North Korea is a country located in the northern hemisphere of the Asian continent and borders China, Russia and South Korea. Since its foundation in 1945, it has been ruled by the Kim family , under a dictatorial regime . North Korea history summary
- President of North Korea (eternal): Kim Il-Sung (1912 -1994)
- Head of State: Kim Jong-Un
- North Korea’s Capital: Pyongyang
Officially known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea , the socialist country has around 25 million inhabitants. North Koreans have almost no contact with the outside world, have no access to the internet and are under constant surveillance.
Foreigners also have restricted visits to the country. Tourism can only be carried out with the assistance of travel agencies and it is not possible to interact freely with the local population.
Citizens must worship the leader and any demonstration against the government is considered a crime. The country’s political prisoners are sent to labor camps, where they are starved, tortured and forced to work.
North Korea history
At the beginning of the 20th century, the Korean peninsula was invaded and dominated by Japan. Japan was going through a phase of imperialist expansion and was advancing on mainland Asia to conquer new territories.
In Europe, Hitler’s Germany and Benito Mussolini’s Italy were also taking actions to conquer new territories. From the year 1936, these three nations became allies and formed the Axis group , which would be defeated in World War II. North Korea history summary
At the end of this conflict, the nations that belonged to the Allied group expelled Japan from the Korean peninsula and divided it between the two greatest powers at that time: the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and the United States.
The northern part was under the control of the USSR and the southern part of the United States. The line that divided the two territories is known as the 38th parallel .
In 1948, Soviets and Americans leave the peninsula and two governments are formed. North Korea is now ruled by Kim Il-Sung , who remains in power for 46 years , until his death.
In 1950, Kim Il-Sung sends troops to the south and the Korean War begins , which lasted 3 years and left about 2.5 million dead and wounded.
In 1953, a ceasefire was signed between the two rulers, but a peace agreement was never signed. This means that the two Koreas officially remain at war to the present day .
North Korea was economically dependent on the Soviet Union, but when it came to an end in 1991, the country suffered an economic blow . North Korea history summary
With the end of the support of the USSR, added to the occurrence of intense climatic phenomena, North Korea faced a great famine between the years 1994 and 1998. It is believed that the death toll may have exceeded 3 million in that period.
Kim Il-Sung died in 1994 and his son Kim Jong-Il assumed the leadership of the country in 1997, a position he held until 2011, the year of his death. That year, Kim Jong-Un assumes the head of state.
The production of atomic weapons , which was already being developed by the country, is accelerated with Kim Jong-un. The leader, in 2006, announced the successful completion of his first nuclear test.
North Korea now has, in addition to nuclear warheads, an intercontinental ballistic missile and is considered one of the biggest atomic threats in the world.
For this reason, since 2006, the country has suffered embargoes and sanctions from the international community , which increases the country’s isolation.
In 2018, the leaders of North and South Korea met at the border. It was the first time since 1953 that the heads of the two Koreas had crossed the border. North Korea history summary
In 2019, Kim Jong-Un meets with US President Donald Trump . The goal was to reach an agreement on the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula , however an agreement has not been reached and distrust and apprehension over North Korea’s nuclear advances continues.
North Korea’s Leaders
North Korea, throughout its more than 70 years of history, has been ruled by three leaders. The country’s leadership is passed from father to son, see the period of government of each of them:
- Kim Il-Sung: 1972 – 1994
- Kim Jong-Il: 1994 – 2011
- Kim Jong-Un: 2011 – Current
Kim Il-Sung was the founder of North Korea and is considered the eternal president . There are images of you and your son (Kim Jong-Il) scattered around the streets, establishments and homes in North Korea.
The current leader, Kim Jong-Un, is still not represented by images, which will happen only after his death. Leaders are considered divine beings, enlightened and infallible, and their worship by the people is compulsory. North Korea history summary
Elections are held every 5 years for the office of head of state in North Korea, but the only option is the current leader himself. There is only one party in the country, the Workers’ Party of Korea.
Pyongyang: the capital of North Korea
Pyongyang is the capital of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, in this city live about 3 million inhabitants. This city is considered a showcase for foreigners, it is clean, organized and modern.
Most of the resources that are not destined to the nuclear program are invested in the capital. In the streets new cars, tall and modern buildings, shops with imported products and facilities for study, health and entertainment services.
Despite this, even in the capital there is not enough energy. Every day, for a few hours, the power supply is interrupted . Satellites captured photos of the country in almost complete darkness. North Korea history summary
Facts about North Korea
- Military service lasts, on average, 6 years;
- Children with recognized musical talent should practice between 3 and 5 hours a day;
- There are a number of types of haircuts for men and women;
- If they want to travel to a different district than they live in, North Koreans need a permit;
- Western and South Korean songs are prohibited;
- Christians are persecuted, and Buddhists are considered hostile;
- 1912, Kim Il-Sung’s year of birth, is considered year 1;
- A punishment lasts generations in Korea. In addition to the person who commits the crime, his children and grandchildren will be punished;
- The cultivation, distribution and consumption of marijuana in the country is legal;
- In the border city Kijong-Dong is located the largest flag in the world, which weighs about 270 kg. North Korea history summary