This episode of the Korea Now podcast features an interview that Jed Lea-Henry conducted with Ben Young. They speak about Ben’s new book Guns, Guerillas, and the Great Leader: North Korea and the Third World, how and why North Korea sought allies around the Third World during the Cold War period, what these alliances looked like and consisted of, how the changing internal politics of North Korea affected these partnerships, how North Korea saw these international relationships as a means to sell its cult of personality, to acquire hard currency, to cause unrest for America and its allies, and to compete against South Korea for United Nations votes and international recognition, all with a deep dive into the case studies of Cuba and Palestine.
Ben Young is currently an Assistant Professor at Dakota State University, and soon to be Assistant Professor of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness at Virginia Commonwealth University. Ben has been a postdoctoral fellow at the U.S Naval War College, as well as a CSIS NextGen Korea Scholar. Ben achieved his PhD in Asian history at George Washington University, with a dissertation focussed on North Korea’s global outreach and international diplomacy during the Cold War. He has been a Fulbright junior researcher in Seoul, South Korea, and his work has been published in The Washington Post, The Guardian, Reuters, and NKnews.