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North Korea is a dictatorship country that has limited resources but the people live below poverty and are constantly restricted from the outside world. The Kim Dynasty has established a government without the help of the United States and the United Nations. Through their government, they have learned to be self-sufficient. North Korea is a country with many problems, but it is also a country with unique history and a serious enemy of the United States. This analysis will briefly review North Korea’s economy, government, and history.
The North Korean country has a turbulent past. The country experienced centuries of war under Japanese rule. They were under the governing of Japan until the end of World War II. During the war, the Korean people were force to fight for Japan. During this period, the Korean language was against the law. While banding there language the Japanese ruler also destroyed and stole many of the countries cultural artifacts. Comfort women for Japanese soldiers have been a source of political strains between the three countries to this day over 200,000 women endured this form of rape for centuries.
The Gojoseon was the first Korean kingdom founded in the north of the peninsula, around about the time 2333 BC by Dangun. Gojoseon expanded throughout the peninsula until it controlled the northern Korean Peninsula and some parts of Manchuria. Gojoseon was the first mention in Chinese records in the early seventh century BC, and around the fourth century BC, its capital moved to Pyongyang. During the middle ages, the Capital of the Peninsula moved from the north to the south. The 15th century was a relatively peaceful for the Korean people until the Japanese continued to try to conquer the peninsula. Korea’s early war history and constant isolation from the outside world. During their history the peninsula was united it was not until the Soviet Union and the United States one for the south and the other for the north that the country began to separated by the 38th parallel.
North Korea is located in northern Korean Peninsula, country that bordered by South Korea, China, and Russia. North Korea is not as big as the United States. It occupies approximately 120,540 sq. km of space and its size is the equivalent of some of the smaller states like Vermont. The terrain and land is mostly mountains and uplands, separated by deep and narrow valleys. Natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, and droughts are common. The seasons change from the extreme heat in the summer to extreme cold in the winter.
Despite the extreme temperatures and frequent natural disasters, North Korea has an abundance of natural resources. Some of these developed natural resources include lead, tungsten, graphite, magnetite, gold, pyrites, fluorspar, and hydropower. Mining has lead to the country having the 22nd largest coal reserve in the world. The country also produces salt and copper they are in the middle of production numbers in Asia.
The work force is comprised of three specific areas industries, service, and agriculture. Major industries include mining, metallurgy, textiles, tourism, electric power, chemicals, military products, machine building, and food processing. One of the things were the north is in the top ten in the world is there production and growing of apples were they rank in the top 10. The two things that the north relies on is there production of potatoes and rice during some of the resent Natural Disasters and flooding the country has had hundreds of thousand people starve to death. Because of the country self-reliance policy, this number would be impossible to confirm. The money is the North Korean Won. There are only two countries in the world that the economy is government planned and state owned economy. Other things that hurt the economy are the restrictions on international trading with the rest of the world. Economical growth has been on a steady decline from 2005 to 2011 but over the last two years, there has been limited growth. North Korea is one of the most literate countries in the world, with an astonishing average literacy rate of ninety-nine percent.
The North Korean culture is very similar to that of the south, over the last 60 years there have distinct differences with the north adapting more cultural influences from neighboring china. The government controls all books and painting. With these control the freedom to create art is limited and anything that is negative towards the government is punishable by death. One of the biggest cultural events in the north is the Mass Games. This event lasts for over two months; having events like dancing, choreograph singing and gymnastics.
There have not been that many western cultural influences aloud to perform in North Korea. However recently with Kim Jung Un hired Dennis Rodmen to come in and help the national basketball team. This is what Rodman had to say about the young leader, “He loves power. He loves control because others, you know dad and stuff like that, but he is just a great person. He’s just a great guy.” (LEBER) There was also a wrestling match held in the national capital that Rica Flair that drew over 195,000 people. With the north opening up a little however they are still very secretive and are not going to let the western influence in to their cultural without sever government constraints.
There have been only three leaders of the North since the Korean peninsula separated. Kim IL sung was the first in the Kim Dynasty, then there was Kim Jung IL, currently the country leader is Kim Jung Un. While there has been numerous propaganda involving the Kim’s’ such things like making holes in ones, making 1,000 free throws in a row. The political party of the Kim’s is the workers party of Korea. The latest ruler is Kim Jung Un was born around 1982 or 1983. There have been many stories about the young leader the most fascinating one is his friendship with Dennis Rodmen. His father Kim Jung IL was fascinated with the Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan. I hope that this relationships opens up the possibility for the north to one day reunite with the south to form one united Korea.
Kim IL Sung was born on 15 April 1912 in the small village of Mangyungbong. There is much speculation on his early life. During the Soviet Union’s war with Japan Kim serviced as a Major. Documentation shows that the Kim’s were anti Japanese supporters during the middle 1900’s. There has been speculation that Kim himself was an imposter, however this was highly scrutinized and never proven. Sung name has a very special meaning of become of the sun. He commanded the sixth division in 1937. Kim was the commander of the second operational region for the first Army, but by the end of 1940, he was the only first Army leader still alive. The young Kim for his military background and his understating, loyalty to the communist party impressed Stalin. His hatred for the Japanese did not hurt. To instill his power he established the KPA to ensure his newfound power display be done with the help of the soviets. It was speculated that the invasion in to South Korea. 1.2million people died during the war. Toward the end of the war, Kim was such an egomaniac. The Chinese were the soldiers serving on the front lines at the end of the war were the KPA was serving on the outside at ports.
Kim’s power after the war was shaky only maintaining control and the start of the North’s propaganda to improve his control of the country. Propaganda ploys the United States poising North Koreans the other was that the south invaded first. Kim became President of North Korea in 1972 instilling a new constitution. In October 1980, Kim announced his son Kim Jung IL as his successor. The younger Kim had to Wight many years before taking control of the country. On 8 July 1994, at age 82, Kim collapsed from a sudden heart attack. The younger Kim ordered the best doctors in the north flow in to help his father with top Neurosurgeons from all over nothing saved the great leader At this point Kim mourned for ten days, during the morning of his father Kim Jung IL took over as the North’s President.
“A man who dreads trials and difficulties cannot become a revolutionary. If he is to become a revolutionary with an indomitable fighting spirit, he must be tempered in the arduous struggle from his youth. As the saying goes, early training means more than late earning.” (Greenberg) Kim Jung IL took a few months to gain complete control of the north. On January 1, 1995 inspected the KPA, which was a symbol of him taking control of the nation. Jung IL had officially taken over his father’s post on October 8 1997. The younger Kim implements a vote for his office every five years he won every one of his vote unanimously. In the late 2000’s Kim’s health began to betray him battling diabetes for years compounding this with a reported stroke in early 2008. While recovering from this first stroke Kim began to get better, during his recovery phase he suffered another setback stroking again his time French neurosurgeon flown in to treat Kim. Kim is declining health, having three sons to choose from to name as his successor. Shocking the western world, he named Kim Jung UN as his successor. Kim died of a massive heart attack on 17 December 2011.
Following the death of Jung IL there was concern that the youngest Kim was too young to lead the country. However, he established as head of the workers party by 2012. There have been reports of sever executions and other troubling tales of the youngest Kim in the dynasty killing his ex mistress. He continues to lead his country in the 21st century. I hope that he has learned from his father and grandfathers mistakes.
The Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces is responsible for the Korean People’s Army the name for the all the armed forces groups of the North Korean military. “It has five different military branches: Air Force, Special Operations Force, Rocket Force, Naval Force, and Ground Force. According to the United State government, North Korea has the fourth-largest army in the world, with around 1.21 million armed personnel. More than 20% of the population of men aged seventeen to fifty-four in the Korean People’s Army. North Korea has the highest percentage of military personnel of any nation in the world, with exactly one enlisted soldier for every twenty-five citizens.” (Lackey) North Korea also has a Defense Industry that is responsible for engineering. Then designing military equipment and to sell to other countries. In 1994, North Korea received 10 Submarines that purchased from Russia. Military plan designed for development of spy agents and sabotage behind enemy lines in wartime, with most of the KPA’s forces stationed along the heavily secured Korean Demilitarized Zone. The Korean People’s Army has very large amount of equipment that includes over Eleven thousand air defense guns, twenty five hundred APCs, ten thousand MANPADS, four thousand tanks, and eighteen thousand artillery pieces and anti-tank guided missiles in the Ground force; at least 915 vessels in the Navy. There are only 1,748 aircraft in the Air Force having about 478 are fighters and 180 are bombers. North Korea also has an extremely large Special Forces unit that happens to be the biggest in the world, as well as the biggest documented submarine fleet in the entire world. The equipment is a mixture of out dated World War II vintage vehicles and small arms, widely considered old Cold War technology, and more resent Soviet or locally made weapons. In line with its warfare plan, North Korea employs a wide range of unconventional techniques and equipment, such as midget submarines, GPS jammers, human torpedoes, and stealth paint a vast array of chemical and chemical weapons, and burning and blinding laser weapons. According to different official North Korean media outlets, military spending for 2010 amount to 15.8% of the state budget.
North Korea has active biological and ballistic missile weapons programs. The North has been subject to United Nations Security Council resolutions for carrying out both missile firing and chemical weapons tests. North Korea probably has fissile material for up to nine nuclear weapons, and has the capability to deploy chemical weapon warheads on intermediate-range rocket missiles. The launch of a North Korean satellite in December 2012 was seen as a weapons development step by South Korea and its allies and condemned by the UN Security Council.
In the 1990s, North Korea planned a business deal to sell medium-sized nuclear capable missiles to Pakistan in a deal set up by China. In 2005, North Korea admitted to having nuclear biological weapons but vowed to close their nuclear power plants programs. The promise of a reduction in nuclear programs has also been reinforced at various Inter-Korean various secret meetings between North and South Korea hoping to end the possibilities of nuclear biological war since the year 2000. However, nuclear chemical plants in North Korea have caused international concern since the early 1950s, as they are capable of assisting in the development of nuclear arms. Numerous international problems involving North Korea’s refusal to discontinue chemical projects have prevented Russia based Gazprom from developing a $2.5 billion pipeline to South Korea through Pyongyang. The revenue generated from Gazprom is going to provide North Korea with $100 million per year in transit fees. The Japan Meteorological Agency has been able to use technological advances in seismology to detect various nuclear weapons tests. Following North Korea’s withdrawal from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in early 2000, it was subject to series of sanctions against by the UN Security Council.
Education in North Korea is free for all children, up until the secondary level, and controlled by the government. The state also used to provide the students with school uniforms free for all children until the early 1990s when the government started having financial problems. Active creativity is applied in order to develop the independence of students. Mandatory education lasts 11 years, and encompasses 1 year of preschool, 4 years of primary education and 6 years of secondary education. The school educational plan has both academic and political content. North Korea is one of the most literate countries in the world, with an average literacy rate of 99%. Even children imprisoned in concentration camps also receive a form of education. Primary schools known as the people’s schools and children attend them from the age of six to nine. Then, from age ten to sixteen, they attend either a regular primary secondary school for academics or a special trade school, depending on their specialties and academics.
Higher education is not required in North Korea. It is composed of two educational systems: academic higher education and higher education for continuing education. The higher academic education system includes three kinds of institutions: professional schools, technical schools, and universities. Graduate schools for masters and doctoral level studies attached to universities, and are for only students that displayed an academic high standard. Get to continue their education. Two notable collages in the North Korea are the Kim Il-sung University and Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, both in Pyongyang. The college was founded in October 1946, is an elite institution whose enrollment of around 15 to 16 thousand full- and part-time students in the early 1990s occupies, in the words of one observer, called it the pinnacle of the North Korean education and social system. There is also a renowned collage called the Kim Chaek University of Technology that specializes in information technology and nuclear research.
On Monday 31 March 2014, North Korea conducted artillery-training exercises shooting rounds in to the yellow sea. They fired more than 500 rounds shooting over the established boundary from the south. The South Koreans started their own exercise, firing over 300 rounds over the north’s side. With this display of force, the cease-fire in Korea is said to in be in trouble. The north is now going threaten with nuclear weapons. During these training exercises, North Korea knowingly fires rockets missiles and artillery into the yellow sea just to get a response from the South Korea and the United Nations. The north is facing even more sanctions on trade and with their inability to feed their people; it is no surprise that there acting like a little child. Just last week they also launch two mid range rockets. There was a quick summons of the United Nations, thankfully was quickly resolved. With this latest barrage of artillery the north continues to threaten the south with war and continued acts of violence cannot be tolerated by the South and the United Nations. The North has been doing little things like this since the cease-fire was signed they continue to show a blatant disregard for the laws of the land and a bitter hatred of the United States.
The North Koreans are very proud of their independence. There history is wealthy in art and building their nation with limited resources. The people have endured natural disasters starvation and propaganda. The signs of a united North and South have show glimpses like during the Olympics marching together under a unified flag but they competed separately. The North Korean people have been isolated from the rest of the world. There leadership during the last century has been suspect to say the least there are cases of people starving to death eating their children. The world views North Korea as a country that is always causing trouble with nuclear weapons threats. They are a people facing sever challenges. The only thing that would complete Korea is for them to unify.
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