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DMZ CrossingPerforming Emotional Citizenship Along the Korean Border$
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Suk-Young Kim

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231164825

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231164825.001.0001

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Contesting the Border, Redefining Citizenship

Contesting the Border, Redefining Citizenship

(p.1) Introduction Contesting the Border, Redefining Citizenship
DMZ Crossing

Suk-Young Kim

Columbia University Press

This introductory chapter provides a brief overview of the troubled history between North and South Korea, as well as the poignant divide between its peoples as encapsulated by the “demilitarized zone” (DMZ). The DMZ itself represents a geopolitical divide of the land—a consistent affirmation of state power and legitimacy—rather than a mere physical separation of the Korean peoples. Another consequence of the Korean states' respective exercises of power are the notions of citizenship embedded within every Korean citizen—notions which are also frequently manipulated into an often dramatic, paradoxical sense of belonging, especially within a people that feels the pangs of familial separation all too keenly, as theirs is a culture that thrives on familial kinship.

Keywords:   North Korea, South Korea, demilitarized zone, Korean DMZ, geopolitical divide, Korean citizen, citizenship, familial separation, belonging, familial kinship

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