|Democratic People's Republic of Korea|
Territories of Korea presently occupied by the United States are shown in light green.
and largest city
|Government||Socialist state guided by the Juche idea|
• General Secretary of the Workers' Party
• President of the Presidium
• First Vice Chairman of the State Affairs Commission
• Premier of the Cabinet
• Chairman of the Supreme People's Assembly
• Start of partial US occupation
|8 September 1945|
• Founding of the DPRK
|9 September 1948|
• 2020 estimate
(77,048,000 including Koreans under neocolonial occupation)
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), also known as People's Korea and incorrectly referred to as North Korea by bourgeois media, 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. DPRK's capital city is Pyongyang.
The DPRK is led by the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) and the Democratic Front for the Reunification of Korea. 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.
While the DPRK distanced itself from USSR's ideological leadership in the 1960s, some authors still consider it a Marxist-Leninist socialist state.
In 2017, DPRK's Minister of Foreign affairs, Ri Yong Ho, stated at the United Nations General Assembly that "The U.S. had put sanctions against our country from the very first day of its foundation, and the over 70-year long history of the DPRK can be said in a sense a history of struggle, persevering along the road of self-development under the harshest sanctions in the world." Ri also stated that the essence of the situation of the Korean peninsula is a confrontation between the DPRK and the US, where the DPRK tries to defend its national dignity and sovereignty against the hostile policy and nuclear threats of the US, and points out that it was the US who first introduced nuclear weapons to the Korean peninsula. Ri stated that "The very reason the DPRK had to possess nuclear weapons is because of the U.S., and it had to strengthen and develop its nuclear force onto the current level to cope with the U.S. [...] Our national nuclear force is, to all intents and purposes, a war deterrent for putting an end to nuclear threat of the U.S. and for preventing its military invasion".
Minister Ri also clarified DPRK's nuclear policy by quoting Kim Jong-un as saying that international justice can only be achieved when the anti-imperialist independent countries are strong enough, and that possession of nuclear deterrence by the DPRK is a righteous self-defensive measure taken as an ultimate option, pursuant to this principle, and further clarified that the DPRK "do[es] not have any intention at all to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against the countries that do not join in the U.S. military actions against the DPRK."
DPRK representative Kim Song stated at the 2021 UN General Assembly, "If the U.S. wants to see the Korean war, the most prolonged and long-lasting war in the world, come to an end, and if it is really desirous of peace and reconciliation on the Korean peninsula, it should take the first step towards giving up its hostile policy against the DPRK by stopping permanently the joint military exercises and the deployment of all kinds of strategic weapons which are levelled at the DPRK in and around the Korean peninsula."
In 1965 Che Guevara said that the DPRK "was a model to which revolutionary Cuba should aspire".
Division of Korea
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 U.S. forces.
In the northern zone, the Soviets allowed Koreans to govern themselves, and a system of people's committees developed into a full provisional government. The new government redistributed land from landlords and Japanese officials to peasants, nationalized large companies, shortened the work day to eight hours (seven for dangerous occupations), banned child labor, established social security and paid vacations, and enforced gender equality. The leaders of the Korean resistance agreed to make Kim Il-sung the new leader of Korea, and he became president of the provisional government on 8 February 1946.
Founding of the DPRK
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea was founded on 9 September 1948. It soon requested for U.S. and Soviet troops to leave Korea. The Soviets left on 25 September, but the U.S. occupiers refused to leave. 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 U.S. 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
See main article: Fatherland Liberation War
During the Fatherland Liberation War, DPRK forces almost repelled the illegal occupation army; however, the United Nations and the United States sent extra forces 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.
Virtually all of the major cities in DPRK were severely damaged and hundreds of thousands of civilians killed by U.S. saturation bombing during the war. The tonnage of bombs dropped on the north was about the same as the total dropped by the U.S. against Japan during the Second World War. By 1952, the bombing was so complete that the U.S. Air Force had run out of targets. According to an AP News article, the U.S. dropped 635,000 tons of bombs on Korea during the war, most of it in the north, including 32,500 tons of napalm. In the present day, DPRK citizens continue to find unexploded ordinance and be injured by old bombs that were dropped by the US and UN forces, and have to evacuate areas and send in bomb squads where such bombs are found, as well as educate citizens, especially children, about the explosives.
US sanctions on DPRK began in conjunction with the 1950 escalation of the war, with the US imposing an export ban on DPRK and forbidding financial transactions by or on behalf of DPRK. This began with U.S. President Harry S. Truman ordering naval blockade of Korean coast and imposing a total trade embargo against the DPRK in June of 1950. This was followed by the Trading with the Enemy Act in December 1950, to terminate all US economic contacts with the DPRK and freezing its assets. Truman also imposed an embargo against China, freezing Chinese assets in US at this time. In 1952, an embargo was imposed on all exports of industrial equipment and raw materials.
Post-Fatherland Liberation War
After the armistice agreement, the US continued to prohibit all US economic contacts with DPRK in line with its general strategic controls against socialist countries.
In 1988, South Korean and the US eased isolation of People's Korea by opening bilateral dialogue and allowing limited export of goods to the North for humanitarian purposes. Some travel restrictions were also lifted on a case-by-case basis. However, in that same year, DPRK was added to the U.S. State Department State Sponsors of Terrorism list.
A unified team under the name Korea (KOR) competed in 1991 World Table Tennis Championships and FIFA World Youth Championship with athletes from both North and South Korea. In 1991, the team used the Unification Flag and the anthem "Arirang".
In 1992, the ROK announced suspension of the "Team Spirit" military training exercise normally conducted each year in conjunction with US forces stationed in South Korea. On January 22, US Undersecretary of State Arnold Kanter and Korean Workers' Party Secretary Kim Yong Sun held the first of a series of bilateral talks, focusing on the future of US–People's Korean relations and unification issues on the peninsula. However, following difficulties regarding the Joint Nuclear Control Committee, the US and ROK decided to conduct the Team Spirit exercise after all, and DPRK refused to negotiate bilateral nuclear inspections unless the Team Spirit exercise would be cancelled. By 1993, the US and South Korea confirmed that Team Spirit would proceed as planned, and DPRK ended negotiations.
In July 1993, President Bill Clinton, during a visit to the South Korean side of the DMZ, warned that the United States would respond to DPRK use of nuclear weapons with massive conventional or nuclear retaliation. In later January/early February of 1994, US officials in Washington let it be known they were considering transferring Patriot missiles to South Korea as a defensive move. In Seoul, a Defense Ministry official called for the resumption of Team Spirit unless the North agreed to full nuclear inspections. The US warned DPRK that unless it would allow inspections, it would bring a sanctions resolution before the UN Security Council.
In July 1994, Kim Il-sung passed away.
The period of economic crisis, floods, and famine known as the Arduous March lasted from 1994 to 1998.
6.15 Declaration and ROK's "Sunshine Policy"
The South Korean policy towards DPRK from the late 1990s to mid 2000s is known as the "Sunshine Policy" and is primarily associated with the Kim Dae-jung administration (1998–2003) and the Roh Moo-hyun administration (2003–2008). During this time, a notable attitude of reconciliation between north and south Korea was expressed by south Korean leadership.
On June 13-15, 2000 leaders of the ROK and DPRK meet for the first time since the war. South Korean president Kim Dae-jung and DPRK leader Kim Jong-il signed an agreement calling for family reunions, economic cooperation, social and cultural exchanges and follow-up governmental contacts between the North and South to ease tensions. This is known as the June 15th North–South Joint Declaration or the 6.15 Inter-Korean Joint Declaration.
The date "6.15" would subsequently become a popular reference among the Korean reunification movement. Additionally, the phrase uri minjok kkiri (Hangeul: 우리 민족끼리), which can be translated as "among our nation" or "between our people" can be found in the joint document signed by Kim Dae Jung and Kim Jong Il at the 6.15 talks. The phrase implies the idea of solving the questions of unification and peace on the Korean peninsula without the influence or meddling of outside powers. The numbers "6.15" and the phrase "uri minjok kkiri" can frequently be seen and heard in Korean unification-oriented media, publications, and activism.
In 2002, President Bush's State of the Union address singled out Iran, Iraq and DPRK as the so-called "axis of evil" for their supposed pursuit of weapons of mass destruction.
Since the beginning of the DPRK nuclear tests in 2003, the Bush and Obama administrations respectively lifted some sanctions to facilitate negotiations around DPRK denuclearization, and then reinstated them when the negotiations failed to produce the results desired by the US.
According to Nodutdol, in 2018, 3,968 people in the DPRK, who were mostly children under the age of 5, died as a result of shortages and delays to UN aid programs caused by sanctions.
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.
In January 2020, South Korean President Moon Jae-in expressed interest in developing tourism to People's Korea, but the US ambassador Harry Harris blocked this effort. Harris claimed that "independent" tourism plans would have to undergo US consultation. He emphasized that the items inside South Korean tourists' luggage could violate sanctions, demonstrating the extent of US interference in inter-Korean affairs.
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. DPRK is also one of the most sanctioned countries in the world, and has been subject to sanctions since just after its foundation.
The US first imposed sanctions on DPRK during the 1950s. Following the country’s 2006 nuclear test, the US, EU, and others added more stringent sanctions, which have periodically intensified since then. Sanctions now target oil imports, and cover most finance and trade, and the country’s key minerals sector. However, 49 countries, including Cuba, Iran, and Syria have violated these sanctions and traded with the DPRK anyways.
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.
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.
The DPRK follows policy of Byungjin, meaning it simultaneously develops its nuclear weapons program and the economy.
The United States has targeted the DPRK with severe sanctions, citing its nuclear weapons program as their reason. According to Foreign Policy in Focus, sanctions on DPRK have "demonstrably failed." FPIF notes that sanctions didn’t deter DPRK from pursuing a nuclear weapons program, nor have they been subsequently responsible for pushing it toward denuclearization, and adds that DPRK has been under sanctions for nearly its entire existence and it doesn’t have a strong international economic presence that can be penalized, and "has been willing to suffer the effects of isolation in order to build what it considers to be a credible deterrence against foreign attack."
The highest organ of state power is the Supreme People's Assembly, which is elected for a term of five years. It elects a Speaker and Deputy Speaker to preside over its sessions. While the Supreme People's Assembly is not in session, the Presidium is the highest organ of state power. It consists of a President, Vice-Presidents, and other members.
The Supreme People's Assembly also elects a State Affairs Commission consisting of a Chairman, multiple Vice-Chairmen, and other members and a Cabinet consisting of a Premier, Vice-Premiers, Chairmen, Ministers, and other members. The Premier organizes the work of the cabinet and is the head of government of the DPRK.
Provinces, cities, and counties elect local people's assemblies for a term of four years. The local people's assembly elects a speaker to preside over its sessions and a local people's committee. Local people's assemblies and committees are subordinate to the Supreme People's Assembly and Cabinet.
DPRK is divided into nine provinces, the direct-administered capital city, and three special cities.
The nine provinces (Korean: 도; Hanja: 道) of DPRK are Chagang, North Hamgyong, South Hamgyong, North Hwanghae, South Hwanghae, Kangwon, North Pyongan, South Pyongan, and Ryanggang.
Pyongyang is designated as the capital city, or the direct-administered city (Korean: 직할시; Hanja: 直轄市) while three other cities, namely Rason, Nampo, Kaesong, are special cities (Korean: 특별시; Hanja: 特別市).
A 2014 demographic survey of DPRK, conducted as a joint project between DPRK's Central Bureau of Statistics and the United Nations Population Fund, found that the majority of the country's population resides in four contiguous provinces: South Pyongan (17% of population), Pyongyang (14%), South Hamgyong (13%), and North Pyongan (12%). Together, these four contiguous provinces account for over 55% of the country's population. The highest population density area was in the capital city of Pyongyang, while the lowest population density was in Ryanggang. It was also found that more than six out of ten persons reside in urban areas in the country, at 61.2% of the population, while 38.8% of the population lives in rural areas.
DPRK's method of administrative division is similar to that in south Korea, as both are based on the common system in Korea as a whole, having its roots in the mid Goryo dynasty in the 11th century.
As a result of the division of Korea, three provinces, namely Hwanghae, Gyeonggi, and Kangwon, were split due to being on the line of division. The smaller portions of post-division Hwanghae and Gyeonggi provinces were mostly incorporated into nearby provinces, with the larger part of Hwanghae ending up in DPRK and the larger part of Gyeonggi in south Korea. However, Kangwon was divided roughly in half, and as a result, both DPRK and south Korea have a Kangwon province, romanized as Kangwon in DPRK and Gangwon in the south.
Support for anti-imperialist liberation
The DPRK's revolutionary government has supported other liberation struggles around the world. The support has at times included material support such as providing weapons and military training to various movements, hosting delegations representing various liberation struggles, as well as gestures and expressions of solidarity such as in speeches at the UN General Assembly and support for liberation movements written about in official DPRK publications.
The DPRK trained two thousand guerilla fighters from twenty-five countries from the mid-1960s to the late 1980s, including members of the Japanese Red Army, Palestinian Liberation Organization, and the Official Irish Republican Army. The training in these camps lasted from six to eighteen months, and during that time, the DPRK military taught foreign revolutionaries Korean martial arts. The foreign revolutionaries were also put through training such as running through the mountains at night while carrying one hundred pound sandbags.
DPRK has supported liberation struggles in Africa both materially and through expressions of solidarity. President Kim Il Sung was a staunch opponent of both South African and Zionist apartheid.
When Kwame Nkrumah's government in Ghana was overthrown in a CIA-backed coup in 1966, Kim Il-sung sent a letter to Nkrumah shortly afterword, stating, "We are especially enraged at the reactionary coup d’état which took place in Ghana at the instigation of the imperialists [...] The imperialists engineer similar plots and perpetrate subversive activities against progressive countries everywhere. We resolutely condemn the machinations of the imperialists against the just cause of the peoples for national liberation, independence and progress. We express our unreserved support to your Excellency’s determination to fight for the freedom of Ghana on your return to Africa."
On March 31, 1970, nine members of the Japanese Red Army (JRA) hijacked a Japan Air Lines plane and landed it in Pyongyang. These nine members eventually settled in a housing complex on the outskirts of Pyongyang and the DPRK government used the JRA connection to send money and arms to various Third World-oriented organizations, such as the PLO, the Red Army Faction, and the Italian Red Brigades.
During the 1980s, the DPRK sent free weapons to Cuba.
DPRK Minister of Foreign Affairs Ri Yong Ho's 2017 UN General Assembly statements of solidarity with Cuba, Venezuela, and Syria and condemning Israel:
My delegation takes this opportunity to extend strong support to and solidarity with the Cuban government and people who are fighting to defend national sovereignty and realize international justice against the high-handedness, arbitrariness and unilateral embargo of the U.S.
We also express strong support to and solidarity with the government and people of Venezuela who are fighting to defend the national sovereignty and the cause of socialism.
The unjust and contemptible acts such as turning a blind eye to the heinous acts of Israel while condemning in every manner only the Syrian government fighting to protect its national sovereignty and security should not be tolerated any longer.
The DPRK government will certainly defend peace and security of the country with its powerful nuclear deterrence and also contribute to safeguarding world peace and security.
The DPRK representative Kim Song at the 2021 UN General Assembly spoke on the DPRK delegation extending "its full support and encouragement to the Cuban government and people who continue to move forward holding aloft the banner of socialism in the face of the U.S. moves to impose illegal sanctions and blockade and to undermine Cuba from within" and expressed "constant support to and solidarity with the independent countries including Syria and Palestine and their peoples in their unyielding struggle to defend the national dignity, sovereignty and territorial integrity."
Support for Black liberation in the United States
Kim Il-Sung praised the Black Panther Party (BPP) for their "just struggle to abolish the cursed system of racial discrimination of the US imperialists". The Black Panther Party sent a delegation to the DPRK to meet with President Kim Il Sung and other officials to exchange ideas. Numerous examples of writings in support of the DPRK and against U.S. imperialism can be found in BPP publications, while many articles in support of the BPP and denouncing U.S. imperialism and systemic racism can be found in DPRK publications.
In addition to specific support of the BPP, it is common to find DPRK publications calling out and denouncing the United States as racist, and voicing support for Black people and other racial minorities of the U.S. in their struggle against it. For example, DPRK state media commented on the shooting of Trayvon Martin, stating: "The U.S. true colors as a kingdom of racial discrimination was fully revealed by last year’s case that the Florida Court gave a verdict of not guilty to a white policeman who shot to death an innocent Black boy." DPRK has also made commentary on the case of George Floyd, emphasizing the hypocrisy for the US to preach about human rights while perpetrating racial oppression against its own citizens. An official from Central Committee stated via the state newspaper Rodong Sinmun: "Demonstrators enraged by the extreme racists throng even to the White House. This is the reality in the U.S. today" and further stated "American liberalism and democracy put the cap of leftist on the demonstrators and threaten to unleash even dogs for suppression."
In a 2021 speech to the United Nations General Assembly, the DPRK's representative Kim Song stated, "In the course of the DPRK-U.S. showdown spanning over half a century, we have been very much accustomed to the U.S. military threats, and we know well how to deal with the U.S., the most hostile country. We have learned the mode of existence to cope with the U.S. hostile policy and accumulated rich experience." The representative further characterized the DPRK-US relationship in the following way:
From the first day of the foundation of the DPRK, the U.S. has not recognized our sovereignty, treating us as an enemy state, and openly showed its hostility towards the socialist system chosen by our people. The U.S. designated the DPRK as a "communist state" and a "state of non-market economy", and it completely blocked, both institutionally and legislatively, the establishment of relations between the DPRK and the U.S. in the fields of politics, economy and trade, under the unreasonable pretexts of "human rights issue", "proliferation of the WMD", "sponsoring of terrorism", "oppression of religion", "money laundering" and etc.
If it is not a hostile policy, should it be called a "friendly policy"?
The U.S. hostile policy against the DPRK finds its clearest expression in its military threats against us. Not a single foreign troop, not a single foreign military base exists in the territory of the DPRK. But in south Korea, almost 30,000 U.S. troops are stationing at numerous military bases, maintaining a war posture to take military action against the DPRK at any moment. The DPRK has no record of having conducted a military exercise even a single time around the U.S., but the U.S. has annually staged all sorts of war drills on and around the Korean peninsula and in the Korean waters for the last several decades, by mobilizing army, naval and air forces across the world including the U.S. troops in south Korea, and it has threatened us through military demonstrations of intimidating nature while deploying numerous armaments to south Korea from time to time.
The representative also noted that the possible outbreak of a new war on the Korean peninsula is contained "not because of the U.S.’s mercy on the DPRK" but because the DPRK "is growing reliable deterrent that can control the hostile forces in their attempts for military invasion".
Kim Yo Jong, First Vice Department Director of Central Committee of Workers’ Party of Korea, in response to being called a “rogue state” by the US Defense Secretary, has been quoted by Nodutdol as saying, "the sufferings imposed upon us by the U.S. have now turned into the hatred for the U.S., and this hatred would drive us to break through the blockade of persistent sanctions led by the U.S. and to live our own way by our own efforts."
Among the political leadership, bourgeoisie, and working people of South Korea, there is variation in attitudes toward DPRK. For the majority of South Korea's history, its leaders have been far-right anti-communist military dictators as well as corrupt oligarchs. A handful of ROK presidents are notable for their "Sunshine Policy" stance toward DPRK, a stance of reconciliation. Most notably associated with this attitude are Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun. The more recent president, Moon Jae-in, has been described as having revived certain elements of the Sunshine Policy era. However, his presidency was followed by the right-wing Yoon Suk-yeol who took office in 2022, and has a much more aggressive pro-US stance.
In regard to public opinion in South Korea, the 2021 KINU Unification Survey reported that positive responses to the question “If North Korea open the borders to each other and cooperate on political and economic matters, such a state can be considered unification even if the two Koreas are not one country” have reached 63.2%. In addition, the survey found there is a growing tendency to be indifferent to DPRK and to "give up expectations" rather than a negative view for the future of inter-Korean relations. The IMF generation and millennial generations clearly show a high level of indifference toward the DPRK compared to the older generations. (IMF generation 68.3%, Millennial generation 74.1%).
According to the survey, the gap between ‘Prefers unification’ and ‘Prefers peaceful coexistence’ is very huge in the millennial generation. In the 2021 survey, the percentage of ‘Prefers peaceful coexistence’ was 71.4% and the percentage of ‘Prefers unification’ was 12.4%, showing a difference of 59%P. The summary of the results suggests that "the trend that younger generations view North Korea as the subject of coexistence and not unification will become stronger in the future." The younger generation tends to loosely favor confederations. The Millennial generation most actively preferred confederations and has the lowest percentage of preference for unitary state system at only 6.5%. The preference for unification in the unitary state system, which is the traditional unification view, was relatively high among the war generation (17.8%). However, more` than half of the War generation (52.1%) preferred confederations.
67.7% of survey respondents agreed to the statement “The agreements between the two Koreas should be continued regardless of the government's change” and 90.3% of the respondents said ‘necessary’ to the question “Do you think that U.S. Armed Forces in Korea is needed now?” 69% of respondents showed a positive attitude toward the question “Do you think U.S. President Biden should hold a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un?” The survey also found that people under 30 are apparently more vulnerable to fake news about DPRK than those over 40. Income level, residence area, political ideology, and party identification also seem to influence the reception of fake news on DPRK and unification issues.
The US consistently interferes in inter-Korean affairs and polices Korean reunification efforts by citing sanctions. According to Nodutdol, only a few months after the Korean leaders signed the Panmunjeom Declaration, the US-led UN Command which oversees the DMZ, blocked development of the inter-Korean railway. In January 2020, South Korean President Moon Jae-In expressed interest in developing tourism to People's Korea, but the US ambassador Harry Harris blocked this effort. Harris claimed that "independent" tourism plans would have to undergo US consultation. He emphasized that the items inside South Korean tourists' luggage could violate sanctions, demonstrating the extent of US interference.
During Moon Jae-in's presidency, a number of inter-Korean activities took place, such as the 2018 inter-Korean summit. In the 2018 Winter Olympics, the teams representing DPRK and south Korea entered the Opening Ceremony marching under the Korean Unification Flag, while in women's ice hockey there was a single united Korean team. A music concert titled "Spring is Coming" was also held in 2018, in which a number of south Korean artists performed alongside People's Korean artists in Pyongyang, DPRK.
Pro-DPRK voices in South Korea are stifled by the existence of the National Security Law. The National Security Law is a south Korean law enforced since 1948 following events such as the Jeju Uprising where Koreans opposed the division of the country into north and south. The National Security Law has the avowed purpose "to secure the security of the State and the subsistence and freedom of nationals, by regulating any anticipated activities compromising the safety of the State." Behaviors or speeches in favor of the DPRK or communism can be punished by the National Security Law. In an article from The Diplomat, it was referred to as a "Cold War holdover" that "allows the government to selectively prosecute anyone who 'praises, incites or propagates the activities of an anti-government organization'" which the article describes as "a deliberately vague clause that broadly implies the North Korean state and its sympathizers." The article continues, explaining "Under Article 7, individuals have been prosecuted and imprisoned for merely possessing North Korean publications or satirically tweeting North Korean propaganda. In recent years this clause has been harshly criticized by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, who claim the government abuses the law to repress dissenting voices."
According to the People's Democracy Party (PDP), a revolutionary workers' party in south Korea, the continued U.S. military occupation of south Korea is the primary barrier to peaceful reunification of the Korean peninsula.
On August 13, 2022, thousands of south Korean unionists and their progressive supporters rallied in downtown Seoul to protest against joint US-south Korea war game exercises. In a video uploaded by Press TV, Oh Eun-Jung of the National Teachers Union was quoted as saying "The threat of nuclear war is growing on the Korean peninsula, conservative forces of Yoon Suk-yeol in south Korea and those in the U.S. are frantically conducting aggressive war drills in the sky, the land, and the sea, and are about to start large-scale military exercises, aimed at the invasion of North Korea. We must stamp out this behavior of anti-reunification forces." In the same video, construction worker Lee Seung-Woo stated, "We not only oppose the war exercises, but we want the U.S. Forces Korea, which is actually controlling and interfering with the Korean peninsula to leave this land. We believe that only then will the eighty million Koreans from both north and south be able to live peacefully."
Unconverted long-term prisoners
Unconverted long-term prisoners is the People's Korean term for northern loyalists imprisoned in south Korea who never renounced their support for DPRK. Many of them were arrested as spies, and some spent over 40 years in prison for their refusal to disavow the DPRK. While in prison, many of them were held in solitary confinement and subjected to extensive torture. In the late 1990s, amnesty was declared for certain elderly and ill prisoners and they began to be released from prison and allowed to live in south Korean society, with limited rights due to their refusal to disavow their loyalty to the DPRK. As the unconverted long-term prisoners began to be released, many of them sought repatriation to the DPRK. Some were able to return to DPRK, notably many of them in the year 2000 during the Sunshine Policy period, but others remain in the south, being denied their requests for repatriation. Those who returned to the DPRK were met with celebrations and fanfare welcoming them as heroes, while those remaining in South Korea generally live in poverty and in nursing homes, some without social security numbers. Former unconverted political prisoners, upon being released, are also subjected to ROK state surveillance under the Security Surveillance Act. Giving examples of this, former political prisoner Anh Hak-sop explained in a 2020 Liberation School interview, "[T]here are security police who follow me. Whenever there is a problem with the North and South, they raid my house and stand guard outside my property. One time at a demonstration, conservative forces attacked me. The police did nothing to protect me. Every week or every other week, the police come to my house and ask about my activities, who has visited my house, and so on. Once every other month I need to report to them about what I did, who I met, and who visited me. Every two years I need to go to court."
Additionally, many who participated in the repatriation in the year 2000 and many of those who remained in South Korea made their decisions based on their impression at the time that there was going to be more freedom of movement between ROK and DPRK thereafter. According to Ahn Hak-sop, who chose to remain in the South when the 2000 repatriation happened, said one of his reasons was that he "thought it was a temporary situation." Anh also notes that "Those comrades went to the North because they thought that shortly there would be free movement between the two states. They went to the North to study and thought they would come back later." Regarding his own intention to stay in the south temporarily, Anh elaborated: "[T]here were young progressive people here in the South, and they asked me to stay. [...] We have to keep struggling here for the withdrawal of US army, the peace treaty, and peaceful reunification. I decided to stay here to fight for these goals. In 1952, I came here to liberate the southern half of the peninsula, and I need to stay here and continue that struggle.
Those who oppose the repatriation of these former prisoners generally do so on grounds of demanding that DPRK start repatriating people back to the south as well. In 2003, south Korean director Kim Dong-won released Repatriation, a documentary about the unconverted prisoners and their experiences, based on more than 12 years and 800 hours of filming. The film documents their views on Korea's partition, their daily hardships as they attempt to adjust to south Korean society, as well as their struggle for repatriation.
- ↑ Articles 1 and 3 of the Constitution of the DPRK
- ↑ 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]
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Ri Yong Ho, DPRK Minister for Foreign Affairs. "Statement by H.E. Mr. RI YONG HO, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea at the General Debate of the 72 Session of the United Nations General Assembly." New York, 23rd September 2017. gadebate.un.org. Archived 2022-08-28.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Kim Song. "Statement by Head of the DPRK Delegation H.E. Mr. KIM SONG, Permanent Representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to the United Nations At the General Debate of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly." New York, 27 September 2021. UNmeetings.org. Archived 2022-08-28.
- ↑ https://gowans.blog/2007/03/03/understanding-north-korea/
- ↑ Bruce Cumings (2005). Korea’s place in the sun: a modern history. W.W. Norton & Company; p. 404.
- ↑ Stephen Gowans (2018). Patriots, Traitors and Empires: The Story of Korea’s Struggle for Freedom: 'The Patriot State' (pp. 88–93). [PDF] Montreal: Baraka Books. ISBN 9781771861427 [LG]
- ↑ Stephen Gowans (2018). Patriots, Traitors and Empires: The Story of Korea’s Struggle for Freedom: 'The Political Partition of Korea' (p. 114). [PDF] Montreal: Baraka Books. ISBN 9781771861427 [LG]
- ↑ Talmadge, Eric. “64 Years after Korean War, North Still Digging up Bombs.” AP NEWS. Associated Press. April 22, 2021. Archived 2023-03-13.
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 Gary Clyde Hufbauer (PIIE), Jeffrey J. Schott (PIIE), Kimberly Ann Elliott (PIIE) and Barbara Oegg (PIIE). “US and UN v. North Korea: Case 50-1 and 93-1.” 2016. Peterson Institute for International Economics. May 1, 2008. Archived 2022-09-09.
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 "제국의 제재 - Sanctions of Empire." Nodutdol. October 20, 2020. PDF. Archive.
- ↑ “Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.” United States Department of State.
- ↑ Galant, Michael. “CEPR Sanctions Watch, May-June 2022” Center for Economic and Policy Research. July 8, 2022. Archived 2022-09-07
- ↑ 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.
- ↑ Zak Brown (2023-11-18). "Towards a concrete analysis of the DPRK" Anti-Imperialism.org. Archived from the original on 2020-01-18. Retrieved 2023-03-12.
- ↑ "Special Economic Zones in the DPRK".
- ↑ "North Korea’s Special Economic Zones: Plans vs. Progress".
- ↑ 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.
- ↑ "US Reps Pass "Harshest Sanctions Ever" Against North Korea" (2017-10-25). TeleSur. Retrieved 2022-04-24.
- ↑ Feffer, John. 2021. “The Problem of Sanctions against North Korea.” Foreign Policy in Focus. November 22, 2021. Archived 2022-09-09.
- ↑ 21.0 21.1 12th Supreme People's Assembly (2016). Socialist Constitution of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea: 'State Organs'.
- ↑ Central Bureau of Statistics, Pyongyang and United Nations Population Fund. "Democratic People's Republic of Korea Socio-Economic, Demographic and Health Survey, 2014." December, Juche 104 (2015).
- ↑ DPRK Explained. “DPRK Provinces EXPLAINED - Part One | North Korea’s Provinces.” YouTube Video.
- ↑ 24.0 24.1 “Juche in the United States: The Black Panther Party’s Relations with North Korea, 1969-1971.” 2015. The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus. Archived 2023-03-25.
- ↑ President Kim Il Sung’s Immortal Contributions to African Liberation APRIL 17, 2017 by Internationalist 360º on libya360.wordpress.com
- ↑ 26.0 26.1 “Thread by @Uhusofree: ‘a Quick Thread on the DPRK and African and Diaspora Liberation Movements. I Hope It Reaches Someone Who Didn’t Know Before. President Kim Il […].’” Threadreaderapp.com. Thread Reader. Archived 2023-03-25.
- ↑ Nkrumah, Kwame. Dark Days in Ghana. "Appendix." 1968.
- ↑ 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.
- ↑ “North Korea and the Black Civil Rights Movement.” Young Pioneer Tours. December 23, 2020. Archived 2022-11-29.
- ↑ 30.0 30.1 30.2 Dr. Sang Sin Lee, et. al. "KINU Unification Survey 2021: Executive Summary." July, 2021. Korea Institute for National Unification.
- ↑ Meredith Shaw and Joseph Yi. (2022-03-15). "Will Yoon Suk-yeol Finally Reform South Korea’s National Security Law?" The Diplomat.
- ↑ People's Democracy Party and Liberation School. “70 Years Too Long: The Struggle to End the Korean War – Liberation School.” Liberation School – Revolutionary Marxism for a New Generation of Fighters, 25 June 2020. Archived.
- ↑ Frank Smith. “‘South Korean Unionists Protest US-South Korea War Games.’” PressTV News. August 13, 2022. Archived 2022-08-28.
- ↑ "Solitary: Tough test of survival instinct" (1999-02-25). BBC News. Archived from the original.
- ↑ 35.0 35.1 Liberation School (Jul 27, 2022). "Still fighting for Korea’s liberation: An interview with Ahn Hak-sop" Liberation School. Archived from the original.
- ↑ Yoon, Cindy (2003-03-28), "Kim Dong Won's Film on North Korean Prisoners Held in South Korea", Asia Society. Archive link.