Nationalism

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What are the factors that make nationalism a force in world politics in relation to countries such as Russia and North Korea?

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Both North Korea and Russia have leaders who portray their nations as being persecuted by the international community. Because of this persecution, these leaders feel compelled to act in ways that the international community regards as unacceptable. The leaders of the two nations make the counterpoint that other nations of...

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Both North Korea and Russia have leaders who portray their nations as being persecuted by the international community. Because of this persecution, these leaders feel compelled to act in ways that the international community regards as unacceptable. The leaders of the two nations make the counterpoint that other nations of the international community act in ways that are unacceptable as well. North Korea and Russia also claim that their nations act in ways to ensure the survival and prosperity of the nation.

It is difficult to claim that nationalism means the same thing for both North Korea and Russia, however. North Korea claims that its missile program is essential for its survival since it is encircled by American allies and technically, the Korean War has not ended. The Korean leadership portrays the West as bad people who are bent on the destruction of North Korea in the name of unifying the two halves of the peninsula. North Korea thus acts belligerently in order to keep the West away from influencing the country.

Russian leadership is trying to regain the nation's status as a great power, which it lost after the end of the Cold War and the breakup of the Soviet Union. Russia's aims are to reclaim land that the nation had ever since the days of the czars. Russia also claims that outside meddling led to these states breaking away in the first place; therefore, low-level wars against its neighbors are acceptable if they bring these Russian satellites back into the fold. Russia does not fear the West; however, the nation resents how it is perceived in Western media.

Both North Korea and Russia use nationalistic aims in order to make their respective nations less vulnerable to attack and economically prosperous. North Korea does this through isolation and belligerency; Russia does it through attempting to recreate the days of the Soviet Union being a world power.

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