-sung. Inevitably making Mt. Geumgang no longer a priority place to visit. In the process of being marginalized, Mt. Geumgang took center stage in attracting international tourists as North Korea grappled with overcoming economic difficulty in the 1980s. This process of shifting the focus and significance of Mt. Geumgang reflected North Korea's deviation from the shadow of the Soviet Union and restructuring the country based on its independent political ideology.