Communism: The Effects on North Korea
“North Korea is one of the most secretive countries on earth. It’s regarded as an intelligence black hole” (“Inside North Korea”). North Korea, a communist dictatorship, is known to be very secretive, but also is one of the cruelest countries on earth to its people. “Communism is a political, social, and economic system in which the government is based on a collective society with land, property, and economic activities controlled by the state” (Lansford 9). The North Korean government does not like to show the world what really happens inside their country. “A U.S.-based rights group has estimated that there are up to 200,000 political prisoners in North Korea” (“North Korea Profile”). Many of the people living in the camps are just the family members of the prisoners. Citizens can be sent to these work camps if they talked badly against the government or other minor crimes. The communist government of North Korea causes civilians to live in extreme conditions and suffer the wrath of their leaders and soldiers. The lives of the innocent could benefit if a new form of government takes place to stop the pain and suffering. Korea did not experience communism until 1948 when the north side and the south side broke up into two different countries: North and South Korea. During WWII, the Allied Forces coerced the Japanese Imperial Forces out of Korea. Communist Russia occupied the north side while the democratic U.S. backed the south. Once tension started building up between Russia and the U.S., it was impossible to bring the two sides back together as one country. The north took in communism and the south adopted democracy (Shah). When North Korea embraced communism, a young man named Kim Il Sung began to lead the new country. He was respected by many in North Korea and even adored by some. “In 1950, Kim Il Sung invaded the south to unify the country” (“Inside North Korea”). This led to the Korean War and the south side along with the help of America fought to stop communism from entering the southern border. The south never was reunited with the north and the communist ways continue to stay with North Korea only. Currently, a 148 mile long border divides the north and south from each other. The long border is called “the 38th Parallel.” This is the most heavily guarded border in the world (“Inside North Korea”). South Korea strictly guards this border because they do not want North Korean spies or any military personnel to enter into their country and gain any information to the north that could affect them. Also, the south wants to defend their borders so much to protect them from communism spreading into their country. Because of the terrible conditions North Korean citizens live through every day, South Korea wants to stop all threats of bringing communism into their country and ruining their own way of life. Since North Korea became a country, they have had three leaders that have controlled the country under the reigns of communism. North Korea’s first communist leader was Kim Il Sung. He, along with the Russian government, founded the country and put communism in place as the North Korean form of government. Kim Il Sung set “Juche” as North Korea’s economic system (“Communism: North Korea”). “Juche” is a form of self-reliance. It is a mixture of xenophobic nationalism (unreasonably fearful of or hating anyone or anything foreign or strange), central planning and economic independence. Using this self-reliant economy, Kim Il Sung ruled until he died in 1994. After his death, his son, Kim Jong Il, ruled with identical tactics as his father. Even though North Korea tried to produce all their needs domestically, Kim Jong Il loved importing meals, goods, and clothes from other countries around the world (“Communism: North Korea”). Kim Jong Il was an absolute dictator who was worshipped in a personality cult that was more extreme than any other in any country (“Inside North...
Cited: “Communism: North Korea.” Historical Boys’ Clothing. 3 Dec 2009. Web. 28 Apr 2013.
Dhruti Shah. “North Korea- a country never at peace.” BBC News. 9 Apr 2013. Web. 25 Apr 2013.
“Inside North Korea.” Peter Yost. National Geographic. 2007. Film.
“North Korea.” CultureGrams Online Edition. ProQuest, 2013. Web. 23 Apr 2013.
“North Korea Profile.” BBC News. 18 Apr 2013. Web. 25 Apr 2013.
Lansford, Tom. Communsim. Tarrytown, New York. Marshall Cavendish Corporation. 2008. Print.
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