North Korea History

By | June 23, 2021

Kingdom of the Dolmens

The Korean peninsula was inhabited 18,000 to 12,000 years ago. The people who settled there probably came from Siberia and Mongolia. Much of the world’s megaliths have been found in Korea. Korea is also known as the “Kingdom of the Dolmen”.

Empire and conquest by Japan

In the first centuries after Christ, the religion of Buddhism came to Korea. Different dynasties took turns. In between the country was taken by the Mongols. In 1392 the Joseon Empire was founded. This officially ended in 1897, the year in which a Great Korean Empire was proclaimed. But shortly afterwards, in 1905, the peninsula became a Japan protectorate. In 1909 Korea was officially incorporated into the Japanese Empire, making it dependent on Japan. So, on the one hand, the country was brought into the modern age, but the old Korean culture was suppressed by the Japanese at the same time. That changed only after the Second World War, when the Japanese Empire, as an ally of the German Empire and opponent of the Allies, had to surrender, that is, to give up. In both North and South Korea, August 15, 1945 is celebrated as the day of independence from Japan.

The partition of Korea

After Japan surrendered, not only Japan itself, but also Korea, which belonged to Japan, was occupied by the Allies and – similar to Germany at the time – was divided into so-called occupation zones. The Koreans themselves were not enthusiastic about it, after all, they thought that Korea would finally become independent. The land was divided along the 38th parallel. The northern part of the country went to the Soviet Union and the southern part to the Americans.

However, as originally planned, free elections were not held in the entire country of Korea. The beginning of the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States intervened and so the elections were separated in both parts of Korea. The Republic of Korea was founded on August 15, 1948, known to us today as “South Korea”, and a few days later, on August 26, 1948, the founding of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, mostly known as North Korea, followed in the north.

But both actually claimed the other side for themselves. Neither in the south nor in the north wanted to come to terms with the division. In 1949, the two occupying powers had left the north and south, and conflicts between the two parts of the country were already emerging again and again.

North Korea History

Outbreak of war

In 1950 – two years after the proclamation of the two countries – North Korea wanted to bring about a military agreement and sent troops across the border into South Korea. And as is so often the case when soldiers march, a war broke out, in this case the Korean War. On the North Korean side, the North Koreans fought with support from the Soviet Union and later also from the People’s Republic of China. The United States and other western states fought with the South Koreans. One speaks here of a proxy war.

A dictatorship emerges

In 1948, the then head of state Kim Il-sung established a so-called leadership system and a cult around himself. The model for this North Korean state was the Soviet Union. The North Koreans also received help from there in setting up their system. All opponents of Kim Il-sung were eliminated in the 1950s, so that he could once again strengthen his sole rule. The military gained more and more importance and, especially during the Cold War, the population was instilled with an enemy image and hatred for America and Japan. The system closed itself off more and more, so that even in the late 1980s, when the communist systems opened up and democracy movements grew stronger, the country remained closed and sealed off.

Kim Il-sung

According to agooddir, Kim Il-sung is considered the “Eternal President” in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. There are countless statues and images of the communist politician in North Korea. He is often referred to as “the great leader Comrade Kim Il-Sung” in advertisements for the party. Since his death, his descendants have inherited the post of ruler. That is why the system is called a dynasty.

The next “great leader”

Kim Il-sung was followed in 1994 by his son Kim Jong-il, who did not take over the office of president, because his father remained “Eternal President” of North Korea even after the death. At first he was called “Great Leader” and later “Beloved Leader”, just as the father was previously called. In 2011 Kim Jong-il was followed by his son Kim Jong-un. However, many are of the opinion that he does not rule himself, but only serves as a puppet. Politicians have real rule, but they can be turned off at any time.