Ballooning Evangelism: psychological Warfare and Christianity in the Divided Korea

by Jin-heon Jung

Working Papers WP 14-07
July 2014
ISSN 2192-2357 (MMG Working Papers Print)

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This paper investigates the balloon-and-leaflet campaign, an exercise in psychological warfare once practiced by North and South Korean military forces but recently taken over in the South, by non-government, mainly evangelical Protestant organizations. I consider this privatization of psychological warfare emblematic of both the enduring and changing cold war cultures and power struggles found in the context of the national division that has engendered multifaceted politico-ideological partitions within South Korea and beyond. While other Cold War studies have focused mainly on state actors, by considering privatization, this paper sheds light on the ways in which state power is made invisible in the maneuvers of loyalty politics, while civilian religious powers take up the symbolic struggle to envision a reunified  nation-state on the Korean peninsula.

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