North And South Korea Comparison Essay Introduction - Essay for you

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North And South Korea Comparison Essay Introduction

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FREE International Trade with South Korea Essay

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The trading relationship between the U.S and South Korea could be improved by creating an agreement that would reduce tariffs on the specific product of microchips for cell phones. This could improve the trade relationship between South Korea and the United States because if the two countries create this agreement, they would both be making exports and gaining imports for a cheaper price, while maintaining the goods that they need in order to remain prospered. Microchips are important because they are needed for cell phones, which are an extremely popular product in this day and age, they have basically become a necessity, and people need this form of technology in order to communicate with one another.

South Korea is one of the worlds fastest-growing economies. Although South Korea lacks in their amount of natural resources, they are a relatively wealthy country. They succeed in exports through products other than natural resources. South Korea's land is mountainous, and most of it is not arable, which would explain the lack of the natural resources. South Korea is the seventh largest exporter out of the ten largest exporters of the world (Salter, 86). They are still able to flourish although they do not have much of natural resources. South Korea must import products such as coal, gold, and zinc. About six percent of South Korean workers are farmers. Their main crop is rice, but they also grow a sufficient amount of vegetables for example, cabbages and onions.

They also have fruit crops such as melons, and pears. Fishing makes up a small, but important amount of the economy. Industry accounts for 41% of the nations economy, which obviously has a greater impact. The social status is broken up into just about two sections, such as “old” middle class, which consist of shoe keepers and small business protectors. The urban lower class is consisted of people who have recently arrived to the country. Small businesses in the c

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Photos Of North Korea and South Korea - Business Insider

Stunning Pictures Contrasting North And South Korea

Ethan Wilkes / The Morning Side Post

With the passing of Kim Jong Il, North Korea prepares for a major leadership transition and potentially a new path. What will the future North Korea look like? How might it change? Where could we look to see an alternative?

South Korea presents an interesting example of the possibilities for North Korea.

Ethan Wilkes, a grad student at Columbia University's SIPA and Editor-in-Chief of The Morningside Post. has spent time traveling in both North Korea and South Korea.

On hearing the news of Kim Jong Il's death he reviewed photos from his trips and put together a stunning photo essay comparing and contrasting the two countries. Originally, featured on The Morningside Post, we have a selection of his photos here. The complete set is fantastic and you should also check it out for yourself .

Wilkes explains in his piece:

"Sitting at the crossroads of one of the most economically dynamic regions of the world, the dismal state of decay that this country currently finds itself is not a product of poor geography, but of decades of maligned politics and policies.

When stepping off the Tupolev Tu-154 and onto the tarmac at Sunan International Airport in Pyongyang, the impression is an immediate and profound “it doesn’t have to be this way.” Once seeing South Korea that impression is only reaffirmed tenfold."

View As: One Page Slides Stunning Pictures Contrasting North And South Korea

Comparison of Australian and South Korean Economies - Term Papers

Comparison of Australian and South Korean Economies
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  • Politics of North and South Korea Research Essay: North Korea and South Korea Throughout the history of politics, our societies have encountered a large variety of different.
  • Country Analysis Report - South Korea line that sees the most promise in growth. With 80% of our BOTOX products being used for cosmetic purposes, a great market potential is seen in.
  • Pest Analysis for South Korea Lobster hatchery in South Korea. In order to minimize possible market barriers, Political, Economic, Socio-cultural and Technological (PEST).
Comparison of Australian and South Korean Economies

The Australian (Aus) and South Korean (SK) economies are high-income, developed, mixed-market economies. Their emergence from the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) of 2007-2009 and SK’s emergence from the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis (AFC) without stagnation is a testament to their economic stability. Their governments implement several economic policies regarding economic growth, to increase quality of life, environmental sustainability and health care, education and social welfare and result in several similarities and differences between their economies.
Economic Growth & Quality of Life (QOL)
The economic growth of both countries hinged upon the govt policies in the past 50 years.
The Hawke government’s (1980s) economic liberalisation of the Australian economy involved deregulating it, cutting tariffs and floating the dollar. During the 1960’s, Korea’s agrarian-based GDP was lower than Congo’s, however President Chung-Hee’s industrial policy caused its economy to grow substantially and become export-based, emphasising steel production, ship-building, automobiles and eventually electronics, allowing it to become the developed country it is today.
Australia’s recent economic growth is a result of the 1990’s mining boom. The exportation of coal, gold, iron ore and other raw materials to China during the GFC, allowed the country to achieve continued growth decades. Australia’s massive services sector also led to a large domestic market which supported its economy during the exportation drops of the GFC.
Conversely, KR suffered national bankruptcy during the AFC. Consequently, President Dae-Jung’s employed reforms that moved SK from a centrally-planned model, to a more market-oriented one. Subsidies to large corporations were cut and a mechanism that allowed bankrupt firms to exit the market was developed. Therefore SK recovered its growth and surpassed Australia as one of the 4 Asian Tigers and the Next 11.


SK narrowly avoided.

In North Korea it is illegal to question people in authority, thus its most corrupt country in world

In North Korea it is illegal to question people in authority, thus its most corrupt country in world

Is it important to question the ideas and decisions of people in positions of authority?

This is an essay that I wrote for preparing for my SAT writing part
Please choose a score ranging from 1 to 6 and also provide me some feedback..
thank you!

The vast majority of societies around the world is largely dependent upon people in authority. They are the ones that make decisions for and implement policy into their own society to enhance standards of living. However, they can often be detrimental to society if their ideas and decisions are not questioned by other people. The two countries, North and South Korea, show the importance of questioning the ideas and decisions of people in authority.
In North Korea, it is illegal to question people in authority. If one is found to have questioned people in authority, he or she will be sentenced to prison for years. A more severe punishment is made if one is found to have criticized people in authority. Due to people's inability to question people in authority and the fact that the law prohibits the publication of anyone's opinion in any form, there is no communication made between government officials and citizens. As it is widely known, North Korea is one of the most abject and corrupt countries around the world. Because people in authority are never questioned by citizens, they have no pressure from fulfilling the demands and needs of their citizens, neglect their own citizens, and become corrupted. Ultimately, the inability to question people in authority leads to downfall of North Korean society as well as people's living conditions.
South Korea, on the other hand, is a country that accepts every concern, question, and criticism from its citizens like most democratic countries around the world. In South Korea, one is free to post his or her opinion and question about government's decisions and policy on the internet or in any form of publication. The communication between government and citizens is continuous and steady and effective. In addition, people's ability and acuity to question people in authority contributes to the improvement of decisions and ideas of government officials. As a result, the country's economy is steady and healthy, and there are certainly less corrupt politicians in South Korea than in North Korea. It is no doubt that questioning people in authority produces positive and helpful outcomes to society.
From the examination of these two opposite countries, it is proved that questioning people in authority is important to society and that a country can neither develop nor flourish without a communication channel with its citizens.

Roger Bishop Threads: -
Posts: 16
Author: Roger Bishop

Hi William.
In your introduction concerning your position on the importantance of the right to question the ideas and decisions of the authority? Restate your thesis, your position and how you will defend your argument so that your readers will understand where you are going. You may wish to define whose authority (Government)?

Is it important to question the ideas and decisions of the people in authority? The writer believes that individuals should be given the right to question government authority and the arguments supporting my position will be presented in the form of a comparison and contrast essay.

The vast majority of societies around the world is largely dependent upon people in authority. They are the ones that make decisions for and implement policy into their own society to enhance standards of living. However, they can often be detrimental to society if their ideas and decisions are not questioned by other people. The two countries, North and South Korea, show the importance of questioning the ideas and decisions of people in authority.
In North Korea, it is illegal to question people in authority. If one is found to have questioned people in authority, he or she will be sentenced to prison for years. A more severe punishment is made if one is found to have criticized people in authority. Due to people's inability to question people in authority and the fact that the law prohibits the publication of anyone's opinion in any form, there is no communication made between government officials and citizens. As it is widely known, North Korea is one of the most abject and corrupt countries around the world. Because people in authority are never questioned by citizens, they have no pressure from fulfilling the demands and needs of their citizens, neglect their own citizens, and become corrupted. Ultimately, the inability to question people in authority leads to downfall of North Korean society as well as people's living conditions.
South Korea, on the other hand, is a country that accepts every concern, question, and criticism from its citizens like most democratic countries around the world. In South Korea, one is free to post his or her opinion and question about government's decisions and policy on the internet or in any form of publication. The communication between government and citizens is continuous and steady and effective. In addition, people's ability and acuity to question people in authority contributes to the improvement of decisions and ideas of government officials. As a result, the country's economy is steady and healthy, and there are certainly less corrupt politicians in South Korea than in North Korea. It is no doubt that questioning people in authority produces positive and helpful outcomes to society.

From the examination of these two opposite countries,

(Are you examining the countries or the systems or political rights and civil liberties?) it is proved that questioning people ( or having the rights to question people?)
in authority is important to society and that a country can neither develop nor flourish without a communication channel with its citizens.

It is usual to finish your conclusion with a observation or prediction which you have done but also attempt to leave your readers with a question to think about.
I hope that this helps. Good luck.
Roger Bishop

North And South Essay

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North And South
The first two reading selections for Economics 344 make some notable observations about the growth and development of budding economies. In Engerman and Sokoloff s chapter entitled Factor.

The first two reading selections for Economics 344 make some notable observations about the growth and development of budding economies. In Engerman and Sokoloff’s chapter entitled “Factor Endowments, Institutions, and Differential Paths of Growth Among New World Economies,” ;the authors compare the economic growth levels of the North American colonies to those of Latin American colonies. Then, in “Tracking the Economic Divergence of the North and the South,” ;Peter Coclanis notes the different economic paths taken by these two distinct

North And South
Brad Carolan Ryan Hamilton Melissa Mills Whitney Rice The North and the South: An American Legacy (Outline) The Pre-dawning of an American Tragedy Economic, Social and Political Institutions The Eastern.

regions of the United States. Overall, these two essays are similar in nature – ;they make similar comparisons across two regions using similar criteria. The readings, however, differ drastically in their subject matter and in the scope of the comparisons. In the first reading, Stanley Engerman and Kenneth Sokoloff attempt to explain what factors contributed to the different levels of economic development between the North American colonies and the Latin American colonies. They hypothesize that the United States and

North vs. South
In the early American colonies, the south and the north developed into two distinctly different colonies. Although their origins were both from Europe, their customs and living habits became.

Canada were able to sustain economic growth due to factor endowments that were superior to those of Central and South America. Endowments such as climate, soil, and density of the native population, they say, predisposed certain colonies to accomplishing economic growth. Institutions and government policies such as land policies and trade regulations were also significant determining factors, but less so than factor endowments. After comparing the prosperous colonies to the less prosperous, the authors then briefly state differences within the

North Vs. South
In the early American colonies, the south and the north developed into two distinctly different colonies. Although their origins were both from Europe, their customs and living habits became so.

United States colonies as far as economic growth is concerned. Numerous differences in the economic patterns of the North and the South are pointed out – ;indeed, in many ways the South resembled those colonies that became less successful. Despite these distinctions, in the end, the authors conclude that overall, “the South’s economy was a unique case and ultimately realized a record of growth more like those of the northern United States or Canada.” ;The second piece compares the patterns

North and South Poem
In the poem "North and South" Derek Walcott displays it's theme of anti-racism through vivid imagery and allusions with a style of graphic comparison. In this poem Walcott describes the.

of economic growth experienced by the North and the South. Coclanis points out numerous variations in the economies of the two regions from the seventeenth century and forward two hundred years. The factor endowments are noted here as well, while political factors play less of a role. Overall, the author concludes that the economic divergence of the North and South was quite large, and the differences most definitely outweigh the similarities. The two readings share both remarkable similarities as well

North and South Poem
In the poem "North and South" Derek Walcott displays it's theme of anti-racism through vivid imagery and allusions with a style of graphic comparison. In this poem Walcott describes the.

as sharp differences. The bulk of the similarities lie in the nature of the essays and the methods and criteria used to draw comparisons. The two are extremely similar in that they both have the same main goal ;that is, to compare the economic growth trends across two different regions while attempting to discern what factors were responsible for these differences. The first article compared the United States and Canada to the rest of the New World and identified certain

North Korea - South Korea
Soviet Union pressured Turkey and, through guerrillas, threatened to take over Greece, he asked Congress to aid the two countries, enunciating the program that bears his name--the Truman Doctrine. The.

aspects that caused the former to sustain higher economic growth than the latter. Likewise, the second essay compared the North and the South while attempting to pinpoint factors that caused the North to outdistance the South in terms of economic prosperity. Thus, one fundamental similarity between these two readings is that they both compared two regions, one more successful than the other at sustaining economic growth, and attempted to pinpoint the reasons for these discrepancies. A second significant likeness between

Civil War - North vs. South
In the early American colonies, the south and the north developed into two distinctly different colonies. Although their origins were both from Europe, their customs and living habits became so.

the two readings lies in the fact that they both focused largely on one aspect – ;factor endowments – ;in trying to explain the gaps in economic growth. Both pieces seemed to place more of an emphasis on things such as climate, soil, the density of the native population and/or slaves, and the distribution of landholdings, wealth, and power. Institutions and political policies, the authors say, did not influence these factor endowments ;rather, the factor endowments were primarily responsible and

Differences Between North And South Colonies
Differences Between the Northern and Southern Colonies In the time of 1607-1783 there were many social, economic, and political differences between the two Northern and Southern colonies. The Southern colonies.

were perpetuated by political tendencies. For example, Engerman and Sokoloff state that the colonies that succeeded economically, the so-called category three colonies, had certain characteristics in common. They did not have a huge native population or slave population. They were not entirely specialized in one area of crop production. They had a mainly European labor force with a high level of human capital. And most importantly, they had a relatively equal distribution of wealth and landholdings. By contrast, category one

Black Migration From The South To The North
James Baldwin stated in Fifth Avenue Uptown, I once tried to describe to a very well known American intellectual the conditions among Negroes in the South. My recital.

and two colonies had a large slave or native population that constituted most of the labor force, an unequal distribution of wealth, large scale enterprises, and a great deal of inequality. In Coclanis’ ;essay, he points to similar factors as a cause of the North’s economic prosperity. Coclanis cites climate, resources, and profit possibilities as reasons. The North, in comparison to the South, was more economically diverse, less specialized in crop production,

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Korea, North

Korea, North

Korea, North Korea, North

Introduction Korea, North -
Background: Following World War II, Korea was split with the northern half coming under Communist domination and the southern portion becoming Western oriented. KIM Chong-il has ruled North Korea since his father and the country's founder, president KIM Il- song. died in 1994. After decades of mismanagement. the North relies heavily on international food aid to feed its population, while continuing to expend resources to maintain an army of about 1 million. North Korea's long-range missile development and research into nuclear. chemical. and biological weapons and massive conventional armed forces are of major concern to the international community. Geography Korea, North
Location: Eastern Asia, northern half of the Korean Peninsula bordering the Korea Bay and the Sea of Japan, between China and South Korea
Geographic coordinates: 40 00 N, 127 00 E
Map references: Asia
Area: total. 120,540 sq km water: 130 sq km land: 120,410 sq km
Area - comparative: slightly smaller than Mississippi
Land boundaries: total. 1,673 km border countries: China 1,416 km, South Korea 238 km, Russia 19 km
Coastline: 2,495 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 NM exclusive economic zone: 200 NM note: military boundary line 50 NM in the Sea of Japan and the exclusive economic zone limit in the Yellow Sea where all foreign vessels and aircraft without permission are banned
Climate: temperate with rainfall concentrated in summer
Terrain: mostly hills and mountains separated by deep, narrow valleys; coastal plains wide in west, discontinuous in east
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Sea of Japan 0 m highest point: Paektu-san 2,744 m
Natural resources: coal. lead. tungsten. zinc. graphite. magnesite. iron ore. copper. gold. pyrites. salt. fluorspar. hydropower
Land use: arable land: 14.12% permanent crops: 2.49% other: 83.39% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land: 14,600 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards: late spring droughts often followed by severe flooding; occasional typhoons during the early fall Environment - current issues: water pollution ; inadequate supplies of potable water; water-borne disease; deforestation; soil erosion and degradation Environment - international party to: Antarctic Treaty.
agreements: Biodiversity. Climate Change. Environmental Modification, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution signed. but not ratified: Antarctic- Environmental Protocol, Law of the Sea
Geography - note: strategic location bordering China, South Korea. and Russia ; mountainous interior is isolated and sparsely populated People Korea, North -
Population: 22,224,195 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 25.4% (male 2,888,478; female 2,747,133) 15-64 years: 67.4% (male 7,380,183; female 7,612,275) 65 years and over: 7.2% (male 527,256; female 1,068,870) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate: 1.1% (2002 est.)
Birth rate: 17.95 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate: 6.96 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.49 male(s)/ female total population: 0.95 male(s)/ female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate: 22.8 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.) Life expectancy at birth: total population: 71.3 years female: 74.44 years (2002 est.) male: 68.31 years
Total fertility rate: 2.22 children born/woman (2002 est.) HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: NA % HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/ NA
AIDS:
HIV/AIDS - deaths: NA
Nationality: noun. Korean (s) adjective: Korean
Ethnic groups: racially homogeneous; there is a small Chinese community and a few ethnic Japanese
Religions: traditionally Buddhist and Confucianist. some Christian and syncretic Chondogyo (Religion of the Heavenly Way) note: autonomous religious activities now almost nonexistent; government-sponsored religious groups exist to provide illusion of religious freedom
Languages: Korean
Literacy: definition. age 15 and over can read and write Korean total population: 99% male: 99% female: 99% (1990 est.) Government Korea, North -
Country name: conventional long form: Democratic People's Republic of Korea conventional short form: North Korea local short form: none local long form: Choson-minjujuui- inmin-konghwaguk note: the North Koreans generally use the term "Choson" to refer to their country abbreviation: DPRK
Government type: authoritarian socialist; one-man dictatorship
Capital: P'yongyang Administrative divisions: 9 provinces (do. singular and plural) and 4 special cities* (si. singular and plural); Chagang-do (Chagang Province), Hamgyong-bukto (North Hamgyong Province), Hamgyong- namdo (South Hamgyong Province), Hwanghae-bukto (North Hwanghae Province), Hwanghae-namdo (South Hwanghae Province), Kaesong-si* (Kaesong City), Kangwon-do (Kangwon Province), Najin Sonbong-si*, Namp'o-si* (Namp'o City), P'yongan- bukto (North P'yongan Province), P'yongan-namdo (South P'yongan Province), P'yongyang-si* (P'yongyang City), Yanggang-do (Yanggang Province)
Independence: 15 August 1945 (from Japan )
National holiday: Founding of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), 9 September (1948)
Constitution: adopted 1948, completely revised 27 December 1972, revised again in April 1992 and September 1998
Legal system: based on German civil law system with Japanese influences and Communist legal theory; no judicial review of legislative acts; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage: 17 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state. KIM Chong-il (since NA July 1994); note - in September 1998, KIM Chong-il was reelected Chairman of the National Defense Commission. a position accorded the nation's "highest administrative authority"; KIM Yong-nam was named President of the Supreme People's Assembly Presidium and given the responsibility of representing the state and receiving diplomatic credentials elections: premier elected by the Supreme People's Assembly; election last held NA September 1998 (next to be held NA) election results: HONG Song-nam elected premier; percent of Supreme People's Assembly vote - NA% cabinet: Cabinet (Naegak), members. except for the Minister of People's Armed Forces. are appointed by the Supreme People's Assembly head of government: Premier HONG Song-nam (since 5 September 1998); Vice Premiers CHO Ch'ang-tok (since NA), KWAK Pom-ki (since NA), Sin IL- nam (since NA April 2002)
Legislative branch: unicameral Supreme People's Assembly or Ch'oego Inmin Hoeui (687 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms) elections: last held 26 July 1998 (next to be held NA 2003) election results: percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - the KWP approves a single list of candidates who are elected without opposition; minor parties hold a few seats
Judicial branch: Central Court (judges are elected by the Supreme People's Assembly) Political parties and leaders: Chondoist Chongu Party [YU Mi-yong, chairwoman]; Korean Social Democratic Party [KIM Yong-tae, chairman]; major party - Korean Workers' Party or KWP [KIM Chong-il, General Secretary] Political pressure groups and NA
leaders: International organization ARF (dialogue partner), ESCAP, FAO.
participation: G-77, ICAO. ICRM, IFAD, IFRCS, IHO, IMO. IOC. ISO. ITU. NAM. UN. UNCTAD, UNESCO. UNIDO, UPU. WFTU. WHO. WIPO, WMO. WToO Diplomatic representation in the US: none ; note - North Korea has a Permanent Mission to the UN in New York Diplomatic representation from the none (Swedish Embassy in P'yongyang
US: represents the US as consular protecting power)
Flag description: three horizontal bands of blue (top ), red (triple width), and blue ; the red band is edged in white; on the hoist side of the red band is a white disk with a red five-pointed star Economy Korea, North
Economy - overview: North Korea. one of the world's most centrally planned and isolated economies, faces desperate economic conditions. Industrial capital stock is nearly beyond repair as a result of years of underinvestment and spare parts shortages. Industrial and power output have declined in parallel. Despite a good harvest in 2001, the nation faces its eighth year of food shortages because of a lack of arable land; collective farming; weather-related problems, including major drought in 2000; and chronic shortages of fertilizer and fuel. Massive international food aid deliveries have allowed the regime to escape mass starvation since 1995-96, but the population remains vulnerable to prolonged malnutrition and deteriorating living conditions. Large-scale military spending eats up resources needed for investment and civilian consumption. In 2001, the regime placed emphasis on earning hard currency, developing information technology. addressing power shortages, and attracting foreign aid. but in no way at the expense of relinquishing central control over key national assets or undergoing widespread market- oriented reforms.
GDP: purchasing power parity - $21.8 billion (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: -3% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $1,000 (2001 est.) GDP - composition by sector: agriculture. 30% industry: 42% services: 28% (1999 est.) Population below poverty line: NA % Household income or consumption by lowest 10%: NA %
percentage share: highest 10%: NA % Inflation rate (consumer prices): NA %
Labor force: 9.6 million Labor force - by occupation: agricultural 36%, nonagricultural 64%
Unemployment rate: NA %
Budget: revenues. $NA expenditures: $NA, including capital expenditures of $NA
Industries: military products; machine building, electric power. chemicals; mining (coal. iron ore. magnesite. graphite. copper. zinc. lead. and precious metals), metallurgy ; textiles, food processing ; tourism Industrial production growth rate: NA % Electricity - production: 33.4 billion kWh (2000) Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel. 32.63% hydro: 67.37% other: 0% (2000) nuclear: 0% Electricity - consumption: 31.062 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products: rice. corn. potatoes, soybeans, pulses; cattle, pigs, pork, eggs
Exports: $708 million (f.o.b. 2000 est.)
Exports - commodities: minerals, metallurgical products, manufactures (including armaments); agricultural and fishery products
Exports - partners: Japan 40%, South Korea 24%, Hong Kong 7%, China 6%, France 4%, Germany 4% (2000)
Imports: $1.686 billion (c.i.f. 2000 est.)
Imports - commodities: petroleum. coking coal, machinery and equipment; consumer goods, grain
Imports - partners: China 38%, Japan 17%, South Korea 8%, Hong Kong 6%, Germany 4.5% (2000)
Debt - external: $12 billion (1996 est.) Economic aid - recipient: $NA; note - nearly $300 million in food aid alone from US, South Korea. Japan. and EU in 2001 plus much additional aid from the UN and non- governmental organizations
Currency: North Korean won (KPW)
Currency code: KPW
Exchange rates: official. North Korean won per US dollar - 2.15 (December 2001), 2.15 (May 1994), 2.13 (May 1992), 2.14 (September 1991), 2.1 (January 1990); market: North Korean won per US dollar - 200 (December 2001)
Fiscal year: calendar year Communications Korea, North - Telephones - main lines in use: 1.1 million (1997) Telephones - mobile cellular: NA
Telephone system: general assessment: NA domestic: NA international: satellite earth stations - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean ) and 1 Russian (Indian Ocean region); other international connections through Moscow and Beijing Radio broadcast stations: AM 16, FM 14, shortwave 12 (1999)
Radios: 3.36 million (1997) Television broadcast stations: 38 (1999)
Televisions: 1.2 million (1997)
Internet country code. kp Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 1 (2000)
Internet users: NA Transportation Korea, North -
Railways: total. 5,000 km standard gauge: 4,095 km 1.435- m gauge (3,500 km electrified; 159 km double-tracked) narrow gauge: 665 km 0.762-m gauge dual gauge: 240 km 1.435-m and 1.600-m gauges (three rails provide two gauges) (1996)
Highways: total. 31,200 km paved: 1,997 km unpaved: 29,203 km (1996)
Waterways: 2,253 km note: mostly navigable by small craft only
Pipelines: crude oil 37 km; petroleum product 180 km
Ports and harbors: Ch'ongjin, Haeju. Hungnam (Hamhung ), Kimch'aek, Kosong, Najin, Namp'o, Sinuiju. Songnim. Sonbong (formerly Unggi), Ungsang, Wonsan
Merchant marine: total. 122 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 738,886 GRT/1,037,506 DWT note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Denmark 1, Greece 2, Pakistan 1, Singapore 1 (2002 est.) ships by type: bulk 4, cargo 102, combination bulk 1, multi-functional large-load carrier 1, passenger 2, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 6, refrigerated cargo 3, short-sea passenger 2
Airports: 87 (2001) Airports - with paved runways: total. 39 over 3,047 m: 3 2,438 to 3,047 m: 26 1,524 to 2,437 m: 8 914 to 1,523 m: 1 under 914 m: 1 (2001) Airports - with unpaved runways: total. 48 2,438 to 3,047 m: 3 1,524 to 2,437 m: 24 914 to 1,523 m: 13 under 914 m: 8 (2001) Military Korea, North -
Military branches: Korean People's Army (includes Army, Navy. Air Force ), Civil Security Forces Military manpower - military age: 18 years of age (2002 est.) Military manpower - availability: males age 15-49: 6,032,376 (2002 est.) Military manpower - fit for military males age 15-49: 3,619,535 (2002
service: est .) Military manpower - reaching males: 179,136 (2002 est.)
military age annually: Military expenditures - dollar $5,124.1 million (FY01)
figure: Military expenditures - percent of 31.3% (FY01)
GDP: Transnational Issues Korea, North - Disputes - international: 33-km section of boundary with China in the Paektu-san (mountain ) area is indefinite; Demarcation Line with South Korea

Country, occupying the northern half of the Korean peninsula, East Asia.

Area: 47,399 sq mi (122,762 sq km). Population (2002 est.): 22,224,000. Capital: P'yŏngyang. Ethnically, the population is almost completely Korean. Language: Korean (official ). Religions: Confucianism. Buddhism. shamanism (formerly prevalent, now suppressed), Ch'ŏndogyo. Foreign missionaries were expelled during World War II. Currency: won. Four-fifths of North Korea's land area consists of mountain ranges and uplands; its highest peak is the volcanic Mount Paektu (9,022 ft [2,750 m]). North Korea has a centrally planned economy based on heavy industry (iron and steel, machinery. chemicals, and textiles) and agriculture. Cooperative farms raise crops such as rice, corn, barley, and vegetables. The country is rich in mineral resources, including coal, iron ore, and magnesite. It is a republic with one legislature; the chief of state is the chairman of the National Defense Commission, and the head of government is the premier. For early history, see Korea. After the Japanese were defeated in World War II, the Soviet Union occupied Korea north of latitude 38° N, while the U.S. occupied the area south of it. The Democratic People's Republic of Korea was established as a communist state in 1948. Seeking to unify the peninsula by force, it launched an invasion of South Korea in 1950, initiating the Korean War. UN troops intervened on the side of South Korea, and Chinese soldiers reinforced the North Korean army in the war, which ended with an armistice in 1953. Led by Kim Il-sung. North Korea became one of the most harshly regimented societies in the world, with a state-owned economy that failed to produce adequate supplies of food and consumer goods for its citizens. Under his son and successor, Kim Jong Il. the country endured periods of severe food shortages from the late 1990s; as many as a million Koreans may have died. Hopes that North Korea was seeking to end its long isolation

notably through meetings between Kim and the leaders of South Korea (2000) and Japan (2002)

have been tempered by concerns over its nuclear weapons program.

officially Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Korean Chosŏn Minjujuŭi In'min Konghwaguk

Korea, North, flag of country in East Asia. It occupies the northern portion of the Korean peninsula, which juts out from the Asian mainland between the Sea of Japan (East Sea) and the Yellow Sea; North Korea covers about 55 percent of the peninsula. The country is bordered by China and Russia to the north and by the Republic of Korea (South Korea ) to the south. The national capital, P'yŏngyang, is a major industrial and transport centre near the west coast.

Mountains and valleys characterize most of the country. The Kaema Highlands in the northeast have an average elevation of 3,300 feet (1,000 metres) above sea level and form the topographic roof of the entire Korean peninsula. Mount Paektu (9,022 feet [2,750 metres]; see photograph—>), the highest mountain in North Korea and on the peninsula, rises at the northern edge of this plateau; it is an extinct volcano topped by a large crater lake. The Nangnim Mountains run from north to south through the middle of the country, forming a divide between the eastern and western slopes of the peninsula. The Kangnam and Myohyang ranges and Mounts Ŏnjin and Myŏrak, all structural extensions of the Nangnim Mountains, extend parallel to each other toward the southwest. Large river-valley plains have developed between the western mountains; they merge along the narrow, irregular coastal plain on the west coast. The Hamgyŏng Mountains. extending from the Nangnim Mountains to the northeast, form a steep slope between the Kaema Highlands and the Sea of Japan. The T'aebaek Mountains extend from southeastern North Korea into South Korea along the eastern coast; one peak, Mount Kŭmgang (5,374 feet), is renowned for its scenic beauty.

The longest river of North Korea is the Yalu (Yalu River ), in Korean called the Amnok. It rises on the southern slope of Mount Paektu and flows southwestward for some 500 miles (800 kilometres) to its mouth on Korea Bay. The Tumen (Tumen River ) (Tuman) River also begins at Mount Paektu but runs northeastward for 324 miles to the Sea of Japan. There are no large streams along the east coast except for the Tumen River, and all the significant rivers, such as the Yalu, Ch'ŏngch'ŏn, Taedong, Chaeryŏng, and Yesŏng, drain to the Yellow Sea. The relatively large valley plains of the western rivers are major agricultural regions.

More than three-fifths of the soils are locally derived from the weathering of granitic rocks or various kinds of schists (crystalline rocks). The soils are generally brownish, abundant in sandy materials, and low in fertility. Well-developed reddish brown soils derived from limestone are found in North Hwanghae province and the southern part of South P'yŏngan province. Podzols (ash-gray forest soil) have developed in the Kaema Highlands as a result of the cold climate and coniferous forest cover there. Although most of the soils are infertile and lack organic content, the valleys and coastal plains have relatively rich alluvial soils.

North Korea has a generally cool continental climate. The winter season, from December to March, is long and cold; mean temperatures in January range between 21° F (−6° C) in the south and −8° F (−22° C) in the northern interior. The summer, from June to September, is warm, with mean July temperatures above 68° F (20° C) in most places. Accordingly, the annual range of temperatures is large—about 54° F (30° C) at P'yŏngyang and about 77° F (43° C) at Chunggang (Chunggangjin), where the lowest temperature in the Korean peninsula, −46.5° F (−43.6° C), has been recorded. Because of ocean currents and the mountain ranges bordering the narrow coastal lowlands, winter temperatures on the east coast are some 5° to 7° F (3° to 4° C) higher than those of the west coast.

Most of the country receives about 40 inches (1,000 millimetres) of precipitation annually. The northern inland plateau, however, receives only some 24 inches and the lower reaches of the Taedong River valley 32 inches, while the upper Ch'ŏngch'ŏn River area averages between 48 and 52 inches yearly. Some three-fifths of the annual precipitation falls in the four months from June to September; this heavy concentration of rainfall is related to the humid summer monsoon from the Pacific, which also produces occasional typhoons. Only a small portion of the total precipitation occurs in winter, generally as snow; snowfall can be locally heavy, as in the T'aebaek Mountains. There are about 200 frost-free days along the coast but fewer than 120 in the northern Kaema Highlands.

Plant and animal life

Vegetation on the highlands, especially around Mount Paektu, consists of coniferous trees, such as the Siberian fir, spruce, pine, and Korean pine (Pinus koraiensis ). The western lowlands were originally covered by temperate mixed forests with many types of plants, but continuous deforestation has left only remote patches of the original forests. Most of the lowlands are now cultivated, except for some of the hills that are covered with small pine groves mixed with oaks, lindens, maples, and birches. Along streams that are subject to flooding or where the ground is too stony for cultivation, reeds, sedges, wild mulberry trees, and Italian poplars are found. Common river fish include carp and eels.

Because of deforestation, the populations of deer, mountain antelope, goats, tigers, and leopards have greatly decreased and are restricted to the remote forests. In the plains, however, it is still possible to see wild pigeons, herons, cranes (which nest near human habitations), and many migratory waterfowl, which alight in the rice fields.

Close examination reveals numerous distinct settlement regions, each with a different natural environment and historical background. Of the eight Korean provinces of the Chosŏn (Yi ) dynasty (1392–1910), North Korea contains the three provinces of P'yŏngan, Hwanghae, and Hamgyŏng and the northern parts of Kangwŏn and Kyŏnggi provinces. Each province not only was a political unit but also had characteristics of a cultural region in terms of dialect, customs, and way of life. North Korea may also be divided into the two larger traditional regions: Kwansŏ to the west and Kwanbuk to the east, roughly divided by the Nangnim Mountains. Kwansŏ comprises the current provinces of North P'yŏngan, South P'yŏngan, North Hwanghae, South Hwanghae, and Chagang, while Kwanbuk includes North Hamgyŏng, South Hamgyŏng, Yanggang, and Kangwŏn provinces.

Most of the rural population inhabits the eastern and western coastal lowlands and river-valley plains. The inland areas of Chagang and Yanggang provinces are sparsely settled because of the lack of arable land and the cold climate, which does not permit the cultivation of rice. Villages in the lowlands and valley plains usually are clustered together at the bases of the southern slopes of hills, which offer protection against the cold northwesterly winter wind. Scattered fields are tilled by a small number of shifting cultivators in the Kaema Highlands, especially in Yanggang province. The upper Yalu and Tumen river valleys contain settlements associated with lumbering, and fishing villages are numerous along the coasts, especially on the east side of the peninsula.

Cities that developed during the Japanese occupation (1910–45) were largely associated with the exploitation of natural resources, industry, and transportation. The communist regime's heavy emphasis on manufacturing resulted in the continuous expansion of the early industrial centres and caused a population flow into the urban areas from the countryside. Most of the cities were destroyed during the Korean War (1950–53) and have since been rebuilt. Urbanization increased rapidly after the war, especially in the period 1953–60. P'yŏngyang is by far North Korea's largest city, being some three times larger than Hamhŭng, the country's second largest city. Other major cities include Ch'ŏngjin, Namp'o, and Sunch'ŏn.

Ethnic and linguistic composition

The Korean peninsula is one of the most ethnically homogeneous regions in the world. The North Korean population, which has been largely isolated since 1945, is almost entirely Korean; a tiny number of Chinese constitute the only other significant ethnic group. All Koreans speak the Korean language, which is related to Japanese and contains Chinese loanwords. The Korean script, known in North Korea as Chosŏn muntcha and in South Korea as Hangul (han 'gŭl ), is composed of phonetic symbols for the 10 vowels and 14 consonants. In North Korea a systematic effort has been made to eliminate Chinese and Western loanwords, as well as any vestiges of the Japanese imposed during the colonial period, and Chosŏn muntcha has been used exclusively without Chinese characters in newspapers and other publications since 1945.

The way of life and the value system of Koreans are based fundamentally on Confucian thought. To a lesser extent, Buddhism is also important. Roman Catholic and Protestant missionaries arrived in the 18th and 19th centuries, respectively; Sunch'ŏn and P'yŏngyang were major centres of Christian activities. The Japanese occupation brought increasing repression of Christianity, and by the end of World War II there were no foreign missionaries left in the country.

The monotheistic religion of Ch'ŏndogyo (“Teaching of the Heavenly Way”), originally known as Tonghak (“Eastern Learning”), was founded by the Confucian teacher Ch'oe Che-u in 1860. A combination largely of Buddhism, Confucianism, and Christianity, Ch'ŏndogyo played a leading role in the March 1st Movement of 1919. shamanism —the religious belief in gods, demons, and ancestral spirits responsive to a priest, or shaman—existed in Korea before the introduction of Buddhism and Confucianism; its practice has nearly died out in North Korea.

The communist regime has constitutionally confirmed freedom of religion but does not practice it. Ch'ŏndogyo, however, has been used for propaganda purposes, and since the late 1980s Christianity has been used as a means for contact with South Korea and the West. After the Korean War, churches and Buddhist temples were confiscated and looted, and many were converted to other purposes. Religious activity generally has remained under state control, although since the late 1980s there has been some increase in independent practices.

North Korea's population grew fairly rapidly after the Korean War, roughly doubling in size between 1953 and 1980. Although the rate of population increase has slowed somewhat since 1970, it is nearly twice that of South Korea. North Korea, however, can be considered underpopulated by East Asian standards, with an overall density of only about two-fifths that in the south. The infant mortality rate, though declining, is considerably higher than in the south.

The population of North Korea is unevenly distributed, with heavy concentrations along the coastlines and only sparse settlement in the interior. This imbalance has been exacerbated by the government's emphasis on industrialization since 1945, which has promoted migration to the cities and, conversely, has produced a severe farm labour shortage. Large numbers of Koreans emigrated from the peninsula during the first half of the 20th century, mainly to China, Siberia, Japan, and the United States. In the 1960s and '70s North Korea conducted a campaign to repatriate Koreans living in Japan; more than 90,000 people took part in the program.

North Korea has a command (command economy ) (centralized) economy. The means of production are controlled by the state, and priorities and emphases in economic development are set by the government. Since 1954, economic policy has been promulgated through a series of national economic plans. The early plans gave high priority to reconstruction and the development of heavy industries, especially chemicals and metals. Subsequent plans focused on resource exploitation and improving technology, mechanization, and infrastructure. Little attention was given to agriculture until the 1970s, and it was not until the late 1980s that much effort was made to improve the quality and quantity of consumer goods.

Reliable information on the performance of the North Korean economy usually has been lacking. Outside observers have concluded, however, that the country has consistently failed to meet its stated goals and that production statistics quoted by the government often have been inflated. The economy grew rapidly in the first decade after the Korean War but then tended to stagnate or to grow only slowly; by the early 1990s North Korea was experiencing years of economic decline, in large part the result of the demise of the Soviet Union and the communist nations of Europe that had been the country's largest trading partners.

Overall, North Korea has changed from an agricultural to an industrial nation since World War II. Economic goals have been linked to the general government policy of self-reliance (juche. or chuch'e ). The country has shunned foreign investment, although it has accepted considerable economic aid from the former Soviet Union, China, and eastern European countries. Despite its stated policy of self-reliance, North Korea has found it necessary to import such essential commodities as fuels, machinery, and, on occasion, grains. By the early 1990s, the poor performance of the economy had induced the government to begin opening up the economy to limited foreign investment and increased trade.

Efforts have been made to increase low labour productivity. In the late 1950s the state adopted a mass-mobilization measure called the Ch'ŏllima (“Flying Horse”) Movement that was patterned on China's Great Leap Forward. Subsequently, in the early 1960s programs were instituted in agricultural and industrial management called, respectively, the Ch'ongsan-ni Method and Taean Work System.

North Korea contains the great bulk of all known mineral deposits on the peninsula. It is estimated that some 200 minerals are of economic value. Most important are iron ore and coal, although greater emphasis is being given to the extraction of such minerals as gold, magnesite (magnesium carbonate ), lead. and zinc. Other abundant minerals include tungsten, graphite, barite (barium sulfate ), and molybdenum (a metallic element used in hardening steel).

Large, high-grade iron ore reserves are mined in North and South Hwanghae, South P'yŏngan, and South Hamgyŏng provinces, while deposits at Musan, North Hamgyŏng province, mined extensively for decades, are of lower quality. Rich deposits of anthracite (hard coal ) occur along the Taedong River—notably at Anju, north of P'yŏngyang—and near Paegam in Yanggang province. There also are lesser amounts of lignite (brown coal ) in the far northeast and at Anju. North Korea's magnesite deposits, the largest in the world, are centred on Tanch'ŏn, in South Hamgyŏng province.

Forestry and fishing

The northern interior contains large forest reserves of larch, spruce, and pine trees. Most of the coastal slopes have been extensively deforested, however, much of this done by the Japanese during World War II; reforestation programs have stressed economic forestry. Forestry production, having declined after the war, has not grown substantially. Much of the wood cut is used as firewood.

The sea is the main source of protein for North Koreans, and the government has continually expanded commercial fishing since the 1950s. Most fishing activity centres on the coastal areas on each side of the peninsula, although deep-sea fishing has expanded since the 1970s. The main species caught include pollack, sardines, mackerel, herring, pike, yellowtail, and shellfish. Aquaculture has increased in importance.

By 1958 all privately owned farms were incorporated into more than 3,000 cooperatives; (cooperative ) each cooperative comprises about 300 families on about 1,200 acres (500 hectares). The farm units are controlled by management committees, which issue orders to the work teams, set the type and amount of seed and fertilizer to be used, and establish production quotas. Produce is delivered to the government, which controls distribution through state stores. There are also state and provincial model farms for research and development.

Despite the decreasing proportion that agriculture contributes to the national economy (about one-fourth in 1990), there has been an increase in cultivated land, irrigation projects, the use of chemical fertilizers, and mechanization. Farmers are paid for their labour in money or in kind and are allowed to keep chickens, bees, fruit trees, and gardens. Surplus produce can be sold at local markets held periodically.

The main food crops are grains—notably rice, corn (maize ), millet. wheat. and barley. Grain production has increased considerably since the 1950s, and the country is self-sufficient in rice; wheat, however, must still be imported. Sweet potatoes, soybeans, vegetables, and tree fruits are raised extensively. Industrial crops include tobacco, cotton, flax, and rape (an herb grown for its oilseeds). Livestock raising is concentrated in areas poorly suited for crop raising. Livestock production has increased steadily, especially poultry production.

The industrial sector is organized into state-owned enterprises and production cooperatives, the latter being confined largely to handicrafts, marine processing, and other small-scale operations. The most important industries are iron and steel, machinery, chemicals, and textiles. Iron and steel production initially was centred at Songnim and Ch'ŏngjin but has been expanded to include the large integrated mill at Kimch'aek. Industrial and agricultural machinery is manufactured at Kangsŏn, near P'yŏngyang, and several other cities, including Hŭich'ŏn. The production of chemicals is focused on fertilizers and petrochemicals, much of the latter being manufactured in the Anju area north of P'yŏngyang. The textile industry is centred at P'yŏngyang, Sinŭiju, and Sunch'ŏn. Other products include armaments, vehicles, cement, glass, ceramics, and some consumer goods (mainly clothing and processed food).

Industrial development is related to the country's large supply of electric power. Hydroelectric power resources were heavily developed during the Japanese regime along the Yalu River and its upper tributaries. Power production is still based mainly on hydroelectricity, but thermal electricity is becoming important because of lower construction costs and the unreliability of hydroelectric power during the dry season. Production of electricity has increased steadily, although it has not kept pace with industrial growth; nonetheless, electricity is sold to China.

The Central Bank of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is the sole bank of issue. It receives all national revenues and precious metals and provides government agencies with working capital. There are several other state banks, all supervised by the Central Bank. Among these is the Foreign Trade Bank, which handles all foreign transactions and currencies. A limited amount of joint-venture banking has been allowed since the late 1980s.

Foreign trade has expanded and diversified slowly. At first trade was conducted only with the Soviet Union (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics ) and China, but since the 1960s it has been allowed with a growing number of countries. Since the demise of the Soviet Union, trade with Russia, though declining, has remained important. In addition to China, other major trading partners include Japan and Germany. Trade also has been conducted with South Korea since 1990. Imports mainly consist of fuels, machinery (including machine tools and transport equipment), chemicals, textile yarns and fabrics, and grains. Exports include minerals (e.g.. lead, magnesite, and zinc), metallurgical products (iron and steel, nonmetallic minerals), and cement .

Railways (railroad ) are the principal means of transportation. The basic railway pattern runs in a north-south direction, roughly parallel to the coasts, with branch lines to the river valleys. Because of the high mountains, there is only one east-west railway line, between P'yŏngyang and Wŏnsan. The west-coast line runs from Kaesŏng near the South Korean border to Sinŭiju on the Chinese border, connecting the major cities. From this major line a branch from P'yŏngyang southwestward to Namp'o connects centres of machine building and foundries. Another line runs northward from P'yŏngyang to Manp'o on the Yalu River, connecting the western interior to China's northeastern provinces. The major railway on the east coast runs from Wŏnsan northward to Najin and continues to Namyang on the Chinese border. Several branch lines serve the inland areas and mining centres.

Highway transportation is not as important as railroads, because few motor vehicles are available. Major roads parallel the rail lines. Express highways connect P'yŏngyang with Wŏnsan, Namp'o, and Kaesŏng. Most roads, however, are not paved.

River transportation plays an important role in transporting agricultural products, minerals, and passengers. The most important rivers utilized for freight transportation are the Yalu, Taedong, and Chaeryŏng. Namp'o—the entry port to P'yŏngyang—Haeju, and Tasa are the major ports on the west coast, as are Wŏnsan, Hŭngnam (outport of Hamhŭng), Ch 'ŏngjin, and Najin in the east.

Air services are controlled by the air force. Flights are maintained between the major cities, and international services connect P'yŏngyang with Peking (Beijing ) and Moscow. Sunan Airport, northwest of P'yŏngyang, serves as the international airport; domestic airports are located at Hamhŭng, Ch'ŏngjin, and Wŏnsan.

Administration and social conditions

The first constitution of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea was promulgated in 1948 and was replaced with a new constitution in 1972; in 1992 revisions reportedly were made to the 1972 document, but details of those changes have not officially been made known. The Supreme People's Assembly, constitutionally the highest organ of state power, consists of a single chamber with 687 members; it also has a 15-member Standing Committee that meets when the assembly is not in session. Executive authority rests with a president (who is head of state), one or more vice presidents, and a 45-member cabinet called the Central People's Committee. Actual authority, however, resides in the extraconstitutional political body of the Korean Workers' Party (KWP). The government is highly centralized and totalitarian in nature and often is officially described as a transmission body of the party.

The judicial system consists of the courts and a procuracy. Judicial authority rests with the Central Court, whose judges are elected for three-year terms by the Supreme People's Assembly, and with a number of lesser provincial and people's courts, whose members are elected by local people's assemblies. Judges usually are party members or are controlled by the party. The Central Procurator's Office prosecutes cases and maintains surveillance over all citizens; it is headed by a procurator-general, who is selected by the Supreme People's Assembly. The courts and procuracy are independent of each other, and actually the procurator's office functions as the fourth branch of government.

North Korea is divided administratively into nine provinces (do or to ), the three special province-level cities (chikalsi. or jikalsi ) of Kaesŏng, Namp'o, and P'yŏngyang, and one special region (chigu ) of Hyangsan. These units are further subdivided into cities (si ), counties (gun . or kun ), and villages (ri ), the smallest administrative unit. Local people's assemblies elect the members of their people's committees, which execute administration duties and make local economic plans and budgets with the approval of higher authorities.

There are a number of political parties and social organizations that serve to support the KWP. All political activities are sponsored by the party or require its sanction and must closely follow the party line and policies. Elections provide a means whereby assent is registered for the policy and program of the party; they do not allow freedom of expression. There is seldom more than one candidate on the ballot for each constituency, and the electoral system is completely controlled by the party.

Armed forces and security

Since 1966 there has been an emphasis on military preparedness, and economic plans have been altered to support high military expenditures. North Korea has one of the world's largest military organizations. The army is by far the largest force; there are also an air force and a navy. All men and a limited number of women are subject to conscription; the duration of service officially is three to four years but typically lasts longer. There also are large reserve and paramilitary forces.

The country's internal-security system is large and extensive. People's movements and social activities are monitored and controlled even down to the household level. The Ministry of Public Security functions as a national constabulary, while political control and counterintelligence are the responsibility of the State Security Department.

Education serves as a process of indoctrination in communist ideology and a means to supply skilled workers, technicians, and scientists to meet the government's economic goals. All students are required to engage in productive labour along with their studies, which emphasize science and technology. In 1967 education was made compulsory for those between the ages of 7 and 16, later changed to between 5 and 16. The system comprises one year of preschool, four years of primary school, and six years of secondary school. Institutions of higher education offer programs of two to six years in length; the most important school is Kim Il-sung University in P'yŏngyang. There is also a well-developed system of adult education, the major components of which are technical schools located in large industrial centres.

Medical care is free, and there is at least one clinic in each village, but there is a shortage of physicians and medicine. Medical benefits are provided by social insurance for workers who are temporarily or permanently disabled and women during pregnancy and childbirth. There are also funeral benefits and old-age pensions. Homes for the aged in each province have been in operation under the Ministry of Labour since 1964.

Reconstruction of houses after the Korean War was given high priority, and dwellings have improved considerably. Rural mud-walled, thatched-roofed huts have been replaced by brick buildings with tile or slate roofs. Urban housing is classified into five groups that range from one room and a half-sized kitchen to free-standing houses with gardens. Workers are expected to live in apartments rather than houses, and housing projects are supported almost solely by the government. Heating systems in the apartments and urban water supplies are inadequate. Numerous high-rise buildings have been constructed in the larger cities since the 1970s, especially in P'yŏngyang. City streets are strangely empty of pedestrians, as the North Koreans have few leisure hours.

Because of the high priority of industrialization and defense, the provision of consumer goods and social services has long been inadequate. The material economy and the lot of the peasant have improved since World War II, however, with adequate supplies of such basic goods as food and clothing generally being available. North Korea was established as a classless society, but a new, privileged elite of high-ranking KWP officials has emerged.

The compound religious strains of shamanism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism have deep roots in Korean culture. Although the country has received continuous streams of foreign cultural influence mainly from China, Koreans have kept their identity and maintained and developed their unique language and customs. Westernization, begun in the late 19th century, was accomplished in harmony with Korean tradition and slowly transformed the culture without much conflict until the 1940s.

After World War II the occupying Soviets did not recognize the Korean traditional family system or Confucian philosophy; age-old lineage records were burned, and the kinship system was broken. Through education, people were molded to fit the pattern of party idealism, and private life and individual freedom became extremely limited. Development plans since the Korean War have demanded almost superhuman patience and labour from the North Koreans. As a result, the people have had to lead an austere existence. The standard of living has improved, but leisure and cultural activities have continued to be regimented and geared toward organized group activities, such as rallies and museum tours.

The government is heavily involved with maintaining and advancing the traditional fine arts and other cultural features as an expression of nationalism. The selection of cultural items is based on communist ideology, and writers and artists attempt to enhance class consciousness and propagate the superiority and independence of Korean culture. All North Korean writers, artists, dancers, and musicians are assigned to government institutions such as the National Theatre for the Arts, National Orchestra, and National Dancing Theatre in P'yŏngyang and provincial organizations of music, ballet, and drama. Museums have been well-supported by the government, and many archaeological sites have been excavated to promote the growth of a strong nationalistic feeling. Among the country's most notable museums are the Korean Revolutionary Museum and the Korean Fine Arts Museum in the capital. Archaeological sites include those located in the Nangnang district of P'yŏngyang and at Kungsan, near Yonggang.

The press and broadcasting

Of the daily newspapers, the Rodong (or Nodong ) sinmun (“Labour News”), published by the KWP Central Committee, and the government's Minju Chosŏn (“Democratic Korea”) have the largest circulations. The monthly Kŭlloja (“Workers”) of the KWP Central Committee is one of the most influential periodicals. The Korean Central News Agency controls the dissemination of information, and all papers are strictly censored. The government long has recognized the importance of radio and television as mass media, and they have played a great role in ideological education. Radio broadcasts reach all parts of the country. Almost all North Korean households have access to radio broadcasts as a result of a government project to link household loudspeakers to village receivers. Television broadcasting in North Korea also has been made available to all parts of the country, and the number of television sets, both imported and domestically produced, has increased.

The following is a treatment of North Korea since the Korean War. For a discussion of the earlier history of the peninsula, see Korea, history of (Korea ).

In 1948, when the Democratic People's Republic of Korea was established, Kim Il-sung became the first premier of the North Korean communist regime. In 1949 he became chairman of the Korean Workers' Party (KWP), created from communist parties founded earlier. Until his death in 1994, Kim ruled the country with an iron hand by promoting a personality cult centred on himself as the “Great Leader” of the Korean people.

In the aftermath of the Korean War, Kim purged the so-called domestic faction—an indigenous communist group that had remained in Korea during the colonial period—amid much scapegoating for the disastrous war. After 1956, as the Sino-Soviet conflict intensified, Kim shifted his positions vis-à-vis Moscow and Beijing no fewer than three times: from pro-Soviet to neutral, to pro-Chinese, and finally to independent. During 1956–58, he carried out a purge against the pro-Chinese group known as the Yenan faction and eliminated a pro-Soviet faction from the KWP Central Committee.

In 1966, after a visit to P'yŏngyang by Soviet premier Aleksey N. Kosygin (Kosygin, Aleksey Nikolayevich ), Kim announced what became known as the independent party line in North Korea, which stressed the principles of “complete equality, sovereignty, mutual respect, and noninterference among the communist and workers' parties.” From this party line, KWP theoreticians developed four self-reliance (juche ) principles: “autonomy in ideology, independence in politics, self-sufficiency in economy, and self-reliance in defense.”

In the late 1960s the regime implemented a program for strengthening the armed forces. As part of the effort to fortify the entire country, more military airfields were constructed and large underground aircraft hangars were built. In addition, a large standing army and a strong militia were maintained.

North Korea's emphasis on strengthening its military forces proceeded hand in hand with its continued focus on the development of a self-reliant economy. With aid from the Soviet Union, China, and the countries of eastern Europe, North Korea implemented a series of economic development plans and made significant gains. But as external aid declined sharply—first from the Soviet Union beginning in the late 1950s and then from China at the start of the Cultural Revolution in the mid-1960s—the seven-year plan of 1961–67 was seriously affected, as indicated by the extension of the plan for another three years.

Bae-ho HahnYoung Ick Lew

From 1970 to the death of Kim

Two subsequent plans, a six-year plan (1971–76, extended to 1977) and a seven-year plan (1978–84), also failed to achieve their stated goals. While the country's economic growth was hampered by the decline in foreign aid and its heavy expenditures on defense, the continued priority assigned to heavy industry created a severe shortage of daily commodities and lowered living standards. Food shortages were aggravated, in part, because of a threefold increase in population from 1954 to 1994.

When the 1972 constitution was adopted, the premiership was changed to a presidency, which Kim Il-sung assumed; Kim also retained his post as the chairman (renamed the secretary-general) of the KWP. In 1980 the KWP held its first party congress in a decade. During the proceedings, Kim revealed his dynastic ambition by appointing his son, Kim Jong Il. to three powerful party posts, thus making the younger Kim his heir apparent. The younger Kim consolidated his power and gradually assumed increasing control over the day-to-day administration of the government until his father's death.

North Korea remained one of the most isolated and inaccessible countries in the international community, with severe restrictions on travel into or out of the country, a totally controlled press, and an ideology of self-reliance. In the 1970s and '80s, the North Korean government maintained its balanced diplomatic position between the country's only two significant allies, China and the Soviet Union (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics ), while sustaining a hostile attitude toward the United States. The collapse of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and subsequent dissolution of the U.S.S.R. in the early 1990s left China as North Korea's sole major ally. Even China, however, could no longer be relied upon fully, as it cultivated friendly relations with South Korea that culminated when the two established full diplomatic ties in August 1992.

When it became clear that North Korea could not count on its traditional allies to block South Korean membership in the United Nations (UN ), it retreated from its long-standing position of insisting on a single, joint Korean seat. Both North Korea and South Korea were admitted to the UN on September 17, 1991, as separate countries.

Relations with the South

During the late 1960s, the North had significantly escalated its subversion and infiltration activities against the South—from about 50 incidents in 1966 to more than 500 in 1967. One of its most brazen acts occurred in January 1968, when North Korean commandos nearly managed to reach the South Korean presidential palace in an attempt to kill President Park Chung Hee. Together with the Pueblo Incident (1968), in which North Korean forces captured a U.S. intelligence ship and its crew, and the downing of a U.S. reconnaissance plane the following year, North Korea's armed provocations led to a tense military standoff on the peninsula until the end of the 1960s.

In the climate of improved East-West relations that emerged in the early 1970s, the North called off its insurgency campaign, and talks between the North and South began at P'anmunjŏm in the demilitarized zone in September 1971. High-level discussions began in early 1972, culminating in a historic joint communiqué in July, in which both sides agreed to three principles of reunification: that it be (1) peaceful; (2) without foreign influences; and (3) based on national unity. High-level discussions continued until August 1973, when they were unilaterally suspended by the North.

After 1980 North Korean policy toward the South alternated, often bewilderingly, between peace overtures and provocation. In October 1980 Kim Il-sung unveiled a proposal for the creation of a confederate republic by a loose merger of the two states, based on equal representation. Later in the decade, however, the North engineered two major terrorist (terrorism ) incidents against the South: the first was a bombing in Rangoon, Burma (now Yangon, Myanmar ), in October 1983 that killed several members of the South Korean government; and the second, in November 1987, was the destruction by time bomb of a South Korean airliner over the border between Thailand and Burma.

North-South relations appeared to reach a milestone in 1991, when a series of prime-ministerial talks produced joint declarations on nonaggression and the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. However, little came of these agreements, especially after the North became embroiled in the controversy over its nuclear program.

Kim Il-sung died in July 1994, his death coming at a critical time for North Korea. The country had been locked in a dispute over nuclear issues with the International Atomic Energy Agency. which had been denied access by the North Koreans to an experimental facility at Yŏngbyŏn, where it was suspected that North Korea was diverting plutonium to build nuclear weapons (nuclear weapon ). Although the North became preoccupied with the transfer of power to Kim Jong Il, by October the United States and North Korea had signed an accord whereby the North renounced efforts to develop nuclear weapons and pledged to abide by the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, Treaty on the ) (Non-proliferation Treaty; NPT) in exchange for the United States arranging for the financing and construction of two reactors capable of producing electrical power. The agreement restored hope for North-South reconciliation and a peaceful reunification of the divided peninsula.

The Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization was established in 1995 to build the facilities in North Korea promised by the 1994 agreement, and in 1997 construction began. The following year, however, U.S. satellite reconnaissance revealed that work toward developing nuclear weapons was potentially proceeding at an underground facility near Yŏngbyŏn. Nevertheless, tensions dissipated in 1999 when North Korea agreed to suspend the test-firing of a long-range ballistic missile, leading the United States to ease sanctions.

Throughout the 1990s North Korea suffered severe food shortages that caused widespread suffering. To avert potential famine. Japan. South Korea. and the United States provided emergency food assistance. Nevertheless, perhaps as many as three million North Koreans died of starvation in the second half of the 1990s, and a UN study found that life expectancy had decreased substantially and infant mortality had increased dramatically.

When Kim Jong Il succeeded his father in 1994, he did not assume the posts of secretary-general of the KWP or president of North Korea. Instead, he consolidated his power over several years. In 1997 he officially became head of the KWP, and in 1998 the post of president was written out of North Korea's constitution—Kim Il-sung was given the posthumous title “eternal president”—and Kim Jong Il was reelected chairman of the National Defense Commission, which became the country's highest office.

Hopes were high at the turn of the 21st century that the issues dividing the two Koreas might soon be resolved. As part of his policy of reconciliation with the North, South Korean President Kim Dae Jung visited North Korea in June 2000 (the first time a South Korean leader had traveled to the North), a select number of North and South Koreans were permitted to attend cross-border family reunions, and later that year at the Summer Olympic Games North and South Korean athletes marched together (though they competed as separate teams) under a single flag showing a silhouette of the Korean peninsula. Kim Jong Il's government reestablished diplomatic relations with several Western countries and pledged to continue its moratorium on missile testing. In 2001, however, the new George W. Bush administration in the United States put on hold all negotiations with North Korea; the gulf between the two countries widened when President Bush, following the September 11 attacks. included North Korea (along with Iraq and Iran) among the so-called “axis of evil” countries.

North Korea's relations with the West deteriorated further over the nuclear issue. In late 2002 the North acknowledged it was still developing nuclear weapons. The following year it withdrew from the NPT, and six-party talks (involving North and South Korea, China. Japan. Russia. and the United States ) ensued, aimed at resolving the stalemate. However, North Korea suspended the talks in 2005 and announced that it possessed nuclear weapons; it tested its first nuclear device in October 2006. Efforts to restore a North-South dialogue continued. In May 2007 trains from both the North and the South crossed the demilitarized zone to the other side, the first such travel since the Korean War. Later, in October, the two Koreas held a second summit, in which Roh Moo Hyun. the South Korean president, traveled to P'yŏngyang to meet with Kim Jong Il.

Shannon McCune, Korea 's Heritage: A Regional & Social Geography (1956), and Korea. Land of Broken Calm (1966), provide a general description of Korea's geography, people, and culture. Donald Stone Macdonald, The Koreans: Contemporary Politics and Society. 2nd ed. (1990), covers geography, history. culture. and economics and explores the issues regarding the reunification of the peninsula.Traditional attitudes, customs, and values in Korea are outlined in Paul S. Crane, Korean Patterns. 4th ed. rev. (1978). Hagan Koo (ed .), State and Society in Contemporary Korea (1993), discusses the social movements of North and South Korea. Women's roles are studied by Yung-chung Kim (ed. and trans.), Women of Korea: A History from Ancient Times to 1945. trans. from Korean (1976); and Sandra Mattielli (ed .), Virtues in Conflict: Tradition and the Korean Woman Today (1977). Jon Carter Covell, Korea 's Cultural Roots (1981), is an introduction; while Tae Hung Ha, Guide to Korean Culture (1968), surveys the varied phases of Korean culture. Comprehensive treatments of all Korean arts include Evelyn McCune, The Arts of Korea (1962); Chewŏn Kim and Lena Kim Lee (I-na Kim), Arts of Korea (1974), and The Arts of Korea. 6 vol. (1979).Works on Korean economic history include Sang Chul Suh (Chang Chul Suh), Growth and Structural Changes in the Korean Economy, 1910–1940 (1978); and Norman Jacobs, The Korean Road to Modernization and Development (1985), which begins with imperial Korea. The political climate of the peninsula is surveyed in Sung Chul Yang, The North and South Korean Political Systems (1994); Joungwon Alexander Kim (Chong-wŏn Kim), Divided Korea: The Politics of Development, 1945–1972 (1975); Young Whan Kihl, Politics and Policies in Divided Korea: Regimes in Context (1984), an informative comparative study of North and South Korean political systems after 1948; Bruce Cumings, The Two Koreas (1984), a brief study; Ralph N. Clough, Embattled Korea: The Rivalry for International Support (1987); and Eui-gak Hwang, The Korean Economies: A Comparison of North and South (1993).

Andrea Matles Savada (ed .), North Korea. a Country Study. 4th ed. (1994); and Tai Sung An, North Korea. A Political Handbook (1983), are comprehensive and objective studies of all aspects of the country. Robert A. Scalapino (ed .), North Korea Today (1963), is a comprehensive collection of essays on political, social. and economic development in the early postwar period. Joseph Sang-hoon Chung, The North Korean Economy: Structure and Development (1974); Mun Woong Lee, Rural North Korea under Communism: A Study of Sociocultural Change (1976); and Ellen Brun and Jacques Hersh, Socialist Korea: A Case Study in the Strategy of Economic Development (1976), are more recent treatments.

Politics and history are addressed in Robert A. Scalapino and Chong-sik Lee, Communism in Korea. 2 vol. (1972); Chong-sik Lee, The Korean Workers' Party: A Short History (1978); Dae-sook Suh, The Korean Communist Movement, 1918–1948 (1967), and Kim Il Sung. The North Korean Leader (1988), a well-written and the most objective biography to date; Koon Woo Nam, The North Korean Communist Leadership, 1945–1965 (1974); Chin O. Chung (Chin-wi Chŏng), P'yongyang Between Peking and Moscow: North Korea's Involvement in the Sino-Soviet Dispute, 1958–1975 (1978); Robert Scalapino and Jun-yop Kim (Chun-yŏp Kim) (eds.), North Korea Today: Strategic and Domestic Issues (1983); Tai Sung An, North Korea in Transition: From Dictatorship to Dynasty (1983); and Chong-sik Lee and Se-hee Yoo (eds.), North Korea in Transition (1991). Young Ick LewWoo-ik Yu

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