North
Korea

D.P.R.K.
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The story behind the DPRK

History

For Korea, the end of World War II brought liberation from decades of Japanese colonial rule and division across the 38th parallel between north and south. Rival states soon formed around the support of Soviet Union in the north and United States in the south. The Democratic People's Republic of Korea was formally established on September 9th 1948.

The breakout of the Korean War on June 25th 1950 saw north and south together with their respective allies pitted in a bloody three-year conflict that devastated the peninsula. An armistice agreement singed in July 1953 established the Korean Demilitarised Zone, which remains in place to this day.

In the decades following the Korean War, the DPRK worked to rebuild the country and consolidate its position in East Asia and the world. The collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990's and natural disaster led to both food shortages and economic hardship, a period known as the 'Arduous March' in Korea. Since this time relations with several nations have been strained as the DPRK has developed nuclear technologies.

Today the country remains on its own political course, pursing a twin policy of self-reliant economic development and self-defense. In society increased access to services and goods - both foreign and domestic - are changing the way people go about their lives as the DPRK approaches its 70th anniversary in 2018.

Official Title
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
Flag
HEAD OF STATE
Kim Jong Un — Supreme Commander of the KPA, Chairman of the National Defense Commission, General Secretary of the Korean Workers’ Party
RULING PARTY
Workers’ Party of Korea
CURRENCY
Won = 100 chon (approx 100 Won = US $1)
AREA
120,540 sq km (80% mountainous)
POPULATION
24 million (2008 census)

Korea’s history spans over 5000 years. Due to its strategic geographical location, neighbouring China, Japan and Russia, the peninsula has often been the field of battle of foreign powers and as now inextricably enmeshed in the global political climate.

Brief
ChronologyD.P.R.K.

03
The Koguryo Kingdom moves its capital to current day Ji'an on the Yalu River. Koguryo rules over much of what is today northeast China and the DPRK. It coexists with two other kingdoms, Paekche in the southwest and Silla in the southeast, on the Korean peninsula - the Three Kingdoms.
427
Korguryo capital moved to Pyongyang. Buddhism is introduced to Korea around this time and later spread to Japan.
598
First of a series of wars between Koguryo and the Sui Dynasty in China. Koguryo victories contribute to the fall of the Sui in 618.
645
First of a series of wars between Koguryo and the Tang Dynasty in China.
660
Silla subjugates Paekche.
668
Silla subjugates Koguryo with aid from the Tang China.
670
Silla-Tang alliance falls apart, leading to war over northern Korea.
698
Palhae is founded from the remnants of the Koguryo Kingdom. Two Korean states exist on the peninsula.
877
Wang Kon, future first king of the Koryo Dynasty, born at Kaesong. Silla rule begins to disintegrate.
901
Gung Ye, the one-eyed king, establishes a state in central Korea with Wang Kon as an official. Gung Ye grows increasingly mad throughout his rule declaring himself a living Buddha.
918
Gung Ye is overthrown and the Koryo Dynasty is established by Wang Kon at Kaesong.
936
The Koryo Dynasty unifies all Korean states on the peninsula with Buddhism as the state religion.
946
Estimated date of the massive eruption of Mt. Paekdu, forming Lake Chon. Thought to be one of the largest eruptions in recorded human history.
1270
Koryo becomes a vassal state of the Yuan (Mongol) Empire.
1351
Reign of King Kongmin begins. Accomplished artist and skilled diplomat, Kongmin distances Korea for the crumbling Mongol Empire.
1374
Assassination of King Kongmin. Power shifts to generals and ministers.
1388
General Ri Song Gye marches armies on Kaesong.
1392
Assassination of loyal minister Jong Mong Ju at Sonjuk Bridge in Kaesong marks the end of the Koryo.
1392
Ri Song Gye overthrows the Koryo Dynasty and establishes the Ri Dynasty. Capital moved to Seoul. Confucianism becomes the state philosophy.
1443
Korean alphabet developed during the reign of King Sejong.
1592
Japanese armies under Toyotomi Hideyoshi invade Korea.
1894
First Sino-Japanese War fought on Korean territory.
1905
Japan establishes a protectorate over Korea following victory in the Russo-Japanese War.
1910
Japan annexes the Korean peninsula ending over 500 years of Ri Dynasty rule.
1912
Kim Song Ju, later to become President Kim Il Sung, is born at Mangyondae near Pyongyang.
1919
Major protests erupt across the peninsula against colonial rule, resulting in a bloody crackdown.
1932
Japan establishes a puppet state in Manchuria and fights against Korean guerillas operating the region.
1937
Second Sino-Japanese War begins. Colonial Korea is mobilised to contribute to the war effort that lasts till the end of the Pacific War in 1945.
1945
August 15th - World War II ends and Korea is divided between north and south on the 38th parallel. Russian forces accept Japanese surrender above the parallel. American forces accept the surrender in the south.
1945
October 10th - Founding of Workers' Party of Korea.
1948
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea established in the north led by Kim Il Sung and Repubic of Korea in the south led by Rhee Syngman.
1950
June 25th - War breaks out. North Korean units capture Seoul within three days. UN forces under US leadership intervene.
1950
September 15th - UN forces land at Inchon and proceed north to occupy much of the DPRK.
1950
October - Chinese intervention in Korea, driving UN forces south. Stalemate ensues in central Korea.
1953
July 27th - Armistice agreement signed establishing the Korean Demilitarised Zone.
1956
The Chollima Movement begins with the aim of rebuilding the war torn DPRK.
1991
Breakup of the Soviet Union.
1993
First nuclear crisis with the United States
1994
July 8th - Death of President Kim Il Sung.
1994
October - DPRK-US Agreed Framework signed aimed at freezing Korea's nuclear programme.
1995
Massive flooding destroys crops and infrastructure contributing to ongoing food shortages.
2003
DPRK-US Agreed Framework falls apart and followed by Six Party Talks
2006
First DPRK nuclear test.
2011
Dec 17th - Death of Leader Kim Jong Il. Marshall Kim Jong Un comes to power.
2016
May - 7th Congress of the Korean Worker's Party.

Annual Holidays and Events


National Holidays

  1. New Year's Day
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  2. Day of the Foundation of the Workers Party of Korea (1945)
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  3. Day of the Foundation of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (1948)
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  4. National Liberation Day (1945)
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  5. Victory in the Fatherland Liberation War (Korean War 1950-1953)
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  6. Memorial day of the death of Kim Il Sung 1994 (Juche 83)
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  7. May Day, International holiday of Workers
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  8. President Kim Il Sung's Birthday (1912)
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  9. Comrade Kim Jong Il's birthday (1942)
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  10. Day of the Promulgation of the Socialist Constitution of the DPRK (1972)
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Major Commemoration Days

  1. Machine Workers' Day
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  2. Coal-Miners' Day
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  3. Forestry Workers' Day
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  4. Air Force Day
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  5. Navy Day and Youth Day
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  6. City Administration Day
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  7. Commerce Day
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  8. Metal Workers' Day
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  9. Broadcasting Workers' Day
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  10. Textile Industry Day
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  11. Press Day
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  12. Land and Marine Transport Day
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  13. Miners' Day
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  14. Local Industry Day
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  15. Day of the Foundation of Korean Children's Union
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  16. Farmers' Day
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  17. International Women's Day
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  18. Fishermen's Day
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  19. Public Health Day
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  20. Reforestation Day
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  21. Communications Day
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  22. Korean People's Army Day
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  23. Railway Day
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  24. Geological Survey Day
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  25. Builders' Day
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  26. International Children's Day
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  27. Chemical Industry Day
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