The Mongolian Socialist Experiment

My name is Daniel. I was an English teacher in Seoul, South Korea, and am now a writer who has
published three books including South Korea: Our Story by Daniel Nardini.
                         Many Koreans go to visit and some even live in Mongolia. What many Koreans may
not know is that Mongolia was a Communist state from 1924 to 1990. It was the first Asian country to become
a Communist country, and in fact the first to throw Communism in Asia. Truth be told, it was not the will of
most Mongolians to become a socialist state at all. The Russians simply marched into Mongolia and in
one fell swoop “liberated” Mongolia of its independence. From there the Russians gave the Mongolians a
government modeled on the Soviet example, and put into power the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party
(MPRP, or Mongolia’s Communist Party). From there the MPRP took all of the private property away, killed
almost all of the landlords, and began a campaign of terror that killed tens of thousands of Buddhist priests, 
monks, nuns, and all those deemed “counter-revolutionaries.” In fact, the Mongolian Communist leader
Khorloogin Choibalsan (known as the Mongolian Stalin) held show trials against supposed “enemies of
the people” who were then either imprisoned and later executed or were shot immediately. The MPRP
slaughtered 37,000 innocent Mongolians. It may not sound like a large figure, but it was roughly five 
percent of Mongolia’s population then. A good deal of Mongolia’s cultural heritage was destroyed by
the MPRP. Out of the country’s 800 Buddhist monasteries, 750 were destroyed. Despite the heavy hand of 
the MPRP, most Mongolians did revolt against the government in 1932. This revolt was crushed with the
help of the Russians. However, in 1989 and going into 1990, a peaceful revolt staged by the Mongolians
this time succeeded in bringing down the MPRP who no longer had any help from the Russians. Mongolia
not only regained its independence, but has been trying to rebuild itself after having been under the darkness
of socialist for almost 70 years. If there is any lesson that Koreans can take away from what happened in
Mongolia is that socialism is not only a dead end for those ruled under it, but a threat to world peace (as is 
the case of North Korea).