North Korea

North Korea, officially the Democratic People’s Republic Korea ( Hangul : 조선 민주주의 인민 공화국; Hanja :朝鲜民主主义人民共和国; transl. Choson Minjujuŭi Inmin Konghwaguk), is a country in East Asia that occupies the northern half of the Korean Peninsula . Its capital and largest city is Pyongyang . The Korean Demilitarized Zone serves as an area of division between South Korea and North Korea. The Amnok River and the Tumen River form the border between North Korea and the People’s Republic of China . A section of the Tumen River in the far northeast is the border with Russia .

The peninsula was governed by the Korean Empire until it was annexed by Japan following the Russo-Japanese War of 1905. She was torn between areas of the U.S. occupation and Soviet in 1945, after the end of World War II . North Korea refused to participate in elections supervised by the United Nations, made in 1948, which led to the creation of two separate Korean governments for the two occupation zones. Both North and South Korea claimed sovereignty over the entire peninsula, which led them to the Korean War of 1950. A 1953 armistice ended the conflict, however, the two countries are still at war with each other, although the peace treaty has been signed. [5] Both states were accepted into the United Nations in 1991. [6] [7] [ 8]

North Korea is a state party state under a united front led by the Korean Workers’ Party . [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] The government claims to be the country as a follower of the ideology juche , developed by Kim Il-sung , the country’s former leader. Juche became the official state ideology when the country adopted a new constitution in 1972, [16] though Kim Il-sung being ruled his country under a similar policy since at least the beginning of 1955. [17] The North Korea is officially a republic socialist , considered by many worldwide as a totalitarian dictatorship Stalin .

Story
Before division
Main article: History of Korea
Jikji , the first book printed on a printing press (press) with metal furniture in 1377 , 62 years before the printing press of Gutenberg . [21]
Gyeongbok Palace is the largest of the five major palaces built during the Joseon Dynasty.

It is believed that the first inhabitants arrived in Korea for nearly 500,000 years. [22] [23] According to tradition, in the year 2333 BC, Tangun (also called Dangun ), founded the Choson dynasty (often called Gojoseon to avoid confusion with the fourteenth century dynasty of the same name). [24]

The ancient Korea began hosting a series of city states in constant wars, which appear and disappear constantly. However, three kingdoms, Baekje , Silla and Koguryo , became stronger and dominated the historical scene of Korea for over two hundred years, the period known as “the Three Kingdoms of Korea “. [25] In 676 AD , Silla unified successfully almost the whole Korean territory, except the kingdom of Balhae . The dominance of these kingdoms, especially Korea and parts of Manchuria gave the period of the Northern and Southern states [26]

In 918, General Wang Geon founded the kingdom of Goryeo (or Koryo, from which the name Korea). In the thirteenth century, the invasion and domination of the Mongols weakened the kingdom. After almost thirty years, the kingdom has retained dominion over the territory of Korea, even though, in reality, was a tributary state of the Mongols. The fall of the Mongol Empire was followed by a series of struggles policies and, after the rebellion of General Yi Seong-gye in 1388 , the Goryeo Dynasty was replaced by the Joseon Dynasty. [24]

Between 1592 and 1598, the Japanese invaded Korea , Joseon dynasty after having denied passage to the Japanese army led by Toyotomi Hideyoshi in his campaign for the conquest of China . The war ended when the Japanese withdrew after the death of Hideyoshi. It is this war that emerges as hero the national Admiral Yi Sun-sin and popularizing the famous turtle ship . [27]
Hangul, hanja.png This article contains text in Korean .
Without support multilingual appropriate, you will see questions, squares or other symbols instead of hangul or hanja .

In the seventeenth century, Korea was finally defeated by the Manchus and joined the Chinese empire of the Qing Dynasty . During the nineteenth century, thanks to its isolationist policy, Korea earned the name “Hermit Kingdom”. [22] The Joseon Dynasty tried to protect itself against imperialist West, but were forced to open their doors to Western trade. After the Second Sino-Japanese War and the Russo-Japanese War , Korea became a party of Japanese rule ( 1910 – 1945 ). [28] At the end of World War II , Japanese forces surrendered to the forces of the Soviet Union , who occupied the north of Korea (now North Korea) and the United States , which occupied the southern part (now South Korea ). [29] [30] [31]
After the division
Main article: History of North Korea

In 1948, following the division of the peninsula between the Soviets and Americans, suggest two new entities that remain today: North Korea and South Korea in the north, an anti-Japanese guerrilla named Kim Il-sung gained power through Soviet support , in the south, a rightwing politician Syngman Rhee , was named as president. [32]
Monument in Pyongyang on the Korean War .

On 25 June 1950, North Korea invaded South Korea, starting the Korean War . The Security Council of the United Nations decided to intervene against invasion by a force led by the United States. This decision was only possible because the delegate of the Soviet Union in the Security Council of the United Nations was absent to protest the admission of the People’s Republic of China that organ. [32] For its part, the Soviet Union decided to support China and Korea North, sending military troops and supplies to the North Korean troops. The war ended with massive civilian casualties North and South Koreans. [32] The armistice of 1953 divided the peninsula along the demilitarized zone in Korea , drawn very close to the original line of demarcation. No peace treaty was signed, and the two countries remained technically at war. An estimated 2.5 million people died during the conflict. [32]

In the late 1990s, the South transitions to a liberal democratic model, with the success of the policy Nordpolitik , and the power of the North having been taken by the son of Kim Il-sung, Kim Jong-il , the two nations began to approach publicly for the first time, with South Korea declaring its Sunshine Policy . [33] [34]

In 2002, U.S. President George W. Bush scored North Korea as part of an ” axis of evil “and an” outpost of tyranny “. The highest-level contact the government has had with the United States was in 2000, with the then Secretary of U.S. State Madeleine Albright , who made ​​a visit to Pyongyang, [35] but the two countries do not have formal diplomatic relations. [36] In 2006, approximately 37,000 American soldiers remained in South Korea, although by June 2009 this number had fallen to around 30,000. [37] [38] Kim Jong-il, in particular, said accepting the permanence of U.S. troops on the peninsula, even after a possible reunification. [39] Publicly, North Korea strongly demands the withdrawal of troops from Korea. [39]

On June 13, 2009, the news agency the U.S. Associated Press reported that in response to new UN sanctions, North Korea declared it would progress with its program to enrich uranium . This marked the first time the DPRK has publicly acknowledged that he was conducting a uranium enrichment program. [40] In August 2009, former U.S. president Bill Clinton met with Kim Jong-il to secure the release of two American journalists. [41]

In June 2010, the 12th session of the Supreme People’s Assembly elected Choe Yong-rim to replace Kim Jong Il in the office of Prime Minister. [42]
Geography
Main article: Geography of North Korea
Satellite image of North Korea.

North Korea occupies the northern portion of the Korean Peninsula , covering an area of 120,540 km ² (46,541 mi 2). Most of the border with North Korea is the Republic of China and a small portion to the north by Russia, the southern border is made ​​with South Korea along the Demilitarized Zone in Korea . To the west, there is the Yellow Sea and Korea Bay , and to the east it is washed by the Sea of Japan . highest point in North Korea is Paektu-san Mountain with 2744 m (9003 ft). The longest river is the Amnok River which flows for 790 km (491 mi). [43]

The climate of North Korea is relatively temperate. Most of the country is classified as type Dwa in the climatic classification of Köppen-Geiger , temperate climate with cold, dry winters and hot summers. In summer there is a short rainy season called Changma. [44] On August 7, 2007 indundações occurred, the highest in 40 years, leading to the North Korean government to ask for international help. NGOs such as the Red Cross, asked people to raise funds because they feared a humanitarian catastrophe. [45]

The capital and also largest city is Pyongyang ; other major cities include Kaesong north, Sinuiju in the northwest, Wonsan and Hamhung in the east and Chongjin in the northeast.
Topography and climate

Some Europeans who visited North Korea recently observed that the country seemed “a sea in a heavy gale” because of the many successive mountain ranges that crisscross the peninsula. [46] About 80% of North Korea is composed of mountains and plateaus , separated by deep and narrow valleys, with all of the peninsula’s mountains with elevations above 2000 m. The coastal plains are wide in the west and discontinuous in the east. The vast majority of the population lives in the highlands or lowlands.
Photograph of Baekdu Mountain , a volcanic mountain located on the border China-North Korea .

The highest point in North Korea is Baekdu Mountain , a volcanic mountain near the border with China , a basaltic lava plateau elevations between 1 400 and 2 000 meters above sea level. [46] The Sierra Hamgyong, located in the northeast of the peninsula, has many high peaks including Gwanmosan with approximately 1756 m (5761 ft). Other mountains include the largest Rangrim Mountains , located in the north central part of North Korea, which cover a north-south direction, making communication between the eastern and western parts of the country, and the Sierra Kangnam , which makes its way along the border China-North Korea . Geumgangsan , often written Mt Kumgang, or Diamantina Mountain, (approximately 1638 m) in the Taebaek Mountain Range, stretching from South Korea, is famous for its scenic beauty. [46]

For the most part, the plains are small. The most extensive are the plains of Pyongyang and Chaeryong , each covering an area of approximately 500 km ². By reason of the mountains on the west coast wearing out abruptly towards the sea, the plains are lower in the east than in the west. Unlike neighboring Japan or northern PRChina, North Korea has little experience with serious.

North Korea has a continental climate with four distinct seasons. [47] Long winters bring a cold temperature and clear weather interspersed between snow storms as a result of the winters of the north and northwest, blown from Siberia . The average snowfall is 37 days during the winter. It is likely that the weather is particularly harsh north, where there are mountainous regions. Summer tends to be short, hot, humid and rainy because of the monsoon opposite the south and southeast that bring moist air from the Pacific Ocean . Typhoons affect the peninsula on an average of at least once every summer. [47] Spring and autumn are transitional seasons marked by mild temperatures and bring a more pleasant climate. Natural hazards include late spring dried, often followed by severe flooding.
Demography
Main article: Demographics of North Korea
Age pyramid of North Korea.

The population of North Korea, about 23 million inhabitants, is one of the populations most ethnically and linguistically homogeneous in the world, with a very small number of Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, South Korean, and a minority of European expatriates.

According to the CIA World Factbook , the life expectancy in North Korea was 63.8 years in 2009, a figure roughly equivalent to that of Pakistan and Burma and slightly lower than that of Russia . [48] Infant mortality lies is at a high level of 51.34, which is 2.5 times greater than the People’s Republic of China, Russia 5 times and 12 times that of South Korea [49] According to example “The State of the World’s Children 2003″ UNICEF, North Korea appears in 73rd place (with first place having the highest mortality), between Guatemala (72nd) and Tuvalu (74th). [49] [50 ] The fertility rate in North Korea is relatively low and stands at 1.96 in 2009, comparable to the United States and France . [51]
Language
Main article: Korean Language

The country’s official language and spoken by most North Koreans are Korean, whose classification is still under debate, some authors claim that it belongs to the Altaic family , while others claim it is a language isolate . [52] The Korean has its own alphabet, hangul , which was invented around the fifteenth century. [53] Although by its appearance seems to be a pictographic alphabet , is actually an alphabet organized into syllabic blocks. Each block consists of at least two of the characters 24 (jamo): at least one of the fourteen consonants and vowels one of ten. The alphabets Hanja (Chinese) and Latin are used within a few texts in Korean, a practice more common in the south than in the north. [54]

Although it is also the national language of neighboring South Korea , the Korean spoken in North Korea differs from spoken by South Koreans in some aspects such as pronunciation , the spelling , the grammar and vocabulary . [55]
Religion
Ancient sculpture of Buddha at Mount Kumgang .

Both Koreas share a heritage Buddhist and Confucian and a recent appearance of the Christian movement. The North Korean constitution states that freedom of religion is permitted. [56] According to the standards of religion, [57] the majority of the North Korean population could be characterized as irreligious. However, there is still a cultural influence of traditional religions as Buddhism and Confucianism in the spiritual life of North Korea. [58] [59] [60]

However, the North Korean Buddhist group is strictly controlled by the state and, reportedly, more than other religious groups, particularly Christians, who are persecuted by the authorities [61] . The government provides funding to promote the Buddhist religion, because Buddhism plays a key role in traditional Korean culture. [62]

According to Human Rights Watch , activities of religious freedom no longer exist in North Korea, as the government sponsors religious groups only to create an illusion of religious freedom. [63] According to Religious Intelligence the situation of North Korea is the following: [64]

Irreligion: 15,460,000 adherents (64.31% of the population, the vast majority of whom are adherents to the philosophy Juche )
Korean shamanism: 3,846,000 adherents (16% of population)
Chondoismo: 3,245,000 adherents (13.5% of population)
Buddhism: 1,082,000 adherents (4.5% of population)
Christianity: 406,000 adherents (1.69% of the population)

Pyongyang was the center of Christian activity in Korea before the Korean War. Today, there are four state-sanctioned churches, in which the advocates of religious freedom claim to be showcases for foreigners. [65] [66] Statistics reported that government officials are 10,000 Protestants and 4,000 Roman Catholics in North Korea . [67]

According to a ranking published by Open Doors , an organization that supports persecuted Christians, North Korea is currently the country with the most severe persecution of Christians in the world. [68] Human rights groups such as Amnesty International also have spoken about religious persecution in North Korea.

Government and politics
Main article: Politics of North Korea
The Juche Tower at night view.
Ideology of the regime

North Korea is described as a state Juche (self-reliant), [71] but is described by some analysts as an absolute monarchy in fact [72] [73] [74] or a “hereditary dictatorship” [75] with a pronounced cult of personality organized around Kim Il-sung (the founder of the country and its only president) and his deceased son, Kim Jong-il . North Korea uses a system of government that also uses a system of departmentalization of ministries . There are also those who reject the view that North Korea is a socialist state that defendende the communism , claiming that the North Korean leadership uses communism as a justification for its form of government. [76] [77]

More recent research based on internal documents of the country and are not part of institutional propaganda for foreign audiences, popularized in 2009 by Brian R. Myers and his book The Cleanest Race and later supported by other scholars, [78] [79] characterize the North Korean ideology as being a nationalist racist and heavily influenced by the racialist view of the Empire of Japan before the end of World War II . [80] [81]

Myers dismisses the idea that the juche ideology is prominent within the country, at least as to its public exaltation as designed to fool foreigners. [82] Myers notes that the recent constitution of North Korea, 2009, omits any mention of communism. [83]
Leadership

After the death of Kim Il-sung , in 1994, he was not replaced, but received the designation of ” Eternal President of the Republic “and was buried in the vast Kumsusan Palace of the Sun in the center of Pyongyang . [84]

Although the office of the President is symbolically fulfilled by the deceased Kim Il-sung, [85] [86] [87] the Supreme Leader until his death in December 2011 was Kim Jong-il , who was general secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea and Chairman of the National Defense Commission of North Korea . The legislature of North Korea is the Supreme People’s Assembly , currently led by Chairman Kim Yong-nam . The other major figure of the government is the Prime Minister Choe Yong-rim .
A statue of Kim Il-sung.

The structure of government is described in the Constitution of North Korea, 2009 and officially rejects communism as the founding ideology of the country. The governing party by law is the Democratic Front for the Reunification of the Fatherland, a coalition of the Workers’ Party of Korea and two other smaller parties, the Korean Social Democratic Party and the Party Chongu Chondoista. These parties nominate all candidates for office and hold all seats in the Supreme People’s Assembly. They have power insignificant, since the leader has control autocratic over the affairs of the nation. [88]

In June 2009, it was reported in South Korean media that intelligence indicated that the country’s next leader would be Kim Jong-un , the youngest of three sons of Kim Jong-il. [89] This was confirmed on December 19 2011, after the death of Kim Jong-il. [90] According to Cheong Seong-changm, the Sejong Institute, is there any possibility that the new leader, Kim Jong-un, has seen an increased interest in the welfare of their people and engage in more interaction with people than his father did during his administration, consider economic reforms and regulation of international relations. [91]
Cult of personality

The North Korean government exercises control over many aspects of the culture of the country and this control is used to perpetuate a cult of personality around Kim Il-sung , [92] and to a lesser extent, the Kim Jong-il . [93 ] While visited North Korea in 1979, journalist Bradley Martin noted that nearly all music, art, and sculpture that he observed was to glorify the “Great Leader” Kim Il-sung, whose personality cult was then extended his son, the “Dear Leader” Kim Jong-il. [94] Bradley Martin also reported that there is still a widespread belief that Kim Il-sung “created the world” and that Kim Jong-il could “control the weather”. [94]

Such accounts are disputed by North Korea researcher Brian R. Myers: “Divine Powers were never assigned to any of the two Kims. Indeed, the propaganda apparatus in Pyongyang has generally been careful not to make statements that run directly counter to the experience or common sense of the citizens”. [95] He further explains that the state propaganda painted Kim Jong-il as someone whose knowledge was in military affairs and the famine of the 1990s was partly caused by natural disasters beyond the control of Kim Jong-il. [96]
Poster of North Korean propaganda with the official portrait of Kim Il-sung .

The song “No Motherland Without You” (당신 이 없으면 조국 도 없다), sung by the Choir of the North Korean Army, was created especially for Kim Jong-il and is one of the most popular songs in the country. Kim Il-sung is still officially revered as the “Eternal President” of the nation. Several monuments and symbols in North Korea were named for Kim Il-sung, including Kim Il-sung University , the Stadium Kim Il-sung and Kim Il-sung Square. Defectors have reported that North Korean schools deify both leaders father and son. [97] Kim Il-sung rejected the notion that he had created a cult around himself, and accused those who suggested this of ” factionalism “. [94] After the death of Kim Il-Sung, the North Koreans were prostrating and crying for a bronze statue of the late president in an organized event, similar scenes were broadcast on state television after the death of Kim Jong-il. [98]

Analysts say this personality cult of Kim Jong-il was inherited from his father, Kim Il-sung. Kim Jong-il was often the center of attention throughout ordinary life in North Korea. His birthday is one of the most important public holidays in the country. On his 60th birthday (based on his official date of birth), mass celebrations occurred throughout the country. [99] The personality cult of Kim Jong-il, although significant, was not as extensive as that of his father. One view is that the cult of Kim Jong-il was solely out of respect for Kim Il-sung or out of fear of punishment for failure to honor. [100] Media and government sources from outside of North Korea generally support this point of view, [101] [102] [103] [104] [105] while government sources say that North Korea is actually a worship of a true hero. [106]

BR Myers also argues that the personality cult North Korea is no different from the worship of Adolf Hitler in Nazi Germany . [107] On 11 June 2012 a student North Korean 14-year-old drowned while trying to save the pictures Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il a flood. [108]
Foreign relations
See attached page: Diplomatic missions in North Korea
Kim Jong-Il with Vladimir Putin , August 23, 2002.

North Korea has long maintained close relations with the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation . The fall of communism in Eastern Europe in 1989, and the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991, resulted in a devastating drop in aid from Russia to North Korea, although China continues to provide substantial assistance. The country continues to have strong ties with its socialist allies in Southeast Asia, such as Vietnam , Laos , and Cambodia . [109] North Korea has started installing a concrete barrier and barbed wire on its northern border, in response the desire to reduce Chinese refugees fleeing the North Korean government. Previously the border between China and North Korea was poorly patrolled. [110]

As a result of the nuclear weapons program, North Korea, the Group of Six was established to find a peaceful solution to the growing unease among governments of both Koreas, the Russian Federation , the People’s Republic of China , to Japan , and USA . On 17 July 2007, inspectors from the UN verified the shutdown of five North Korean nuclear facilities, according to an agreement made ​​in February 2007. [111] On October 4, 2007, South Korean President Roh Moo-Hyun and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il signed a peace agreement on the issue of permanent peace, high-level talks, economic cooperation, renewal rail, road and air travel, and a joint Olympic team.

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