East Asia History

Semester 2; Block 4


Surrender of Japan

15 August 1945

When WWII ended, China had been at war for over 30 years and was damn ruined.
--> The CCP had earned the loyalty of millions of peasants, but it had neither the troops nor the political organization to seize national power. The Nationalist government thus regained control of most major cities, while the CCP forces remained largely in the countryside
--> Less than two weeks after the Japanese emperor's surrender, Jiang Jieshi invited Mao Zedong to negotiate in Chonqing where they spend six weeks talking but didn't really do shit.

Chinese civil war

31 March 1946 - 1 October 1949

The Chinese civil war was the largest military conflict after WWII. The People's Liberation Army (PLA) continued its guerrilla tactics, but also undertook positional battles engaging hundreds of thousands of soldiers. The CCP had a closely unified military leadership, with general policy set by Mao Zedong, Liu Shaoqi, Marxist theorist Ren Bishi, and the Central Committee of the Party's Political Bureau (Politburo)
--> The high command of the GMD remained fractured by factional disputes, warlord rivalries, and Jiang Jieshi's instance on micromanaging even distant battles.

The Nationalists had successfully attacked the CCP in Manchuria in spring 1946, breaking Marshall's ceasefire and vindicating Mao's decision not to trust Jiang.

The CCP went on the offensive in summer 1947 and eliminated several GMD armies in North China, killing over 80,000 men. They made their headquarters between Nanjing and Wuhan, placing a powerful CCP army close to Jiang's capital.
--> The PLA had reversed the GMD advantage in Manshuria, isolating GMD garrisons in Shenyang and Changchun.

In the election year of 1948, with anticommunist fear on the rise, Truman could not be seen as abandoning a loyal Christian ally in the fight against international communism --> another external circumstance impinged upon China:
< the hostility between the US and the USSR became apparent in China >

Based on intelligence from well-placed spies, Mao urged an all-out offensive to drive the GMD from Manchuria.
--> the Communists' infiltration of GMD headquarters, successful tactics, and GMD factionalism had given control over North China to the CCP.
--> Eager to end the war and implement the social revolution was Mao's primary goal. However, he agreed to talks [for mediation] in order to prevent American intervention and give the PLA a rest before assaulting the Yangzi river. (the GMD requested last-minute assistance from the West, but they turned them down, claiming "non-interference in China's internal affairs")
--> On April 21, 1949 the CCP armies crossed the Yangzi meeting only sporadic resistance as the GMD river navy defected "en masse".
--> After a flurry of arrests and executions of the GMD's local opponents, Jiang left Shanghai for Taiwan in early May, and the PLA entered the city the following day without a battle

On October 1, 1949, Mao Zedong announced the establishment of the People's Republic of China (PRC) as the sole legitimate government of China --> "The will of the whole nation"
- The GMD blamed the USSR for backing the CCP, the US for abandoning its anticommunist ally, and the CCP for being an anti-Chinese tool of the Soviets

2/28 Incident

28 February 1947

Recovering Taiwan from the Japanese in 1945, after 50 years of colonial occupation, had been one of Jiang Jieshi's happiest achievements. However the Taiwanese soon lost their initial enthusiasm for Nationalist rule in the face of Chen Yi's arrogant mismanagement.

The 2/28 incident, a quibble between unlicensed cigarette vendors and government enforcers, started weeks of civil unrest and led Shen Yi to imprison thousands of educated, politically active Taiwanese on charges of communism or communist sympathies. This alienated local elites from the government; some Taiwanese perceived themselves as being recolonized by the ROC.

The GMD insisted that the Republic of China, not the PRC, constituted China's only legitimate government.

Hukou system

Oct 2, 1949

< a household registration system >
It fixed every person's residence and social services, forming an unyielding system of social control rather than a traditional device for census, taxation, or conscription.
--> Prevented most physical mobility (illegal rural immigrants)
--> Urban Hokou carried social benefits that holders of rural Hokou did not have: thus reinforced a two-tiered society

Danwei units

Oct 2, 1949

< work-unit >
The danwei became the primary identification outside the family; as organizers of participation in mass campaigns, work-untie could also label people as misfits or criminals, subjecting them to public humiliation and punishment

establishment of the People's Republic of China

Oct 2, 1949

Some communists argued for a federal form of government like the USSR's, even for frontier people's right to secede. But once in power, Mao and his party denied that possibility and firmly established New China's borders as encompassing all those culturally non-Chinese regions. The PRC, like the GMD before it, defined the indigenous peoples of the frontiers as members of "the Chinese people". With the absorption of Tibet the PRC succeeded where the ROC had failed - all the recognized territory of the former Qing (except Outer Mongolia and Taiwan) had been unified as "China"

Korean War

25 June 1950 - 27 July 1953

Mao and his colleagues saw the US, supporting Jiang Jieshi with its escalating anticommunism, as an intransigent, reactionary enemy. Zhou Enlai and Mao agreed that the US intended to invade China on three fronts: Taiwan, Vietnam, and Korea. Chinese troops entered North Korea in October and November, reversing the American northward drive, retaking Seoul and reestablishing the division of the peninsula near the 38th parallel

When the Korean War began, the CCP ordered a national campaign to "Resist America and Aid Korea". The CCP "campaign style" - society-wide mobilization, meetings and social pressure, criticism and self-criticism - first tested in land reform and party rectification movements, became a hallmark of the PRC and a major difference between China and the USSR.

Election Law

Approx. 1953

Specified that every Minzu, "ethnic or national group", in China must be represented by at least one NPC delegate.
--> Relied on language as the most important ethnic marker

First Plan

1953 - 1957

In 1951 (following Soviet example) Chinese economists began designing a first Five-Year Plan taking heavy industry as the core of development and aiming to double factory output by 1957.
--> By 1953, rapid reduction of the amount of paper money in circulation and banning of foreign currencies had brought inflation under control, and the government stabilized its revenues with production, sales, and income taxes
--> Under the first FYP over half of the state's capital investment went to industry

In 1955 Mao Zedong challenged the Chinese people to choose between socialism, meaning collective or state ownership of the means of production, and capitalism, meaning private ownership and management, --> Mao called for (1955) rapid collectivization of agriculture, arguing that industrial success depended on agricultural growth and the expansion of domestic markets.
* Many CCP planners and economists thought Mao's ambition excessive and his timing unrealistic.

Organizing farmers into larger and larger danwei, the collectivization five of the mid-1950s took decision making away from rural households and gave it to village level cadres.

Hundred Flowers Campaign

Approx. 1956 - Approx. 1957

"The policy of letting a hundred flowers bloom and a hundred schools of thought contend is designed to promote the flourishing of the arts and the progress of science"
--> Hostile to individualism, Mao found intellectuals self-seeking and unreceptive to party discipline. In 1954, Hu Feng and several colleagues wrote a lengthy memo to the CCP Central Committiee claiming that Party control over art resulted in shit art that alienated its audience ("300,000 Word Report"). China's progress required intellectuals' active participation (mass literacy etc.).

Although criticism started slowly, eventually people were freely letting their disapproval known. The CCP struck back against critics in July 1957 with a nation-wide "Anti-Rightist Movement"

Second Plan

1958 - 1962

< The Great Leap Forward >
To be less dependent on the USSR, Mao intensified his calls for a "great leap" economic strategy, dramatic mobilization of the "boundless energy" of the workers and peasants. - He opposed CCP leaders who recommended step-by-step progress towards socialism ,rational economic planning, and gradual accumulation of capital-

The GLF proposed that China would catch up with industrialized Great Britain in 15 years. The language of the GLF recalled military life.
--> "People's Communes": huge danwei: numerous villages, thousands of households
--> "backyard furnaces": bad steel though
--> "work-points": basis of the distribution of grain, surplus cash, and other products
-->--> rural women labored within households; earned own work-points

The GLF's failures could not be hidden from the Party's leadership, which had begun to split earlier over the timing of China's march to socialism.

Great Chinese Famine

1959 - 1961

rapid collectivization and mass participation in militarized production departed radically from Soviet experience. After arguments in June 1960 the USSR withdrew its support fro China's development.

The GLF's reliance on "red" enthusiasm had stifled negative reports from any sector of the economy. If production did not meet projections, cadres falsified statistics at every level. Relying on spurious data, central planners demanded unreachable quantities of grain and other products from the communes. At the same time, commune officials, ignorant of village-level conditions and under pressure to achieve great things, called upon farmers to engage in "deep plowing and close planting" to extract vast output of limited land.
--> The GLF need drastically reducing food production; following its own inaccurate estimates of food production, the state took excessive grains from the communes to fed the cities, leaving the farmers with little or nothing to eat.

< the famine was the result of (1) unrealistic policy goals, (2) inappropriate methods, (3) cadres unwilling to tell the truth about local conditions, and (4) a supreme leader with unlimited self-confidence

Mao gone

1963 - 1966

the years of "Two-line struggle"

When Mao's responsibility for the disasters of the GLF could no longer be denied, Liu Shaoqi, Deng Xiaoping, and their colleagues edged the Chairman out of daily government business. They stressed pragmatism and collective decision-making, in contrast to Mao's autocracy, they focused on economic recovery, social order, and education.
--> Mao's allies demanded permanent revolution and class struggle against "bourgeois revisionists".

Hoping to defuse urban conflict, the CCP bureaucracy began sending educated urban youth to the countryside to bridge the rural-urban divide and end the distinction between mental and manual labor.
--> The "Little Red Book"/ Quotations from Chairman Mao Zedong: became an authoritative source of truth for a decade.

Cultural Revolution

1967 - 1977

Set into motion by Mao Zedong, then Chairman of the Communist Party of China, its stated goal was to preserve 'true' Communist ideology in the country by purging remnants of capitalist and traditional elements from Chinese society, and to re-impose Maoist thought as the dominant ideology within the Party. The Revolution marked the return of Mao Zedong to a position of power after the Great Leap Forward. The movement paralyzed China politically and significantly affected the country economically and socially.

The Revolution was launched in May 1966, after Mao alleged that bourgeois elements had infiltrated the government and society at large, aiming to restore capitalism. He insisted that these "revisionists" be removed through violent class struggle ("eradicate the Four Olds": old customs, culture, habits and ideas). China's youth responded to Mao's appeal by forming Red Guard groups around the country. The movement spread into the military, urban workers, and the Communist Party leadership itself. It resulted in widespread factional struggles in all walks of life. In the top leadership, it led to a mass purge of senior officials, most notably Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping. During the same period Mao's personality cult grew to immense proportions.

Millions of people were persecuted in the violent struggles that ensued across the country, and suffered a wide range of abuses including public humiliation, arbitrary imprisonment, torture, sustained harassment, and seizure of property. A large segment of the population was forcibly displaced, most notably the transfer of urban youth to rural regions during the Down to the Countryside Movement. Historical relics and artifacts were destroyed. Cultural and religious sites were ransacked.

Mao officially declared the Cultural Revolution to have ended in 1969, but its active phase lasted until the death of the military leader Lin Biao in 1971. After Mao's death and the arrest of the Gang of Four in 1976, reformers led by Deng Xiaoping gradually began to dismantle the Maoist policies associated with the Cultural Revolution. In 1981, the Party declared that the Cultural Revolution was "responsible for the most severe setback and the heaviest losses suffered by the Party, the country, and the people since the founding of the People's Republic."

Project 571


The attempted coup d'etat by Lin Biao: it resulted in the purge of much of the PLA's high command.

PRC recognized by UN

25 October 1971

In 1971, the anticommunist President Richard Nixon and his national security adviser, Henry Kissinger, moved to balance Soviet power through US-PRC relations and to use China's influence to end the Vietnam War. They found a willing counterpart in Zhou Enlai, who wanted to secure UN membership and international legitimacy for the PRC.

After an American table-tennis team visited the PRC, Kissinger and Zhou secretly arranged a dramatic journey to China by Pres. Nixon in February 1972, including a meeting with Chairman Mao.
--> It changed the international balance of power in East Asia permanently

Mao Zedong death

9 September 1976

His death left the CCP and government partially disabled by a decade of civil conflict and political instability. Hua Guofeng immediately arrested "the Gang of Four" and announced that the PRC would return to Soviet-style central planning. Hua announced his unequivocal Maoist adherence to the Two Whatevers:
1) Resolutely defend whatever policy Chairman Mao decided;
2) Steadfastly obey whatever directives Chairman Mao issued.

In 1977, Deng’s political allies enabled him to regain all of his lost offices, therefore making it possible for him to contest Guofang’s leadership. He challenged Guofang’s Two Whatevers with his own principle “ Seek truth from facts” and said Mao believed it too, even though that was not the case.
--> The “Seek truth from facts” was something that first appeared in the book of Han, and promoted pragmatism.
China’s situation in this period was quite bad, there was high urban unemployment due to youth returning back from the countryside, inefficient industrial organization, tyranny by local officials, absenteeism throughout the economy, low military morale and ineffective agricultural administration.
--> Deng wanted to combat this by using Zhou Enlai’s Four modernizations – agriculture, industry, national defence, science and technology. To do so, Deng brought two of his own protégés to the Party leadership: Hu Yaobang and Zhao Ziyang.
Hu replaced Huo as Party general secretary, Zhao became premier and Deng was vice-premier and kept his position as head of the Central Military Commission.

Liu was rehabilitated after Mao had labelled him a class enemy. Since Mao could not be blamed publicly for Cultural Revolution since he was enshrined as greatest leader of the revolution, Gang of Four were instead blamed. Only Mao’s wife, Jiang, defended herself as only having taken orders from Mao

"One Child" policy

Approx. 1978

In the early 1970s Chinese social scientists had sounded warnings about rapid population growth.
--> Urban couples 1 child
--> Rural couples 2 children if first was a girl

The policy's social effects have been deeply troubling
--> female infanticide, kidnappings, selective abortion
--> Forced abortions and sterilizations

Economic Reforms 1

Approx. 1978 - Approx. 1984

--> eroded state's ability to control commodity prices, especially for food products sold in free markets and everyday items such as cigarettes, paper, and watches.

"Four Modernizations"

Approx. 1978

to strengthen the fields of agriculture, industry, national defense, and science and technology in China

Deng Xiaoping

8 March 1978

"seek truth from facts"
--> he attributed this to Mao --> advocate practical learning technical expertise over 'red ideological purity'

The Fifth Modernization

5 December 1978

Deng’s economic liberalization was seen as implicit permission to speak out against CCP autocracy and repression of dissidents. This will be the start of students revolting against the CCP.

--> Wei Jingsheng: “The Fifth Modernization” only personal freedom and democracy will make the other Four Modernizations possible and meaningful.

The state struck back with the “four cardinal principles” : the socialist path, democratic dictatorship, the Party’s leadership and Marxism-Leninism- Mao Zedong thought.
--> The state actively hunted down people that defied these principles and would punish them

Intellectuals that came out of Cultural Revolution faced alienation as their worrying for the state and people had only brought suffering

Growing inflation and wage gap meant that some were better off than others→ new ideas infiltrated into China from West and new movements like may 4th began, but were quickly labelled as “bourgeois liberalism”
--> Stage was set for greater uprising

Profit Retention

Approx. 1979

Equivalent of “household responsibility” for firms was “ profit retention” Firms were now allowed to keep a portion of their earning for reinvestment in capital projects, employee benefits, managements bonuses
--> These changes approximated capitalist conditions: employees could be fired, employees could seek work with different companies, and door opened to price fluctuations of commodity price alongside supply and demand change

Formal diplomatic PRC-US relations

1 January 1979

US and China established formal relations in 1979→ Deng visited US and agreed to permit Taiwan to go on undisturbed. Anti-Soviet tone to Deng’s visit to US

--> However, China’s failure to humiliate Vietnam and save Khmer Rouge (Pol Pot --> PRC ally) confirmed Deng’s proclamation that China’s army needed modernization

Opening of Special Economic Zones (SEZ)


Special Economic Zones were created along coast that allowed for attractive foreign investment without threatening China’s domestic economy to foreign intervention

Household responsibility system

Approx. 1981

(First experiments dating from 1979)
Deng went about economic liberalization by first breaking up communes created under “household responsibility system” → farmers could now retain some of their surplus to be sold on the private market:
--> This increased production and generated supply and demand for previously forbidden rural markets

Township and Village Enterprises

Approx. March 1984

State gradually let unprofitable businesses fail; Township and village enterprises (TVE) were contacted by local government to put surplus rural labour to use, where they created goods for local consumption→ some of it went to international market

Economic Reforms 2

Approx. 1985 - Approx. 1993

Deng Xiaoping decided to fix price inflation to supply and demand --> he said that rapid expansion of China’s economy required inequality
- In order for government to maintain legitimacy they said that economic reforms resembled capitalism with constituted socialism with Chinese characteristics

--> Contrary to outside opinion that China’s economic growth would not last without true capitalism (private ownership) and democracy, China has continued in economic boom

Tianenmen Square protests

15 April 1989 - 4 June 1989

As it had in the 1940s, inflation lit the fire. Prices increased steadily through 1988, and real incomes fell. Leadership divided in how to combat problem: Zhao Ziyang and Li Peng thought price controls should be lifted only slowly but Deng felt that price should be determined by supply and demand.
--> Spring of 1989, dissatisfaction permeated Chinese society
--> Fang Lizhi was on the side of students→ protests from 1986 started up again after students learned that Fang was refused entry to banquet of Bush in Beijing
--> Zhao Ziyangs praise for Hu, student protester who had died, confirmed that students had support at the top

CCP leaders split in how to deal with protests: Zhao Ziyang led reformist action and advocated that Party negotiate with students; Li Peng and Yang Shangkun opposed the idea and called for revival of editorials opposing bourgeoisie liberalism
--> Conservatives had won Deng’s support and moved to stop the protests

Gorbachev’s visit to Beijing that meant to promise peace with USSR after USSR agreed to stop supporting Vietnam, occupation in Cambodia, remove troops form Mongolia, and demarcate Sino-Soviet border had the effect of international press turning attention to protests instead,
- Despite the fact that it was labelled a massacre not many were killed
- “Goddess of Democracy” was carved by students of art academy and erected in square as symbol of resistance
--> Moral failure of CCP to protect Chinese people had few long-tern consequences


Surrender of Japan

August 15, 1945

Hirohito's announcement "endure the unendurable and bear the unbearable"
key postwar themes about the war:
- Japan's victimhood due to the suffering of its people,
- the empire's noble efforts to liberate Asia from Western Imperialism,
- and the emperor's essential distance from what would later be defined as war crimes committed by individual government and military officials

The occupation had as a primary goals (lead by General Douglas Macarthur as Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, SCAP) to "democratize and demilitarize" Japan
--> keeping the emperor
--> Victim consciousness propagated
--> december 1945: renaming to "Pacific War"

Allied occupation of Japan

28 August 1945 - 28 April 1952

led by General Douglas MacArthur; Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers (SCAP)
--> Although these were 'allied' powers, this was mostly an American led occupation as General MacArthur was really at the head of SCAP and could design the policies he wanted/ sorta a dictatorship by MacArthur (an American)

For the first time in 75 years, China and Korea played no role in average Japanese people's lives; the question of modernity became irrelevant as many people had to struggle to survive.

Before the occupation forces arrived, the Japanese government destroyed wartime records and created sec stations for the army of occupation: "comfort stations"; RAA: Recreation and Amusement Association

Education reforms were also part of the democratization polices:
- schools were set up in the American way
- erasure of old textbook events
- school equality for boys and girls and poor people <3

The policies developed during the occupation underscore the importance of viewing the war and occupation as part of a transwar continuum

Trade Union Law

22 December 1945

social reform for 'democratization'
--> legitimized labor organizing

However was later on deemed to scary (communism) and outlawed in February 1947

International Military Tribunal for the Far East (IMTFE)

29 April 1946 - 12 November 1948

panel of 11: without Korea
--> twenty-eight men were tried as Class A war criminals

In return for turning their data over to US authorities, the doctors of Unit 731 (bacteriological experimentation and vivisection on live human beings) were not brought to justice at the Tokyo Trial

Farm Land Reform Law

11 October 1946

The transfer of land had already begun before the war. However, the FLRL prohibited all absentee landlordism and limited ownership by farmers who live in the village to 10 acres, of which no more than 2.5 acres could be rented out. --> the government bought excess land and sold it to farmers who had less than the maximum

Priority Production program

Approx. 1947

gave preferences to industries it deemed critical to aid in the recovery of Japan. however inflation exploded and industry did not take off. The US needed Japan to be the "bulwark against communism" (communism = scary). The program was modeled on wartime allocation programs and paralleling the "integrated approach across the entire economy"

In 1949 the US got an advisor in who came up with some rigid policies which kinda killed the Japanese economy --> in the end it was the Korean War that 'saved' the Japanese economy

Japanese Constitution of 1947

3 May 1947

The new constitution articulated the revised role of the emperor, a policy linked to another important component of the occupation, the Tokyo Trial
- The Americans believed that the best way to ensure the cooperation of the Japanese people would be to use their loyalty to the emperor who, saved by SCAP, would rededicate himself to peace
--> most Japanese did not care whether he war retained or not; still SCAP believed that uprisings might occur if the emperor was removed

Allied occupation: the Reverse Course

Approx. August 1947 - 28 April 1952

The shift in SCAP's policy toward labor unions coincided with the releasing of the zaibatsu-dissolution program. Some consider it an abandonment of SCAP's early goals of democratization, while others see it as a pragmatic response to changing global conditions

Law for the Elimination of Excessive Concentration of Economic Power

18 December 1947

Zaibatsu dissolution <
less thorough-going than land reform
--> dismantling of several zaibatsu
--> forced reorganization of a bunch more companies
--> separating Mitsui and Mitsubishi into over 200 companies
--> forced divestment of rich families' shareholdings
--> the break up of cartels and trusts

When the occupation ended in 1952, many of the former zaibatsu reestablished links among the companies forced apart in the late 1940s

Korean War

25 June 1950 - 27 July 1953

The US need stuff to fight the Korean War; stuff they got from Japan --> Japanese economy goes "YAY'

Key industries recalled many long unemployed workers as production doubled; Prime Minister Yoshida called the war a "gift from the gods"
--> Producing supplies for America's war in Korea, Japanese businesses acquired new technologies from the US and began Japan's postwar industrial rebirth

1955 system

Approx. 1955 - 1993

LDP in power:

After the end of the occupation Yoshida stayed in power. However, in 1954 due to rightist and leftist criticism Yoshida was forced out of the government with a vote of no confidence: Hatoyama (Socialist party) became prime minister --> Fearful of the unified Socialist Party, business leaders pressed the Liberal and Democratic parties to do likewise creating the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)
--> Hatoyama did not last long as PM: he was sick and stepped down in 1956; his policies revolved around a foreign policy more independent of the US and for revision of the constitution to allow rearmament and the elevation of the emperor's position to "head of state" (partial success with the first, failed with the latter)

Anyways this was the prime period for the LDP

The LDP was the biggest party in Japan for a long time; they stole some of the socialist party appeal by enacting environmental legislation and greatly expanding medical coverage for all Japanese.
→ However, in the 1980s, the LDP returned to its conservative roots (privatizing the national railroads and telecommunications system and charging seniors a small fee for medical care).Tanaka Kakuei was the power broker behind the LDP juggernaut. He had been a prime minister for 2 years, but his faction dominated that office until he died.
→ The LDP was quite corrupt, it accepted huge bribes in 1972 from American company Lockheed and in 1988 other politicians were caught illegally trading shares of the Recruit Company.

All this corruption angered the voters. But as icing on the cake, in 1989, the LDP Prime Minister Uno Sosuke sexual infidelities came to light and infuriated female voters.
→ Doi Takako, the first woman chair of a major Japanese party (Japan Socialist Party) encouraged a large number of women to run in 1989. Also known as the “Madonna” strategy.
→ This strategy brought 22 new women into the Diet, resulting in the largest number of women member since 1946.
< Doi became Japan’s first woman speaker of the House of Representatives, a post she held until 1996. >

New Life Movement


promoted reproductive freedom (birth control)

Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security

19 January 1960

< a revised treaty of the 1951 one >
The US was obliged to protect Japan in return for occupying bases paid for by Japan. The Americans also had to consult with Japan before stationing nuclear weapons there. Time limit of 10 years, after which it would continue until one or both parties wish to abrogate it.
--> caused massive demonstrations (eventually subsided)

Treaty on Basic Relations

22 June 1965

Satō normalized Japan's relations with South Korea. As part of the agreement, the Japanese government paid the Korean government reparations for conscripted workers as well as death and injury costs to those forced to work for Japan from 1910 to 1945

Japanese people viewed the settlement wit hSouth-Koreans positively, and it accelerated the development of active international trade

US-Japan trade tensions

Approx. 1970 - Approx. 1990

Economic tension replaced political as Japan’s positive trade balance with US
--> US restricted Japanese products such as steel, TV’s, cars, to enter US market
--> Japanese also erected barriers to protect agriculture (sacred five)
Despite that, Japan still huge consumer of American goods
--> Japan began buying American debt and increased direct investment→ become creditor instead of debitor→ angered Americans
< Era that created APEC (1989) >

"Nixon shocks"

Approx. 1971

Nixon Shocks made Japan consider that US did not consider Japan equal partner→ Japan then turned towards Asia; signing treaty with PRC made Taiwan cut relations→ but still traded through non-governmental organizations
--> After 1972 economic interest characterized Sino-Japanese relations: This caused Chinese people to protest against governments minimizing of Japan’s wartime legacy

First Year of the Welfare State

1972 - 1973

Public pressure, including sit-down strikes and boycotts by middle-class housewives and others forced the government to listen.

Discontent caused by:
--> heavy pollution
--> renewal of the Security Treaty
--> gender inequality

Era of National Confidence

Approx. 1975 - Approx. 1990

In the late 1970s and the 1980s, the Japanese shook off their long-held sense of national inferiority and gained a feeling of self-confidence. The Japanese were praised internationally for their management system such as permanent employment, quality circles and just-in-time inventory system.
(1) Permanent employment: lifetime of work / playing a role in decision-making would make sure people would not join unions etc.
(2) Quality circles: allowed Japanese workers to have a voice in the workplace.
(3) JIT account: manufacturers requested that needed supplies be delivered just when they needed them. (more efficient production) .

Japan also started much theorizing about its identity. All these theories were encompassed in a genre called Nihonjinron (discourse on Japaneseness). Most influential work was The Japan that can say “No” – written by Ishihara Shintaro (Right-wing LDP politician) and Morita Akio (founder of Sony)
--> Morita Akio stated that Japan should act independently of the US and that it should “no” when necessary and say “yes” when it’s appropriate.
--> Ishihara went on another tour, saying that the atomic bombs were dropped on Japan due to racism.

Japan at 1975


A huge baby boom accompanied the post-surrender return of Japanese soldiers and civilians from the continent and those children came of age in the mid-1970s, contributing to the "demographic dividend" that fueled Japan's rapidly growing economy.
--> By 1975 as shared national culture replaced the local with the national and even global
--> By 1975, railroad companies mounted lively advertising campaigns to encourage frequent travel to a countryside no longer depicted as a site of backbreaking work and social conflict but rather of picturesque villages (Furusato). Domestic travel brought Japanese of all areas cooer together as did television, inaugurated in 1953 by NHK.
--> University-educated women had few professional opportunities other than teaching and nursing in 1955, which was still the case in 1975
--> Education and gender defined career paths, but the levels required for jobs changed within less than a generation

Stock-market bubble crash

Approx. 1990

Mid-1980s: Plaza accord, reduce exports and encourage domestic consumption.
--> This was done through low interest rates combined with grants to local governments to build libraries, museums, roads and bridges (improve Japanese lifestyles while cutting exports).
--> The G-5 (US,UK, Germany, Japan and France) also agreed to devalue the US dollar significantly to help the United States cut its trade deficit. This lead to Japanese investors to having more cash in dollars.

But the Plaza accord also lead to a wild escalation of the stock markets and real-estate prices. 1989-1990 : Nikkei Index plunged by half and this was followed with the crash of the real-estate market.
--> Stock market and real-estate speculation were financed with unsecured loans, thus banks were not giving out any loans due to lack of trust. So the economy got caught in slump, the exports could not restore the economy (expensive yen, cheap dollar) and the Japanese government did not want to bail out the banks.

A slow recovery came up but got shut down when the government increased the consumption tax

Real estate bubble crash

Approx. 1992

See: Stock-market bubble crash


Surrender of Japan

15 August 1945

Japan's surrender meant the end of colonial rule and liberation for Korea. But while the first months after liberation were relatively peaceful, they were only a lull before what would become a political hurricane.
--> this storm fed on a legacy of political, economic, and social problems resulting from 40 years of Japanese rule, which had created deep divisions within Korean society
--> The evaporation of the Japanese empire left a power vacuum in Korea, bitterly contested by numerous pretenders to national leadership
--> the vast mobilization of Korean society had forced millions of Koreans to migrate: this huge movement of people added greatly to the political and social instability of postwar Korea, particularly in the south
--> Korea lacked a unified nationalist movement or a clearly transcendent leader who might have unified the broad spectrum of contending political forces and negotiated with the defeated Japanese and victorious Allied powers
--> In the first years after liberation (KPG, Syngman Rhee, Pak Honyong, and Kim Il Sung) these men contended for control of Korean politics in an atmosphere of brutal struggle, recrimination, and even assassination, their domestic conflict compounded by foreign occupation

Yo Un Hong - a Korean nationalist (non-communist but sympathetic towards them)
--> supervised the emigration of the Japanese
--> Committee for the Preparation of Korean Independence
--> 27-point plan

--> KPR and People's Committee represented the beginning future of Korean nation connected to society, but failed when the US arrived

Division of Korea

Approx. November 1945 - 10 May 1948

The origins of the decision that the US and USSR would jointly occupy Korea lay in in discussions during the Cairo Conference of December 1943. The conference established a principle of trusteeship for Japan's colonial possessions --> allied leaders, including Stalin, at Yalta and Potsdam in early 1945 reaffirmed the concept of trusteeship.

US strategists negotiated in July to bring the USSR into the final battles with Japan, but limit Soviet involvement ('first act of containment') in Korea after Japan's 'easy surrender' due to bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
--> On August 10-11, with Soviet groups already moving onto the peninsula, the Americans proposed a joint occupation, with the USSR occupying the north and the US the south: the two zones divided by the 38th parallel

Moscow Agreement

27 December 1945

the Moscow Conference with GB, the US and the USSR.
--> attempted to create a roadmap for Korea's future and the withdrawal of occupation forces.
(1) creation of a provisional Korean democratic government
(2)establishment of a Joint Commission to aid in to formation of such government
(3) formalization of a five-year trusteeship over Korea by the US, the USSR, GB and China

The agreement was initially denounced by both conservatives and communists in Korea, particularly the trusteeship. In time the communists embraced the plan, using the south's opposition as a pretext to maneuver them out of representative bodies in the north.

During struggles between the US and the USSR both Syngman Rhee and the conservatives in the south, and Kim Il Sung + communists in the north continued their consolidation of political power.


February 1948

The General Assembly of the UN, rejecting Soviet counterproposals, gave the United States a mandate to establish a United Nations Temporary Commission on Korea (UNTCOK) to conduct the election of a national assembly that could form a unified government and negotiate the withdrawal of all occupation forces. The Koreans in the north rejected the idea of elections

UNTCOK elections

May 11, 1948

The north refused UNTCOK access so the election proceeded only in the south. The outcome established a National Assembly adopted a new constitution establishing the Republic of Korea (ROK) with Rhee as its first president. In response, a Supreme People's Assembly met on September 3, 1948 in Pyongyang to ratify a constitution; electing Kim Il Sung premier and Pak Honyong vice premier of a new government, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

Each state claimed to be the legitimate political expression of all the Korean people

Korean War

25 June 1950 - 27 July 1953

The war had both domestic and international causes:
--> struggle for national leadership between two contenders with diametrically opposing views of the nation's social, political, and economic future.
--> the intrusion of the US and the USSR into the mix of class contradictions, economic collapse, and polarized politics of the immediate post-liberation era fueled and sharpened this contradiction. !!! The actual causes of the war were obscured, because Korea came to represent the larger Cold War conflict of Capitalism vs. Communism

The Korean War embodies a number if "firsts", particularly it was the first American war of [communist] containment.

By June 1950, North and South Korea had been engaged in a low-level border war for over a year, each attacking the other to improve their tactical advantage along the 38th parallel.

--> On June 25, 1950, the Korean People's Army (KPA) invaded the South in force

When a truce was finally signed on July 27, 1953 the three years of fighting had resolved NOTHING. America killed everyone just because they thought communism was bad and was going to take over the world and kill all Americans

South Korea

Division of Korea

Approx. November 1945 - 10 May 1948

Hodge’s USA Military Government in Korea (USAMGIK) was the only military occupation government in the Pacific. Hodge refused to recognize both the KPR and People’s Committees, and he staffed his government with Japanese and Korean colonial administrators, though Korean public outcry forced him to dismiss the Japanese officials almost immediately —> establishing a US military government denied Koreans the political independence they assumed they would achieve from the moment of liberation.

The economic and social policies of USAMGIK reflected its reliance on conservative Koreans (KDP): due to the lobbying of landlords land reform came only in 1948, limited to land formerly held by Japanese. The rent control program proved popular, however USAMGIK’s slow land reform created a strong contrast with the early, rapid, and comprehensive land reform undertaken in the north

Hodge's decisions to abolish the People's Committees by force, not to recognize the KPR, and to establish a military government favorable to landed and business interests anticipated the emergence of a conservative Korean regime in the south

By the summer of 1947 the military government created a Representative Democratic Council, with Syngman Rhee at its head; The gradually squeezed moderates out and turned this body into a tool of the political right wing. He also controlled or dominated the National Police force and the beginnings of what would become the Republic of Korea's army. Eventually USAMGIK inched toward the creation of a separate South Korean government by establishing an Interim Korean Representative Assembly.

Cheju Rebellion

3 April 1948 - Approx. May 1949

In the summer of 1948, demonstrations on Cheju Island, opposing the elections, turned into a full-scale insurrection led by guerrilla forces hiding in the island's mountainous interior. South-Korean police and troops brutally suppressed the Cheju Rebellion. In October troops waiting to be sent to the fighting mutinied and caused the Yosu-Sunchon Rebellion --> represented a further challenge to the authority of the ROK state. The rebels were led by communists and gained the sympathy of the local peasantry

Establishment of the ROK

May 11, 1948

< Established after the UNTCOK elections >
The south had most of the light industry, population, major rice growing regions, and the traditional cultural, political, and economic center of Korea (Seoul). The south also inherited most of the political and social problems left over from the colonial period

Rhee's control of the National Police, the growing ROK Army, and the provisions of the National Security Law allowed him to take autocratic measures; Rhee held vicious anti-communist campaigns and enjoyed the advantage of US support.
--> The US did not really like Rhee, but he was useful to help 'contain' communism

First Republic

May 11, 1948 - 26 April 1960

Manipulation of the constitutional system; control of the National Police and the ROK Army + its security services (using them for political purposes); exploitation of opportunities for patronage from his position at the top of the highly personalized system

Rhee's government, rife with corruption, squandered aid money and defeated the often well-designed programs and policies of the First Republic.
--> Reports of massive election fraud galvanized public protests, led by university and high-school students in Seoul. The protests spread nationwide, and the National Police responded violently. At this critical point, the ROK army refused to intervene, and the US pressured Rhee to step down. (APRIL 19 STUDENT REVOLUTION)

A new constitution (Ho Chong) altered the pattern of power by creating a parliamentary system with a premier responsible to the National Assembly.

Korean War

25 June 1950 - 17 July 1953

The North Korean blitzkrieg revealed the South Korean forces to be unprepared and ill equipped. The South Korean army not only lacked equipment, but most importantly combat experience. The American army, demobilized after 1945, was hard-pressed to find troops to send to the conflict.

On June 27 the US successfully petitioned the UN Security Council for a mandate to defend the ROK and "roll bank" the invasion. With no Soviet veto to block the petition, the US turned the Korean War into a "UN police action" with Gen. Douglas MacArthur appointed commander of UN forces in Korea.

On September 15, the US launched a massive counterattack: simultaneously, South Korean and US forces broke out of the Pusan perimeter, driving the KPA north in full retreat. The US decided to "roll back" the line at the 38th parallel en eliminate the KPA.

Eventually Chinese and North Korean troops recaptured Seoul (December 6) --> in the end the UN forces retook Seoul and reestablished a defensive line very close to the original line.

During the negotiations to end the war, the US mounted a bombing campaign against the north. In spite of the bombing the truce talks made no headway, the main issue being the repatriation of prisoners of war.


Apr 27, 1960 - 16 May 1961

The Second Republic saw a re-emergence of press freedoms, and numerous new publications sprang up to feed the hunger for information and free political speech.
- Students called for direct meetings with their counterparts in the North to solve the problem of national division
- Other demands [for punishments of those responsible for death and injury during the April 1960 Student Revolution] included withdrawing of all foreign groups, political and cultural exchanges with the North, and permanent political neutrality for a future united Korea.

Chang Myon’s takeover after Rhee represented an opening for ROK political system, but splits within his own Democratic party hobbled reform efforts
Also, Chang was split between student activists, split in his own party, conservative, and anti-communist groups, which including ROK Army
ROK army, the younger officers were growing restless of not being promoted and saw the stagnation of the country and rising activism in student protests

ENDS BY MILITARY COUP --> PARK CHUNG HEE: Military Revolutionary Committee

Third Republic

May 17, 1961 - 21 November 1972

- the Military Revolutionary Committee promulgated a six-point plan to stabilize ROK politics, based on the new military leaders' unflinching anticommunism.
--> promised to maintain diplomatic ties, uphold the UN Charter, open a campaign to eliminate corruption, attack poverty, and build national strength through economic development and strong military.
--> began a 31-year military intrusion into politics.
--> [Park Chung Hee's] experience as an officer in the Japanese military had profound effects, evident in his predilection for mass mobilization and Japanese military-style organization. Park shared with Syngman Rhee a virulent anticommunism, but he also had a strong vision of national wealth and power through economic development.
--> he created his own political party, the Democratic Republican Party (DRP), and used martial law to repress any opposition --> KCIA, Korean Central Intelligence Agency

Park used his authoritarianism to stimulate economic development:
--> export-led development (successful)
--> South Korea's rapid growth combined a good plan; an inexpensive, disciplined labor force; entrepreneurial talent; historical and cultural factors (AND LUCK mwuahaha)

To counter criticism that the government was ignoring poverty in rural Korea, Park created a program of mass mobilization known as the NEW VILLAGE MOVEMENT; it provided materials and expertise to villages and enjoined them to revitalize the countryside's infrastructure. (mixed success)

Fourth Republic

Nov 22, 1972 - Approx. 3 March 1981

National security and successful economic growth helped Park Chung Hee legitimate his presidency, despite his manipulation of the political system and heavy-handed use of the KCIA and emergency powers against opponents. However, his narrow victory over Kim Dae Jung in the 1971 presidential elections convinced Park to change the political deck and stick it in his own favor.
a National Conference for Reunification elected the president. Since Park directly appointed 1/3 of them, this virtually reassured his continued reelection for life.
--> Park became increasingly isolated (failed assassination in 1974, economic downturn in 1979, increase in strikes)

eventually Park got killed at a private dinner party by Kim Jae Kyu in 1979. Park's death generated complicated feelings among South Koreans. Many citizens revered Park as the architect of the economic miracle, sure that he had made Korea safe in a dangerous international system.

Kwangju incident

18 May 1980 - 27 May 1980

Chun declared the Martial Law Decree Number Ten on May 17. It dissolved the Assembly, closed all universities and colleges and prohibited all political activity and labour actions. The day after this, students staged demonstrations in the South Cholla provincial capital of Kwangju. They demanded the release of Kim Dae Jung a native son of the province. Chun Hoyong sent paratroopers to deal with them and it got bloody. The people retaliated violently leading to the interference of the ROK army on the 27th of May.

--> The Kwangju incident is often seen as American supported, because the American government did not intervene even though they did ask the US to do so.

--> He bore the stain of both the military coup of December 12, 1979 and the Kwangju rebellion throughout his subsequent presidency (1981-88)

Fifth Republic

3 March 1981 - 19 December 1987

Chun Doo Hwan emerged as a new power within the high command after Park’s assassination. Chun plotted with Roh Tae Woo and others graduates of the Korean Military Academy’s 11th class (1955) to gradually seize control of the government. He did so by starting a bloody coup within the military. He arrested Army Chief of Staff Chong Sunghwa as a suspect in Park’s assassination.
--> Chun and Roh tae began to take key points in Seoul and started fighting with the forces that defended the Army headquarters and the neighbouring Ministry of defence. After 7 hours, Chun and his group had control over the army.
< Choi Kyu Ha’s interim government still sought ways to open the Korean political system. He restored political rights to politicians and reinstated some dismissed university professors. >
--> However, the opposition splat up and in the background, people were still demonstrating. This all allowed for Chun to seize complete control of the government.

Chun copied tactics of Park→ he also intended the Yusin system, with its easily manipulated electoral college and power of newly reorganized Democratic Justice Party to cow the Assembly

Unlike Park, Chun failed to justify continuation of political discipline to create economic growth→ Korean’s now associated growth with Park and new generation grew up without memory of Korean War. Koreans already had economic prosperity and it contrasted with impoverished political and intellectual life

In wake of new Fifth republic came a transformation in opposition: what had been a movement for democracy led by students now joined together with grassroots labour movement that had risen in 1970s
--> Koreans, after Kwangju, also thought Chun was American imperialist puppet

Declaration of Democratization and Reforms

29 June 1987

A thaw in censorship in the 1980s allowed for some banned books to become commercially available, for example books on liberation theology, Marxism, Neo Marxism writing on dependency theory, world systems and revisionist history of the Korean War. Labour activists, students and dissident intellectuals were creating a movement that would topple the Fifth Republic: the Minjung (the masses / the people)
The Minjung political theory attacked the oppressive structures of capitalism and neo-colonialism and its cultural theorists called for recapturing a minjung identity obscured by the race to modernize society.
--> The Minjung identity was highly influenced by farmers, because they were not affected by modernity and knew what true Korean identity was.
--> The students would protest or have sit ins whilst drumming etc.

1986: confrontation between the government and the minjung civil society. There had been heavy demonstrations and some highly visible student suicides.

1987: outrage over the death of a student during an interrogation by police.

Chun already said he wouldn’t go for another term and wanted to amend the election law, but in spring of 1987 he shut that down. This again lead to massive demonstrations by students and the opposition party (NKDP).
--> Roh Tae Woo (Chun’s right-hand man) would become a candidate for the upcoming elections, this caused again massive demonstrations.
--> The US warned Chun not to use the military against its civilians or else it would intervene
--> Eventually Roh Tae woo issued a “ Declaration of Democratization and Reforms” which conceded to almost every opposition demand: a new election law and direct elections press freedom, local elections of county and provincial head and restoration of civil rights for opposition leaders.
--> --> Chun accepted the declaration and the crisis passed.

Roh Tae Woo would become the candidate of the Democratic Justice party and eventually won the election due to the split up in opposition, giving Roh a higher percentage of votes.

Sixth Republic

25 February 1988 - 2015

New election as pushed for by Korean people did not mean political system reformed. Politics remained a zero-sum game as it continued to revolve around personalities not programs or policy positions→ plus, very narrow range of ideology allowed due to anticommunism climate after WW2. Political pattern in South Korea of people voting for home-grown, local candidates→ highlighted economic and political discrimination that had prevailed during authoritarian period, But as opposition and government become more in balance all parties now more vulnerable to public displeasure
--> Women’s movement was one of first to increase attention to public opinion. Pressured Roh government to revise Family Law of, succeeded and now able to divorce; equal rights in child custody; custody of property
--> High divorce rates after showed that it was women’s weak legal position NOT cultural factor for Korea’s traditionally low divorce rate
--> Roh’s government also provided new platform for journalism and publishing as new law eased censorship law

one of most immediate impact of democratization lay in realm of labour activism and organization. Began what is referred to as “great labour offensive”
--> Minjung gave labour a new vocabulary of resistance as well as new identification as workers who were important to society
--> Events of 1987 stimulated labour to demand better wages and less rigid distinction between white and blue collar
--> Strikes showed pent up demand for economic equity
--> Wages had been delayed because of Chaebol and government support of keeping wages low for comparative advantage as low labour cost exporting country

Managers gave into requests→ showed how large firms surplus was due to unequal wage structure
Also, development and export success had infused new Korean national identity that any social action against it could be seen as going against the nation

Roh’s Norpolitik opened up talks and links with socialist countires--: new ties with PRC in 1991 meant cutting off ties with Taiwan
February 1991 the “Agreement on Reconciliation, Non-Aggression, and Exchanges and Cooperation” signed between N. and S. plus the “Joint Declaration on the Denuclearization of Korean Penninsula”
Facing his end of term, Roh made new coalition between National Democratic Republican Party and Reunification Democratic Party with his own Democratic Liberal Party (similar to what Japan’s LDP did)→ this resulted in attempt to create long stable and enduring government
Coalition party allowed for calculated transfer of power to Kim Young Sam→ meant that radicalism in future tempered by obligation to diversity of coalition
New era for S. Korea as non-military leader

North Korea

Division of Korea

Approx. November 1945 - 10 May 1948

In the north the Soviets worked through the People’s Committees while staying the background. They had better intelligence about Korean conditions than the Americans, and the advantage of Korean communists accompanying them into Korea. !!! the Soviets never established a military government !!!

The political right in the north had to flee from the relatively moderate leftist program of the northern KPR. While the idea of trusteeship implied that a single, unified Korean government would ultimately emerge, the joint occupation structure created obstacles to this process from the very beginning

Establishment of the DPRK

3 September 1948

< established in response to the establishment of the ROK >
The DPRK controlled a territory larger than that of the south, but with scarcely a third of the population. The north harbors the bulk of Korea's mineral wealth and contained much of the heavy industry built by Japanese companies and the bulk of the peninsula's hydroelectric potential.

The DPRK evolved with considerably little social unrest. The Soviet occupation authority had nationalized large-scale industry: the beginning of what would become the socialization of the entire economy. The Korean Workers Party (KWP) purged itself and the government of "bourgeois" elements and began the process of creating mass organizations to mobilize all sectors of society. The KWP carried out a massive "re-education" campaign subjecting all members of society to rigorous public discipline.

Kim Il Sung did not have total control of the KWP: domestic communist leader Pak Honyon commanded the loyalty of many communists who had fled from the south.

From its beginning the DPRK created an extensive internal security apparatus to gather intelligence: this intense surveillance and organizational apparatus, combined with early enthusiasm for the DPRK's redistributive social and economic programs, helped keep social disruption low.

Kim Il Sung

Sep 3, 1948 - 8 July 1994

a. Kim Il Sung became leader with Soviet backing, but he faced opposition form other party members
b. He used the pretext of “war difficulties” to purge many opponents that had colonial era ties
c. By 1972, with an amended Constitution, he controlled North
d. HE stood at the top tier of the Korean Workers Party and DPRK government→ KPA was the third hierarchy
e. N. Korea, like China, created surveillance of its citizens → 3 classes in North Korea: 1. Core class: workers, poor peasants, soldiers, and revolutionary fighters. 2 wavering class: those with ties to south, rich farmers, service workers, or immigrants from south but still considered redeemable for party membership 3. Hostile class: former Japanese collaborators and their descendants, religious groups

The USSR helped North Korea in rebuilding their country, due to the US bombing of North Korea during the final stages of the Korean War. The USSR donated money, and Russian technical advisors, plus the PRC also helped rebuilding the country.
North Korea’s command economy used multiyear plans, familiar to those of the USSR and PRC, to create goals and implementation processes

Korean War

25 June 1950 - 27 July 1953

The North Korean army overran Seoul in three days, forcing the ROK to retreat to the southern port city of Pusan. When the North Korean advance stalled in August, it had occupied almost all of South Korea except 129km2 in the southeast around Pusan. During their roughly 50-day occupation, the Noth Koreans replicated their northern revolution in the south, resorting the People's Committees. The DPRK had created a list of enemies and began land reform.

The North Korean revolution in the south attracted many to its cause, exposing them to reprisals when the North Korean presence proved temporary

Three Year Plan

1954 - 1957

Focus on rebuilding and production of basic necessities

Five Year Plan

1958 - 1961

resembled that of China’s and focused on heavy industry and collectivization

Two crucial pieces of ideology came from Kim’s visits to factories and farms: 1. Chongsan 2. Taehan: had managers go to leadership with the peoples complaints in order to formulate new policy→ resembled mass line politics in other socialist states→ was mean as an antidote to bureaucracy and inertia they saw in other command economy states

Seven Year Plan

1962 - 1967

aimed to triple national income with continued emphasis on heavy industry --> economy became better than S-Korea's

However, North Korea supported the PRC in the Sino-Soviet split and this meant the end of Soviet aid, North Korea also used most of its indigenous resources and capital. They eventually needed loans to buy turnkey plants which saddled their economy with a huge crippling debt.

N-Korea in the 1970s

Approx. 1970 - Approx. 1980

In the 1960s, North Korea still wanted to unify with South Korea, but in 1968 North Korea marked the hostilities by trying to assassinate President Park.
North Korea also seized a US military surveillance ship, the USS pueblo and in 1969 downed a US communications plane.
This overt hostility eventually waned in direct proportion to economic development in the South and stagnation in the North.
Kim Il-Sung became a God among men and got idolised, but eventually he got succeeded by Kim Jong Il.

N-Korea in the 1980s

Approx. 1981 - Approx. 1989

1980s: economic North had stagnated due to 1. Lack of access to capital for investment 2. An increasingly outmoded technology base 3. Heavy military expenditures 4. Flagging enthusiasm of workers 5. the centralized economy failed.
--> In that sense, North Korea also encountered bottlenecks and still was a threat to South Korea but the South was getting stronger.

1980: Kim Jong Il assumed high ranking positions in the Party Secretariat, the Standing Committee of the Politburo and the Military Commission.
--> The North became more aggressive towards the South through means of terrorist attacks. Such as the assassination attempt of Chun in Burma in October 1983 or the 1987 Korean Airlines plane crash (got blown up by North Korean agents).
--> The economy in the North was going to shit, and North Korea also tried to lure in investors in the free zones they had created (just like China). But investors did not want to invest in North Korea due to bad infrastructure and other logistical issues. The PRC was far better to invest in.
--> In 1981: North Korea started an all-out competition with South Korea in the arena of world opinion. They started building impressive buildings, some of which never were finished, and this of course was bad for the economy.
--> North Korea’s isolation from the world community deepened after the collapse of the USSR. North Korea could not barter anymore with these countries and was unable to generate capital to finance basic needs.

Taiwan (ROC)