Remembering the unfinished conflict: Museums and the contested memory of the Korean War

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    Forgotten by whom? On 27 May 2009, the government of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, North Korea) provoked worldwide alarm and protest by announcing that it no longer considered itself bound by the 1953 armistice ending the Korean War. Amongst the mass of western media reports deploring this announcement, however, only a few noted the fact that the armistice has never been signed by the Republic of Korea (ROK, South Korea), because its then President Yi Seung-man (Syngman Rhee) did not accept that the war was over, and wanted to go on fi ghting. The armistice was therefore signed only by some of the belligerents, and, since negotiations on the Korean Peninsula in the UN framework proved abortive and the United States and North Korea have not pursued bilateral peace negotiations, there has never been a peace treaty. 1 Despite the long search for reconciliation (discussed in Chapters One and Two), some six decades after the ceasefi re, Korea remains uneasily divided along the 38th Parallel, one of the world’s most dangerous military fl ashpoints. Of all the confl icts over history and memory which trouble the East Asian region, this is surely the one most directly linked to contemporary politics: for rival understandings of the unfi nished war lie at the heart of continuing political tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationEast Asia Beyond the History Wars: Confronting the ghosts of violence
    Editors Tessa Morris-Suzuki, Morris Low, Leonid Petrov and Timothy Y. Tsu
    Place of PublicationAbingdon and New York
    ISBN (Print)9780415637459
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


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