North Korean Authoritarian Government
In this paper, I will attempt to explain why authoritarianism regimes such as the one in North Korea, still continues to govern even though the government is one of the more corrupted types of government still in existence today.
The word authoritarianism is defined as, “a form of government in which the ruler is an absolute dictator (not restricted by a constitution or laws or opposition etc.)”(Word Net) There are currently many countries in our world that are not democratic societies. There are authoritarian regimes that still exist today. Probably one of the more well known authoritarian regimes is the government in North Korea.
North Korea gained its independence from Japan in the year 1945. Kim Jong Il is currently the leader of North Korea. The mismanagement of economics through the 1990’s has made North Korea rely heavily on international aid to feed its population. North Korea has expanded their resources to help develop a military of about one million soldiers. (Central Intelligence Agency) “North Korea’s long-range missile development, as well as its nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons programs and massive conventional armed forces, are of major concern to the international community.” (Central Intelligence Agency) The government in North Korea is a big part to blame for the economic struggles.
In President Bush’s first State of the Union Speech he declared North Korea as part of the “Axis of Evil.” President Bush also went on to say his goal was, “"to prevent regimes that sponsor terror from threatening America or our friends with weapons of mass destruction." He singled out Iraq, Iran and North Korea, claiming these states "and their terrorist allies constitute an axis of evil arming to threaten the peace of the world." (Fact Sheet) “The United States must act against these regimes by denying them the "materials, technology and expertise" to make nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and provide them to terrorists, Bush said.” (Fact Sheet)
North Korea is currently a communist-state one-man dictatorship. Under a communist-state one-man dictatorship elections are held but there is nobody to run against the leader. For instance in September of 2003 there was an election held in North Korea. Kim Jong Il and Kim Yong Nam were the only nominees for the positions and nobody opposed them. (Central Intelligence Agency) The government controls the people. The government rules a lot of what the people of North Korea can do or say. For the executive branch in this country, Kim Jong Il has been the ruler since July of 1994. Kim Yong Nam is the president of its Presidium and he also has the responsibility of representing state and receiving diplomatic credentials. (Central Intelligence Agency) As for the legislative branch, the ruling party approves a list of candidates who are elected without opposition, but some seats are held by minor parties. (Central Intelligence Agency) The judicial branch of North Korea consists of a central court, and the judges are elected by the Supreme People’s Assembly.
The way this government is set up is very different than the way the democratic states are set up. In a democratic society the people get to vote for leaders and high ranking officials. While in these authoritarianistic regimes, the people have no say in who is going to run their country.
There have been many North Koreans that have tried to escape either to China or South Korea. Few people have made it across the boarders safely. However, if they fail to escape and they are captured by the North Korean military they will be tortured or even executed in some cases. (Pearson Education) “North Korea, one of the world's most secretive societies, has been accused of egregious human-rights violations, including summary executions, torture, inhumane conditions in prison camps, which hold up to 200,000 prisoners, and denial of freedom of expression...
Cited: Central Intelligence Agency. (2007, October 4). Korea, North. In The World Factbook. Retrieved October 17, 2007, from https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/kn.html
Fact sheet: Bush 's 'axis of evil '. (2002, January 30). Cnn.com/US. Retrieved October 17, 2007, from http://archives.cnn.com/2002/US/01/30/ret.axis.facts/index.html
Federal Research Division Library of Congress. (1994). North Korea a country study (A. M. Savada, Ed., Fourth ed.). Washington D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office. (Original work published 1994)
Kang, D. C. (1995, March). Rethinking North Korea: Vol. 35. Asian Survey (3rd ed.). University of California Press. (Original work published 1995) Retrieved October 17, 2007, from JStor database: http://www.jstor.org/view/00044687/di014543/01p0003h/ 0?currentResult=00044687%2bdi014543%2b01p0003h%2b0%2cFFFF&searchUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.jstor.org%2Fsearch%2FBasicResults%3Fhp%3D25%26si%3D1%26gw%3Djtx%26jtxsi%3D1%26jcpsi%3D1%26artsi%3D1%26Query%3Drethinking%2Bnorth%2Bkorea%26wc%3Don
Kim, S. S. (n.d.). Review: Research on Korean Communism: Promise versus Performance: Vol. 32. World Politics (2nd ed.). Baltimore, Maryland: The Johns Hopkins University Press. (Original work published 1980) Retrieved October 17, 2007, from J Stor database: http://www.jstor.org/view/00438871/di971218/97p0244n/0?currentResult=00438871%2bdi971218%2b97p0244n%2b0%2cFFFFF577&searchUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.jstor.org%2Fsearch%2FBasicResults%3Fhp%3D25%26si%3D1%26gw%3Djtx%26jtxsi%3D1%26jcpsi%3D1%26artsi%3D1%26Query%3Dpromise%2Bversus%2Bperformance%2Bkorea%26wc%3Don
Pearson Education. (2007). Korea, North History. In Infoplease: All The Knowledge You Need. Retrieved October 17, 2007, from http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0107686.html
WordNet® 3.0. Retrieved October 17, 2007, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/authoritarianism
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