North Korea Politics

693 Words3 Pages
The political aspect of the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea is one that is based on a self-described foundation of Juche, or self-reliance. A totalitarian family dictatorship since its establishment in 1948, North Korea has a policy of Songun, or “Military First” that firmly elevates the Korean People’s Army as an organization and as a function of the state. In order to truly understand the political landscape of the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea, or North Korea, as it is commonly referred to, one must first address the establishment of North Korea in 1948 and how the rise of Kim Il Sung from military leader to Soviet-designated premier shaped the political system of modern day North Korea. Towards the end of World War II, the Soviet Union declared war on Japan and the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and Soviet forces marched on Pyongyang with very little contact in the late summer of 1945. Stalin appointed Kim Il Sung as chairman of the North Korean branch of the Korean Communist Party. In order to cement his power, Kim established the Korean People’s Army (KPA) and aligned them with the Communist Party. The Soviet Union recognized Kim's government as sovereign of the entire peninsula, including the south in late 1948 despite South Korea declaring statehood some five months earlier. With Soviet backing, Kim consolidated the Communist Party with the New People’s Party to form the Worker’s Party of North Korea. The Worker’s Party of North Korea then merged with its southern counterpart in 1949 to form the Worker’s Party of Korea (WPK) with Kim as the chairman. By 1949, Kim had consolidated power under a totalitarian rule, either consolidating or eliminating all parties under th... ... middle of paper ... ...last months of Kim Il Sung’s life. When Kim Jong Il passed in 2011, he was given the title of Eternal Chairman of the NDC. His son, Kim Jong Un is now known as First Chairman of the National Defence Commission. In a 2009 amendment to the 1972 constitution, the Chairman of the NDC is designated as the “supreme leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea." This designation means that the chairman holds absolute authority over governing the country. A country that attempts to project democracy to the rest of the world, North Korea is anything but democratic in every political facet. A modern day monarchy that conducts pre-determined elections for show; Supreme Leader, Chairman of the National Defence Commission, General Secretary of the Worker’s Party of Korea, are positions of power that have been held by one man since the establishment of North Korea in 1948.
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