Kim Jong-il
North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il

About North Korea
North Korea, officially the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, is an East Asian country occupying the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. Its government defines itself as a Communist-led democratic multi-party state of the Juche political ideology, although in practice, it is thought to function as a dictatorship. North Korea is often referred to by global media sources as Stalinist, isolationist, and authoritarian. The government's Juche ideology demands absolute loyalty from the citizenry. It uses repressive central planning to implement its economic and social policies. Its ideological stance on issues such as the mass line, the role of intellectuals, and the source of revolutionary fervor mark North Korea's government as different from the Leninist Soviet Union or Maoist China.

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 shortages of spare parts. Industrial and power output have declined in parallel. Despite an increased harvest in 2005 because of more stable weather conditions, fertilizer assistance from South Korea, and an extraordinary mobilization of the population to help with agricultural production, the nation has suffered its 11th year of food shortages because of on-going systemic problems, including a lack of arable land, collective farming practices, and chronic shortages of tractors and fuel. Massive international food aid deliveries have allowed the people of North Korea to escape mass starvation since famine threatened in 1995, but the population continues to suffer from prolonged malnutrition and poor living conditions. Large-scale military spending eats up resources needed for investment and civilian consumption.

North Korea Map
North Korea

23,113,019 (July 2006 est.)

Government type:
Communist state one-man dictatorship

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$1,700 (2005 est.)

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99%

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 71.65 years (USA 77.85 years)

total: 120,540 sq km (A little smaller than New York State)

--> more from the CIA Factbook
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North Korea's Official Website

photos fron north Korea

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