The thread of Juche : negotiating socialism and nationalism through science in North Korea
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This thesis focuses on the historical process of combining socialism and nationalism through scientific discourses in North Korea, in relation to the task of establishing an independent modern nation-state. A striking example framing this process is vinalon, which is a synthetic fiber developed by North Korea. The success story of vinalon's industrial production, propagated by Kim Il Sung's political allies, led socialism and nationalism to be fused into nationalist socialism, known as Juche (self-reliance) Socialism. In this thesis, I examine the historical background of the so-called Juche fiber vinalon in terms of North Korea's desire to establish itself as an independent polity distinct from the socialist bloc, domestic political struggles for power, as well as the affinity seen by the progressive doctrine and the commitment to science in socialism and nationalism. In so doing, I attempt to interpret the product, a figuration between science and society, as an "attractive thread," played a pivotal role in weaving the socialization of the Juche discourse into North Korean society.