Get free ads on the Yellow Pages

North Korea

General Information

An independent kingdom for much of its long history, Korea was occupied by Japan in 1905 following the Russo-Japanese War. Five years later, Japan formally annexed the entire peninsula. Following World War II, Korea was split with the northern half coming under Soviet-sponsored Communist domination. After failing in the Korean War (1950-53) to conquer the US-backed Republic of Korea (ROK) in the southern portion by force, North Korea (DPRK), under its founder President KIM Il Sung, adopted a policy of ostensible diplomatic and economic "self-reliance" as a check against excessive Soviet or Communist Chinese influence.

The DPRK demonized the US as the ultimate threat to its social system through state-funded propaganda, and molded political, economic, and military policies around the core ideological objective of eventual unification of Korea under Pyongyang's control. KIM's son, the current ruler KIM Jong Il, was officially designated as his father's successor in 1980, assuming a growing political and managerial role until the elder KIM's death in 1994. After decades of economic mismanagement and resource misallocation, the DPRK since the mid-1990s has relied heavily on international aid to feed its population while continuing to expend resources to maintain an army of approximately 1 million. North Korea's history of regional military provocations, proliferation of military-related items, and 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.

In December 2002, following revelations that the DPRK was pursuing a nuclear weapons program based on enriched uranium in violation of a 1994 agreement with the US to freeze and ultimately dismantle its existing plutonium-based program, North Korea expelled monitors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). In January 2003, it declared its withdrawal from the international Non-Proliferation Treaty. In mid-2003 Pyongyang announced it had completed the reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel rods (to extract weapons-grade plutonium) and was developing a "nuclear deterrent." Beginning in August 2003, North Korea, China, Japan, Russia, South Korea, and the US have participated in the Six-Party Talks aimed at resolving the stalemate over the DPRK's nuclear programs. North Korea pulled out of the talks in November 2005.

It test-fired ballistic missiles in July 2006 and conducted a nuclear test in October 2006. North Korea returned to the Six-Party Talks in December 2006 and subsequently signed two agreements on denuclearization. The 13 February 2007 Initial Actions Agreement shut down the North's nuclear facilities at Yongbyon in July 2007. In the 3 October 2007 Second Phase Actions Agreement, Pyongyang pledged to disable those facilities and provide a correct and complete declaration of its nuclear programs. Under the supervision of US nuclear experts, North Korean personnel completed a number of agreed-upon disablement actions at the three core facilities at the Yongbyon nuclear complex by the end of 2007. North Korea also began the discharge of spent fuel rods in December 2007, but it did not provide a declaration of its nuclear programs by the end of the year.

Provinces, Municipalities

9 provinces (do, singular and plural) and 4 municipalities (si, singular and plural). Provinces: Chagang-do (Chagang), Hamgyong-bukto (North Hamgyong), Hamgyong-namdo (South Hamgyong), Hwanghae-bukto (North Hwanghae), Hwanghae-namdo (South Hwanghae), Kangwon-do (Kangwon), P'yongan-bukto (North P'yongan), P'yongan-namdo (South P'yongan), Yanggang-do (Yanggang). Municipalities: Kaesong-si (Kaesong), Najin Sonbong-si (Najin-Sonbong), Namp'o-si (Namp'o), P'yongyang-si (Pyongyang).


Help building a better world  A   Afghanistan  Akrotiri  Albania  Algeria  American Samoa  American Virgin Islands  Andorra  Angola  Anguilla  Antarctica  Antigua and Barbuda  Argentina  Armenia  Aruba  Ashmore and Cartier Islands  Atlantic Ocean  Australia  Austria  Azerbaijan    B   Bahamas  Bahrain  Baker Island  Bangladesh  Barbados  Belarus  Belgium  Belize  Benin  Bermuda  Bhutan  Bolivia  Bosnia-Herzegovina  Botswana  Bouvet Island  Brazil  British Virgin Islands  Brunei Darussalam  Bulgaria  Burkina Faso  Burma  Burundi     C   Cambodia  Cameroon  Canada  Cape Verde  Cayman Island s  Central African Republic  Chad  Chile  China  Christmas Island  Clipperton Island  Cocos Keeling Islands  Colombia  Comoros  Congo Democratic Republic  Congo Republic  Cook Islands  Coral Sea Islands  Costa Rica  Croatia  Cuba  Cyprus  Czech Republic     D   Denmark  Dhekelia  Djibouti  Dominica  Dominican Republic     E   Ecuador  Egypt  El Salvador  Equatorial Guinea  Eritrea  Estonia  Ethiopia    F   Faeroe Islands  Falkland Islands  Fiji Island  Finland  France  French Polynesia  French Southern and Antarctic Lands    G   Gabon  Gambia  Gaza Strip  Georgia  Germany  Ghana  Gibraltar  Greece  Greenland  Grenada  Guam  Guatemala  Guernsey  Guinea  Guinea-Bissau  Guyana    H   Haiti  Heard Island and McDonald Islands  Honduras  Hong Kong  Howland Island  Hungary    I    Iceland  India  Indian Ocean  Indian Ocean Territory Brithish  Indonesia  Iraq  Iran  Ireland    Isle of Man  Israel  Italy  Ivory Coast    J   Jamaica  Jan Mayen  Japan  Jarvis Island  Jersey  Johnston Atoll  Jordan  Juan de Nova Island    K   Kazakhstan  Kenya  Kingman Reef  Kiribati-Gilbert Islands  Kosovo  Kuwait  Kyrgyzstan    L   Laos  Latvia  Lebanon  Lesotho  Liberia  Libya  Liechtenstein  Lithuania  Luxembourg    M   Macau  Macedonia  Madagascar  Malawi  Malaysia  Maldives  Mali  Malta  Marshall Islands  Mauritania  Mauritius  Mayotte  Mexico  Micronesia  Midway Islands  Moldova  Monaco  Mongolia  Montenegro  Montserrat  Morocco  Mozambique    N   Namibia  Nauru  Navassa Island  Nepal  Netherlands  Netherlands Antilles  New Caledonia French  New Zealand  Nicaragua  Niger  Nigeria  Niue  Norfolk Island  North Korea  Northern Mariana Islands  Norway    O   Oman    P   Pacific Ocean  Pakistan  Palau  Palmyra Atoll  Panama  Papua New Guinea  Paraguay  Peru  Philippines  Pitcairn Islands  Poland  Portugal  Puerto Rico    Q   Qatar    R  Romania  Russian Federation  Rwanda    S   Saint Barthelemy  Saint Helena  Saint Kitts and Nevis  Saint Lucia  Saint Martin  Saint Pierre and Michelon  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines  Samoa Islands  San Marino  Sao Tome and Principe  Saudi Arabia  Serbia  Senegal  Seychelles  Sierra Leone  Singapore  Slovak Republic  Slovenia  Solomon  Somalia  South Africa  South Georgia Islands  South Korea  South Sandwich Islands  Southern Ocean  Spain  Spratly Islands  Sri Lanka  Sudan  Suriname  Svalbard  Swaziland  Sweden  Switzerland  Syria    T   Taiwan  Tajikistan  Tanzania  Thailand  Timor-Leste  Togo  Tokelau  Tonga  Trinidad and Tobago  Tunisia  Turkey  Turkmenistan  Turks and Caicos  Tuvalu    U   Uganda  Ukraine  United Arab Emirates  United Kingdom  United States of America  Uruguay  Uzbekistan    V   Vanuatu  Vatican City  Venezuela  Vietnam    W   Wake Island  Wallis and Futuna  West Bank  Western Sahara  World    Y   Yemen    Z   Zambia  Zimbabwe