Democratic People's Republic of Korea

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Democratic People's Republic of Korea
Flag of Democratic People's Republic of Korea
Emblem of Democratic People's Republic of Korea
Territories of Korea presently occupied by the United States are shown in light green.
Territories of Korea presently occupied by the United States are shown in light green.
and largest city
GovernmentSocialist state guided by the Juche idea
• General Secretary of the Workers' Party
Kim Jong-un
• President of the Presidium
Choe Ryong-hae
• Prime Minister
Pak Pong-ju
• First Vice Chairman of the State Affairs Commission
Choe Ryong-hae
• Premier of the Cabinet
Kim Tok-hun
• Chairman of the Supreme People's Assembly
Pak Thae-song
• Founding of the DPRK
9 September 1948
• Start of partial US occupation
8 September 1945
• 2020 estimate
(77,048,000 including Koreans under neocolonial occupation)

People's Korea, officially the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), is a socialist country in East Asia. Korea is one nation, but the southern half of Korea is occupied by the US-backed anti-communist Republic of Korea.

The DPRK is led by the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK). According to its constitution, the DPRK is an "independent socialist state", guided by the ideology of Juche which is a derivative of Marxism-Leninism originally codified by Kim Il-Sung.[1]

While the DPRK distanced itself from USSR's ideological leadership in the 1960s, some authors still consider it a Marxist-Leninist socialist state.[2]

In 1965 Che Guevara said that the DPRK "was a model to which revolutionary Cuba should aspire".[3][4]


Post-Japanese Colonization

Following the defeat of Japan and the end of the Second World War, Japan lost control of its colonies, including what was formerly the Korean Empire. As a result of negotiations between the Soviet Union and the United States, the Korean Peninsula was divided into occupation zones along the 38th Parallel North. Although there was an attempt at establishing the People's Republic of Korea, the nascent state was outlawed by American forces.

Pre-Fatherland Liberation War

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea was founded the 9th of September, 1948. The illegitimate government of the occupied portion of Korea (often referred to as South Korea, or Republic of Korea) was also established the same year, when dictator Syngman Rhee came to power due to American influence. Kim Il-Sung became the first Premier of the DPRK, a position he would hold until 1972.

The Occupied Korean government was hostile to socialism and to the DPRK. Even though Western media accuses the DPRK of initiating the Fatherland Liberation War (often referred to as the Korean War), numerous acts of violence were perpetrated by the illegitimate southern government that were tantamount to war -- namely the massacre on Jeju Island that targeted communists. The death toll was composed of civilians, many of whom were not affiliated with the Workers' Party of South Korea or communism at all. Paramilitary groups from the Republic of Korea illegally crossed the border into the DPRK on multiple occasions.

Fatherland Liberation War

During the Fatherland Liberation War, DPRK forces almost repelled the illegal occupation army; however, additional forces were sent by the United Nations and the United States to fight DPRK troops. Western forces pushed DPRK forces all the way to the border of the newly formed People's Republic of China, which had itself repelled reactionary Kuomintang forces from the mainland. PRC forces intervened to protect Korean sovereignty, repelling Western troops once more as part of the War to Resist the U.S. Aggression and Aid Korea campaign. The majority of the fighting during the rest of the Fatherland Liberation War took place near the 38th Parallel North, with only minor border changes occurring after a ceasefire was signed. The DPRK technically remains at war with its illegitimate southern neighbour as no truce has been signed between the two.

Post-Fatherland Liberation War

Talks between General secretary Kim Jong-un and Former U.S. President Donald Trump began on June of 2019 to discuss disarmament and potential reunification with the Republic of Korea.


The DPRK has maintained one of the most centralized economies in the world since the 1940s. For several decades, it followed the Soviet pattern of five-year plans with the ultimate goal of achieving self-sufficiency.

The economy is heavily nationalized. Food and housing are extensively subsidized by the state, education and healthcare are free, and the payment of taxes was officially abolished in 1974.[5]

Foreign trade surpassed pre-crisis levels in 2005 and continues to expand. The DPRK has a number of special economic zones (SEZs) and Special Administrative Regions where foreign companies can operate with tax and tariff incentives while DPRK establishments gain access to improved technology.[6][7]

The United States has targeted the DPRK with severe sanctions due to its nuclear weapons program.[8] However, 49 countries, including Cuba, Iran, and Syria have violated these sanctions and traded with the DPRK anyways.[9]

The DPRK follows policy of Byungjin, meaning it simultaneously develops its nuclear weapons program and the economy.[10]

Foreign relations

The DPRK's revolutionary government has supported other liberation struggles around the world, including in Africa.[11] During the 1980's, the DPRK sent free weapons to Cuba.[12]

See also

Further readings


  1. Articles 1 and 3 of the Constitution of the DPRK
  2. Thomas Stock (2019). North Korea’s Marxism-Leninism: fraternal criticisms and the development of North Korean ideology in the 1960s. doi:10.1215/21581665-7258081 [HUB] [LG]
  4. Bruce Cumings (2005). Korea’s place in the sun: a modern history. W.W. Norton & Company; p. 404.
  5. Towards a concrete analysis of the DPRK 18/11/2013 by Zak Brown on
  6. "Special Economic Zones in the DPRK".
  7. "North Korea’s Special Economic Zones: Plans vs. Progress".
  8. "US Reps Pass "Harshest Sanctions Ever" Against North Korea" (2017-10-25). TeleSur. Retrieved 2022-04-24.
  9. Rishi Iyengar (2017-12-06). "Report: 49 countries have been busting sanctions on North Korea" CNN. Archived from the original on 2021-05-08. Retrieved 2022-04-24.
  10. Ankit Panda. "Is North Korea’s ‘Byungjin Line’ on the US-China Strategic Agenda?" The Diplomat. Archived from the original on 2022-03-21. Retrieved 2022-04-24.
  11. President Kim Il Sung’s Immortal Contributions to African Liberation APRIL 17, 2017 by Internationalist 360º on
  12. David Iocanangelo (2013-08-14). Fidel Castro Says North Korea Sent Cuba Free Weapons During Cold War Latin Times. Archived from the original on 2020-01-18.