Pyongyang is the nation's capital and largest city.
To the north and northwest, the country is bordered by China and by Russia along the Amnok known as the Yalu in China and Tumen rivers;  it is bordered to the south by South Koreawith the heavily fortified Korean Demilitarized Zone DMZ separating the two. Nevertheless, North Korea, like its southern counterpart, claims to be the legitimate government of the entire peninsula.
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InKorea was annexed by Japan. After the Japanese surrender at the end of World War II inKorea was divided into two zoneswith the north occupied by the Soviets and the south occupied by the Americans.
Negotiations on reunification failed, and inseparate governments were formed: An invasion initiated by North Korea led to the Korean War — The Korean Armistice Agreement brought about a ceasefire, but no peace treaty was signed. North Korea officially describes itself as a self-reliant 2 Thesis Binding Dublin, socialist state  and formally holds elections.
Various media outlets have called it Stalinist particularly noting the elaborate cult of personality around Kim Il-sung and his family. The Workers' Party of Korea WPKled by a member of the ruling family,  holds power in the state and leads the Democratic Front Book About Life In North Korea the Reunification of the Fatherland of which all political officers are required to be members.
Most services such as healthcare, education, housing and food production are subsidized or state-funded. A sizeable amount of the population is thought to suffer from malnutritionparasite infestations and food and waterborne diseases. North Korea follows Songunor "military-first" policy. Its active duty army of 1. International organizations have assessed that human rights violations in North Korea have no parallel in the contemporary world.
The concentration camps are used to segregate those seen as enemies of the state and punish them for alleged political misdemeanours or alleged misdemeanours of relatives as part of the "3 generations of punishment" policy instigated by state founder Kim Il-sung. The 10th-century kingdom of Goryeo succeeded Goguryeo,     and thus inherited its name, which was pronounced by visiting Persian merchants as "Korea".
After the division of the country into North and South Korea, the two sides used different terms to refer to Korea: In the wider world, because the government controlled the northern part of the Korean Peninsulait is commonly called North Korea to distinguish it from South Korea, which is officially called the Republic of Korea.
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Japan tried to suppress Korean traditions and culture and ran the economy primarily for its own benefit. Korean resistance groups known as Dongnipgun Liberation Army operated along the Sino-Korean border, fighting guerrilla warfare against Japanese forces. Some of them took part in allied action in China and parts of Book About Life In North Korea East Asia. One of the guerrilla leaders was the communist Kim Il-sungwho later became the first leader of North Korea. At the end of World War II inthe Korean Peninsula was divided into two zones along the 38th parallelwith the northern half of the peninsula occupied by the Soviet Union and the Book About Life In North Korea half by the United States.
The drawing of the division was assigned to two American officers, Dean Rusk and Charles Bonesteelwho chose it because it divided the country approximately in half but would place the capital Seoul under American control. No experts on Korea were consulted. The agreement was incorporated into the U. During the provisional government, Shtykov's chief accomplishment was a sweeping land reform program that broke North Korea's stratified class system.
Landlords and Japanese collaborators fled to the South, where there was no land reform and sporadic unrest. Shtykov nationalized key industries and led the Soviet delegation to talks on the future of Korea in Moscow and Seoul. In Aprilan uprising of the Jeju islanders was violently crushed. The South declared its statehood in May and two months later the ardent anti-communist Syngman Rhee  became its ruler.
Shtykov served as the first Soviet ambassador, while Kim Il-sung became premier. Soviet forces withdrew from the North in and most American forces withdrew from the South in Ambassador Shtykov suspected Rhee was planning to invade the North, and was sympathetic to Kim's goal of Korean unification under socialism. The two successfully lobbied Joseph Stalin to support a short blitzkrieg of the South, which culminated in the outbreak of the Korean War.
The military of North Korea invaded the South on 25 Juneand swiftly overran most of the country. As they neared the border with China, Chinese forces intervened on behalf of North Korea, shifting the balance of the war again.
Fighting ended on 27 Julywith an armistice that approximately restored the original boundaries between North and South Korea. More than one million civilians and soldiers were killed in the war. As a result of the war, almost every substantial building in North Korea was destroyed.
Some have referred to the conflict as a civil war, with other factors involved. It is click here viewed as an example of the proxy warwhere the two superpowers would fight in another country, forcing the people in that country to suffer most of the destruction read more death involved in a war between such large nations.
The superpowers avoided descending into an all-out war against one another, as well as the mutual use of nuclear weapons. It expanded the Cold War, which to that point had mostly been concerned with Europe. A heavily guarded demilitarized zone DMZ still divides the peninsula, and an anti-communist and anti-North Korea sentiment remains in South Korea.
Since the war, the United States has maintained a strong military presence in the South which is depicted by the North Korean government as an imperialist occupation force.
The relative peace between the South and the North following the armistice was interrupted by border skirmishes, celebrity abductions, and assassination attempts. The North failed in several assassination attempts on South Korean leaders, such as inand the Rangoon bombing in ; tunnels were found under the DMZ and war nearly broke out over the axe murder incident at Panmunjom in Insecret, high-level contacts began to link conducted culminating in the July 4th North-South Joint Statement that established principles of working toward peaceful reunification.
The talks ultimately failed because inSouth Korea declared its preference that the two Koreas should seek separate memberships in international organizations. Some scholars believe that the August incident demonstrated independence. Recovery from the war was quick — by industrial production reached levels.
Inrelations with Japan had improved somewhat, and North Korea began allowing the repatriation of Japanese citizens in the country. The same Book About Life In North Korea, North Korea revalued the North Korean wonwhich held greater value learn more here its South Korean counterpart. Until the s, economic growth was higher than in South Korea, and North Korean GDP per capita was equal to that of its southern neighbor as late as In the early s, China began normalizing Book About Life In North Korea relations with the West, particularly the U.
The diplomatic problems came to a head in when Mao Zedong died. In response, Kim Il-sung began severing ties with China and reemphasizing national and economic self-reliance enshrined in his Juche ideology, which promoted producing everything within Book About Life In North Korea country.
By the s the economy had begun to stagnate; it started its source decline in and almost completely collapsed after the dissolution of the Soviet Union inwhen all Russian aid was suddenly halted.
The North began reestablishing trade relations with China shortly thereafter, but the Chinese could not afford to provide enough food aid to meet demand.
Inas Kim Il-sung's health began deteriorating, Kim Jong-il slowly began taking over various state tasks. Kim Il-sung died of a heart attack inin the midst of a standoff with the United States over North Korean nuclear weapon development. Kim Jong-il declared a three-year period of national mourning before officially announcing his position as the new leader.
North Korean efforts to build nuclear weapons were halted under the Agreed Frameworknegotiated with U. Kim Jong-il Book About Life In North Korea a policy called Songunor "military first".
There is much speculation about this policy being used as a strategy to strengthen the military while discouraging coup attempts. Restrictions on travel were tightened and the state security apparatus was strengthened. Flooding in the mids exacerbated the economic crisis, severely damaging crops and infrastructure and led to widespread famine which the government proved incapable of curtailing.
Inthe government accepted UN food aid. Since the outbreak of the famine, the government has reluctantly tolerated illegal black markets while officially maintaining a state socialist economy. Corruption flourished and disillusionment with the government spread. The international environment changed with the election of U. In Augustformer U.
President Bill Clinton met link Kim Jong-il to secure the release of two American journalists who had been sentenced for entering the country illegally. His youngest son Kim Jong-un was announced as his successor. Notable tests were performed in and Early European visitors to Korea remarked that the country resembled "a sea in a heavy gale" because of the many successive mountain ranges that crisscross the peninsula.
Mount Kumgang in the Taebaek Rangewhich extends into South Korea, is famous for its scenic beauty. The coastal plains are wide in the west and discontinuous in the east. A great majority of the population lives in the plains and lowlands.
According to a United Nations Environmental Programme report inforest covers over 70 percent of the country, mostly on steep slopes. Winters bring clear weather interspersed with snow storms as a result of northern and northwestern winds that blow from Siberia. Approximately 60 percent of all precipitation click from June to September.
North Korea functions as a highly centralized, one-party state.
The book's Korean title mocks North Korea’s official name of Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), turning it into Capitalist Republic of Korea. “In North Korea, life only gets better if the state helps you. But these days, the state doesn’t help. We’re on our own.” — The bride, now 23, from Hyesan. Here’s How Lousy Life Is in North Korea It might have nukes, but North Korea can barely keep the lights on. Jun 15, · Otto Warmbier’s “New Year’s Eve” tour to the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea (DPRK) took a dark turn early last year, when he was.
According to its constitutionit is a self-described revolutionary continue reading socialist state "guided in its activities by the Juche idea and the Songun idea". He heads all major Book About Life In North Korea structures: According to the Constitution of North Korea there are officially three main branches of government.
The first of these is the State Affairs Commission of North Koreawhich acts as "the supreme national guidance organ of state sovereignty". Its members are elected every five years by universal suffrage. Supreme People's Assembly sessions are convened by the SPA Presidium, whose president Kim Yong-nam since represents the state in relations with foreign countries. Deputies formally elect the President, the vice-presidents and members of the Presidium and take part in the constitutionally appointed activities of the legislature: It is unknown whether it has ever criticized or amended bills placed before it, and the elections are based around a single list of WPK-approved candidates who stand without opposition.
His authority extends over two vice-premiers, 30 ministerstwo cabinet commission chairmen, the cabinet chief secretary, the president of the Central Bankthe director of the Central Bureau of Statistics and the president of the Academy of Sciences. Despite its official title as the 'Democratic People's Republic of Korea' DPRK some observers have described North Korea's political system as an absolute monarchy    or a "hereditary dictatorship".
The Juche ideology is the cornerstone of party works and government operations.
It is viewed by the official North Korean line as an embodiment of Kim Il-sung's wisdom, an expression of his leadership, and an idea which provides "a complete answer to any question that arises in the struggle for national liberation". The roots of Juche were made up of a complex mixture of factors, including the cult of personality centered on Kim Il-sung, the conflict with pro-Soviet and pro-Chinese dissenters, and Korea's centuries-long struggle for independence.