The division of the Korean peninsula has caused the existence of two countries with very different realities
The Separation Of Korea (1945-1950)
For years, attempts were made to unify the two regions to form a single country, but the tension between the USSR and the United States during the Cold War made this impossible.In 1948, the Republic of Korea was created in the south and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in the north. The border between the two Koreas was established at Parallel 38, which divided the peninsula in half.
At that time, the Kim family began to rule in the north, with Kim Il-sung as the supreme leader.
The Korean War (1950-1953)
The United States sent its troops to fight North Korea. Finally, they managed to drive the Pyongyang army back to the 38th Parallel, where the border was re-marked with a fortified line.
Postwar and Isolation (1953-1994)
The costs of the conflict were very high: in addition to the victims, many families were forcibly separated and an atmosphere of permanent tension was created.
After the war, South Korea began to grow and modernize thanks to the capitalist influence of the United States. However, North Korea was left economically stagnant. Kim Il-sung decided to close the country's borders and isolate itself from the rest of the world so that its inhabitants could not be compared to South Korea.
The isolation continued throughout his tenure, more than 40 years until he died in 1994.
Crisis and Signs Of Opening (1994 -2002)
The seriousness of the situation made Kim Jong-Il react. Also, by this time relations between North Korea and the United States had improved, so North Korea began to show signs of opening up.
In 2000, a historic summit was held in Pyongyang, where a reconciliation agreement was reached between the two Koreas. But that rapprochement did not materialize nor did it prevent the confrontation from continuing.
Strain and Challenge (2002-2013)
In 2008 there was another attempt at an agreement. US President George W. Bush called for the disarmament of North Korea and the suspension of the nuclear program, while the North Koreans demanded that their country be removed from the list of terrorist governments in order to receive international aid. The agreement broke down in 2009 when North Korea conducted a nuclear missile test.
Escalation Of Tension (2009-2013)
The United Nations Organization, the main international organization, imposed sanctions on the North Korean government to try to dissuade it: these are prohibitions when it comes to trading or receiving aid. In response, Kim Jong-Un decided to break the non-aggression pact and on March 29, 2013, declared war on South Korea.The tension between the two countries has continued to grow ever since.
From Communism To The ‘Juche’ Philosophy
Some of the information that is known about North Korea comes from defectors who have managed to escape the country, risking their lives. Following communist ideas, the North Korean regime ensures that the country is self-sufficient: it does not trade with other countries (if they are not communist), nor does it export food or materials.
According to this economic ideology, known as 'Juche', production companies and agriculture are controlled by the state. The 'Songun' policy of Kim Jong-Un, the last leader of the Kim dynasty, prioritizes military measures. That is why the Korean army is one of the largest in the world and has about a million soldiers.
Being such a secret country and so strict with information, it is unknown what its military potential is or what type of weapons it has. China is its great ally and its main source of food and energy. In addition, the Asian giant plays a fundamental role as a mediator between the United States and North Korea.
Not everyone can enter North Korea as a tourist, but those who have done it, have shared some of their experiences, all of which are negative, seeing a completely opposite reality to what its president, Kim Jong-un, says.
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