north korea

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North Korea, officially the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), is a country in East Asia, in the northern part of the Korean Peninsula. Pyongyang is both the nation’s capital as well as its largest city. To the north and northwest the country is bordered by China and by Russia along the Amnok (known as the Yalu in China) and Tumen rivers. The country is bordered to the south by South Korea(officially the Republic of Korea), with the heavily fortified Korean Demilitarized Zone separating the two.

Following the Japanese surrender at the end of World War II in 1945, Korea was divided into two zones along the 38th parallel by the United States and the Soviet Union, with the north occupied by the Soviets and the south by the Americans. Negotiations on reunification failed, and in 1948 two separate governments were formed: the communist Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in the north, and the Republic of Korea in the south. An invasion initiated by North Korea led to the Korean War (1950–53). The Korean Armistice Agreement brought about a ceasefire, and no official peace treaty was ever signed.

The DPRK officially describes itself as a self-reliant socialist state and formally holds elections. Critics regard it as a totalitarian dictatorship. Various outlets have called it Stalinist, particularly noting the elaborate cult of personality around Kim Il-sung and his family. International organizations have assessed human rights violations in North Korea as belonging to a category of their own, with no parallel in the contemporary world. The Workers’ Party of Korea, led by a member of the ruling family, holds 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.

Over time North Korea has gradually distanced itself from the world communist movement. Juche, an ideology of national self-reliance, was introduced into the constitution as a “creative application of Marxism–Leninism” in 1972. 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 from a famine that resulted in the deaths of between 0.24 and 3.5 million people, and the country continues to struggle with food production. 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. Its active duty army of 1.21 million is the fourth largest in the world, after China, the U.S., and India. It possesses nuclear weapons. North Korea is an atheist state with no official religion and where public religion is discouraged.

adding page because of this:

Samira Sawlani (@samirasawlani) tweeted at 3:52 AM – 23 Apr 2016 :

The thing to watch today is @ImranGarda’s documentary on North Korea– this was amazing
https://t.co/wlhME1ZMcS (http://twitter.com/samirasawlani/status/723811683127418880?s=17)

i’m here to study what life is like in one of the most inaccessible places on earth..

a place where a dividing line between civilian and military life is paper thin… but a place that knows how to put on a show

4 min – as important as testing their weapons is parading them… symbolism is everything... it seems life revolves around practicing for the next big event..

sounds like all of us

at home and abroad.. n korea wants you to know that it is independent.. ultra confident.. self-reliant .. and not afraid of war

6 min – luxurious.. underground.. subway system.. doubling up as a nuclear bunker… soviet style metro stations (chandeliers on high rise ceilings)

8 min – everything film had to have their guides approval.. not allowed to interview people from n korea.. can’t leave the hotel..everything you see as a visitor is what you’re supposed to see

9 min – can’t film inside national science center

12 min – self-reliance is at the core of much pride here.. and pride is at the heart of n korea’s ideology…. supreme self-reliance in need of a supreme leader

15 min – it’s easy to make fun of the rhetoric.. but korea’s history has been one of subjugation and exploitation…..before ww2.. occupied by japan.. not remembered foundly…  they dream that korea will be reunified.. under the north’s terms

17 min – latest tourist attraction.. shooting range.. wanting people to be good marksmen.. best one.. leader kim jong-un

19 min – it’s said.. if you want peace.. you must constantly prepare for war.. but i wondered what effect preparing for war had on you

20 min – marathon day.. one day of year.. foreigners visitors are a normal site on streets by capital

23 min – the korean govt needs foreign currency.. and one way to do it is tourism… race at 1600.. up from 800 last year

race captures paradox.. military welcomes.. at same time.. prepping to launch a missile that would violate international treaties..

25 min – de militarized zone.. one of world’s more dangerous borders.. a reminder of how unresolved everything is here

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she scaped n korea so she could be free

focus less on the regime and more on the people

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documentaries