Theme Week North Korea

Monday, 22 March 2021 - 12:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Bon voyage, Theme Weeks
Reading Time:  6 minutes

Pyongyang © flickr.com - John Pavelka7cc-by-2.0

Pyongyang © flickr.com – John Pavelka7cc-by-2.0

North Korea, they officially call themselves the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK or DPR Korea), is a country in East Asia constituting the northern part of the Korean Peninsula. The country is bordered to the north by China and by Russia along the Amnok (known as the Yalu in Chinese) and Tumen rivers, and to the south by South Korea, with the heavily fortified Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating the two. North Korea, like its southern counterpart, claims to be the legitimate government of the entire peninsula and adjacent islands. Pyongyang is the country’s capital and largest city.

In 1910, Korea was annexed by Imperial Japan. At the Japanese surrender at the end of World War II in 1945, Korea was divided into two zones, with the north occupied by the Soviet Union and the south occupied by the United States. Negotiations on reunification failed, and in 1948, separate governments were formed: the socialist Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in the north, and the capitalist Republic of Korea in the south. An invasion initiated by North Korea led to the Korean War (1950–1953). The Korean Armistice Agreement brought about a ceasefire, but no peace treaty was signed.

According to high-level North Korean defectors, since the 1970s, revenue accumulated through foreign currency, revenue which is wholly separate from the official economic organs of the state, is of economic significance. The scale of its significance remains unknown and is a closely guarded secret, however. More recently, this foreign currency is said to have been also derived from the over 100,000 North Korean migrant workers sent around the world, and who contribute the lionshare of their income to this “Royal Court” fund. Other banking, trade and financial ventures (many of which are illicit) are also said to be significant contributors. The fund is reported to be primarily tasked with providing the capital needed to develop the country’s military technology (above all else, its nuclear weapons program), as well as contributing to a system of “gift giving” for the country’s political, military and business elite.

Mount Kumgang © flickr.com - Uwe Brodrecht/cc-by-sa-2.0 Nampo © flickr.com - Uwe Brodrecht/cc-by-sa-2.0 Pyongyang metro station © Roman Bansen/cc-by-sa-3.0 Pyongyang © flickr.com - John Pavelka7cc-by-2.0 Sariwon © flickr.com - Clay Gilliland/cc-by-sa-2.0 Hyesan © panoramio.com - xue siyang/cc-by-sa-3.0
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Mount Kumgang © flickr.com - Uwe Brodrecht/cc-by-sa-2.0
According to article 1 of the constitution of North Korea, the DPRK is an “independent socialist State“. North Korea holds elections, though they have been described by independent observers as sham elections. North Korea is a totalitarian dictatorship, with an elaborate cult of personality around the Kim dynasty. The Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK), led by a member of the ruling family, holds absolute power in the state and leads the Democratic Front for the Reunification of the Fatherland of which all political officers are required to be members. According to article 3 of the constitution of the DPRK, Juche is the North Korean official ideology. The means of production are owned by the state through state-run enterprises and collectivized farms. Most services—such as healthcare, education, housing and food production—are subsidized or state-funded. From 1994 to 1998, North Korea suffered a famine that resulted in the deaths of between 240,000 and 420,000 people, and the population continues to suffer malnutrition. North Korea follows Songun, or “military-first” policy. It is the country with the highest number of military and paramilitary personnel, with a total of 9,495,000 active, reserve and paramilitary personnel, or approximately 37% of its population. Its active duty army of 1.21 million is the fourth-largest in the world, after China, the United States and India; consisting of 4.7% of its population. It possesses nuclear weapons. In addition to being a member of the United Nations since 1991, North Korea is also a member of the Non-Aligned Movement, G77 and the ASEAN Regional Forum.

A 2014 UN inquiry into abuses of human rights in North Korea concluded that, “the gravity, scale and nature of these violations reveal a state that does not have any parallel in the contemporary world,” with Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch holding similar views. The North Korean government denies these abuses.

Here you can find the complete Overview of all Theme Weeks.

Read more on LonelyPlanet.com – North Korea, History, Culture, Korean Architecture, Cuisine, Economy, Politics, Human Rights, World Heritage Sites, Foreign Relations, Tourism, Wikitravel North Korea, Wikivoyage North Korea and Wikipedia North Korea. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organizations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.










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