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The Fragile Bloom of the Kimilsungia

Hill, D.T. (2022) The Fragile Bloom of the Kimilsungia. Indonesia and the Malay World . pp. 1-22.

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This article examines the first two Indonesians to live in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK or North Korea) after the Korean War (1950–53), using their experiences (including as political exiles after 1965) to explore Indonesia’s bilateral relations with this most secretive of states. Their lives reveal much of the untold story of Indonesia’s unfolding relationship with the Kims’ dynastic state from Sukarno’s initial attraction until the return to democracy after his successor’s fall. Despite recent interest in the fate of Indonesian political exiles in Western Europe, USSR and China after 1965, relatively little critical analysis has appeared regarding those exiles in republics across the former Eastern Bloc (such as Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Yugoslavia), or elsewhere in Asia. Similarly, there is little attention given in Indonesia’s scholarly literature to bilateral relations with North Korea. This article attempts to address these lacunae by focusing on Indonesian political exiles in North Korea, analysing the factors which determined the options available to them during, and following, the Cold War, and their place in the bilateral relationship. In the nature of biographical studies, the article relies heavily on material provided by the individuals concerned and privileges their perspectives.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Asia Research Centre
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
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