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ItemThe Nation over Gender and Class: Media Framing of Comfort Women in South Korea and JapanSong, J ; Ohashi, J (The British Association for Korean Studies, 2020-10-01)In December 2015, South Korea and Japan reached an agreement on resolving the “comfort women” issue that sparked media interests. This article analyses how the South Korean and Japanese media covered comfort women in 2013–2018. The study collects over 20,000 newspaper articles and analyses distinctive media framings in liberal, conservative and leftist newspapers in South Korea and Japan. During this period, the South Korean media have gone beyond the extant nationalist and feminist narratives and incorporated a class dimension. The authors find that there have been dynamic interplays among nation, gender and class that make the debates more complex and transnational, yet the dominant narratives are still from liberal or leftist nationalists in Korea and conservative statists in Japan.
ItemNo Preview AvailableCivil (and Uncivil) Society in Exile: North Korean ‘Balloon Warriors’ in South KoreaSong, J (Asia Institute, University of Melbourne, 2020-03-16)
ItemThe "Savage-Victim-Saviour" Story Grammar of the North Korean Human Rights IndustrySong, J (Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2021)The article examines how the “human rights industry” has used the narratives of North Korean human rights activists and how actors are connected through their networks from a discourse-network perspective. It focusses on the coverage of the three most-cited North Korean refugee activists in the English-language Western media in recent years – Shin Dong Hyuk, Park Yeon Mi and Lee Hyeon Seo – and analyses their memoirs, public speeches and newspaper articles. The study finds that Western publishers have followed Makau Mutua’s “savage–victim–saviour” story grammar in their portrayal of the North Korean activists’ public discourses and that politically conservative, economically libertarian, ideologically anti-communist and religiously Christian groups have influenced these activists. While the political and material environments provided similar structural conditions for all three activists discussed in this study, there were variations among them in terms of access to resources and their exercise of individual agency. The author argues that by employing the voices and performances of North Korean activists, the human rights industry has played a significant role in strengthening and legitimising the hawkish policy of political conservatives in Seoul and Washington against Pyongyang.
ItemThe hidden variable: environmental migration from North KoreaSong, J ; Habib, B (Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2020-06-19)North Korea’s vulnerability to environmental shocks is an under-appreciated variable in the country’s human insecurity profile. Based on the United Nations Development Programme’s seven pillars of human security and using primary and secondary sources on weather, food and health conditions, the article argues that the intersection of environmental shocks with multiple human insecurities create an exacerbating chain effect on people’s lives in North Korea and prompt adaptive responses from both individuals and the government. We find the regional variations in adaptive capacity as the data shows more people from Hamgyong and Yanggang provinces used outbound migration as an option to survive than other areas, mediated by geography and gender. While Kim Jong Il largely failed to respond to human security threats, Kim Jong Un has adopted a few limited measures to mitigate further damages.