As of late, North Korea has been the butt end of jokes, Internet memes, and heavy criticisms from most of the free world—and for a good reason. With the passing of former North Korean leader, Kim Jong-il in 2011, all the world watched with uncertainty as his successor and youngest son, Kim Jong-un, took over, and tensions went from bad to worse. Fast forward two years to 2013, and North Korea continues to boast a 7 on the Freedom House “Freedom in the World” index, with 1 being the best, and 7 being the worst: a spot that they have held consistently since the “Freedom in the World” index began in 1998. It is easy to justify why North Korea is an authoritarian regime. First, the ...
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... has all the qualities that make a regime authoritarian, and is showing no signs of making any progress otherwise.
Meanwhile just right across the boarder is South Korea—the territory that got away. South Korea was established in 1948, shortly after the schism during World War II. Years later in 1987, the country started transitioning to a democracy (Freedom House, South Korea, 2013). South Korea’s score on the “freedom scale” is almost as opposite as it can get from its Northern counterpart: a 1.5. Also unlike North Korea, South Korea’s rating has seen improvement overtime. From the start of the Freedom index publication in 1998, and until 2004, the country had a rating of 2. South Korea is a great example of a democracy, as it has a directly elected president who is held to a single five-year term, and a directly elected National Assembly with a four-year term.
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