North Korea and Myanmar

Divergent Paths


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About the Book

North Korea and Myanmar (Burma) are Asia’s most mysterious, tragic stories. For decades they were infamous as the region’s most militarized and repressed societies, self-isolated and under sanctions by the international community while, from Singapore to Japan, the rest of Asia saw historic wealth creation and growing middle class security. For Burma, the threat was internal: insurgent factions clashed with the government and each other. For North Korea, it was external: a hostile superpower—the United States—and a far more successful rival state—South Korea—occupying half of the Korean peninsula. Over time, Myanmar defeated its enemies, giving it space to explore a form of democratization and openness that has led to reintegration into international society. Meanwhile, North Korea’s regime believes its nuclear arsenal—the primary reason for their pariah status—is vital to survival.

About the Author(s)

Andray Abrahamian has lived in Myanmar, worked in North Korea for a non-profit and held multiple fellowships and teaching positions, including at Ulsan University, the University of Yangon, Macquarie University, Griffith Asia Institute, Jeju Peace Institute and Pacific Forum CSIS. He has published extensively on Myanmar and North Korea.

Bibliographic Details

Andray Abrahamian
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 246
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2018
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7370-7
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3200-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments v
Preface ix
Introduction: Why These Countries 1
1. Cobbled and Cut 11
2. Militaries First, Economies Second 30
3. Becoming Pariah States 58
4. Ideologies 87
5. Propagation and Control 107
6. Sanctions 138
7. Why Myanmar and Not North Korea? 168
Conclusion: What Now? 185
Chapter Notes 197
Bibliography 217
Index 235

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Quickly and succinctly brings students up to speed on issues in both countries”—Journal of American-East Asian Relations.