Communist Governments In North Korea

Communist Governments in North Korea in Asia

Communism: Communist Governments in Other Regions Asia North Korea

Korea, a Japanese colony from 1910 to 1945, was partitioned after World War II into Soviet- and American-occupied zones. In 1948 a Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, or North Korea, was established in the Soviet zone, and a Republic of Korea, or South Korea, was established in the American zone. In a bid to unify the country under communist rule, North Korea invaded South Korea in June 1950. The United States and small contingents of troops from other nations came to the defense of South Korea, while China joined the North Korean offensive. Millions of soldiers and civilians died in the Korean War, which ended with a truce in 1953.

Kim Il Sung was party leader and head of state in North Korea from 1948 until his death in 1994. Throughout that time, North Korea was an unvarnished Stalinist dictatorship, with harsh internal repression, an extravagant cult of Kim’s personality, and a colossal military machine that positioned large numbers of troops along the demilitarized zone that separates North Korea from South Korea. All industry was nationalized and agriculture was collectivized. North Korea maintained cordial relations with both the Soviet Union and China and accepted aid from both. In the 1990s the North Korean economy deteriorated markedly, with food shortages leading to malnutrition, starvation, and epidemic disease. Kim’s son Kim Jong Il succeeded him as leader of North Korea in 1994. His main priorities have been to end the food crisis, achieve a rapprochement with South Korea, and negotiate with the United States on trimming North Korean weapons programs in exchange for economic relief. Today, North Korea remains one of the world’s most insular societies. The Korean Workers’ Party, the ruling communist party, tightly controls almost all aspects of economic, political, social, and intellectual life.

In this Section: Communism in China Development, Communism in China Under Mao, Communism in China After Mao, Communist Governments in Mongolia, Communist Governments in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, Communist Governments in North Korea, Communist Governments in Afghanistan and Communist Governments in South Yemen. (1)

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Notes and References

  1. Encarta Online Encyclopedia

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