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Marching Through SufferingLoss and Survival in North Korea$
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Sandra Fahy

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231171342

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231171342.001.0001

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Life Leaves Death Behind

Life Leaves Death Behind

(p.108) 4 Life Leaves Death Behind
Marching Through Suffering

Sandra Fahy

Columbia University Press

This chapter analyzes how the people who died during the North Korean Famine were attended to. It also looks into how the increased body count as the famine worsened raised alarm in society. Together with the floods of 1995, the famine grew increasingly deadly as it reached even the capital city of Pyongyang. These realities were impossible to overlook or ignore as they might have been in the past. The accounts of the interviewees mirror nationalist discourse about how the famine is best understood and interpreted: as one national body suffering in concert. The progression of the famine in North Korea is depicted through the metaphor of a body (the nation) gradually overtaken by chilblains (the famine), where only the heart (Pyongyang) is scarcely saved (to save the whole, as a consequence, unnecessary extremities must be sacrificed).

Keywords:   North Korean Famine, Pyongyang, nationalist discourse, suffering in concert, body count, famine

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