Korea/s in the (Too Hot To Be) Cold War open lecture with Dr. Sungju Park-Kang
More specifically, I propose the idea of ‘the (too hot to be) cold war’ as part of scrutinising the Korean problem. European/Great Powers-oriented accounts of the cold war—the long peace or imaginary war—have conceptual limitations. That is, Korea is a place where actual and virtual military confrontations are going on in the name of the unfinished war. Since the armistice was signed in 1953, the two Koreas have lived with war for almost 60 years. It seems that there has been a process of ‘arming the armistice’. Daily war situations have been institutionalised as the norm on the Korean peninsula. To put it another way, Korea/s have turned into a kind of ‘war-immune community’ over time. Normalised war situations have weakened people’s sense to feel a seemingly real war or conflict. I suggest that the long sustained and ongoing war situations have constituted a certain kind of security mindset, which is significant to understand the politics of the two Koreas. To support this argument, the case of KAL858 (Hyunhee Kim) is explored as a case study.