In 1946, a provisional government was established in North Korea, with Kim Il Sung – the chairman of the Communist Party – as leader. According to Countryaah, the Communists had, in alliance with other leftist forces, taken the definitive political leadership – of course supported by the Soviet Union but also with broad political support among the peasant and working masses in the north. All land belonging to the Japanese and Korean landowners – 62% of the agricultural land – was distributed free of charge to 725,000 landless or poor farmers. The major industries, the banks and the transport system were nationalized.
In South Korea, in May 1948, the United States organized local elections – with the support of a United States-controlled UN. The target was a South Korean independent state under US control. Right-wing politician Syngman Rhee was appointed president. Both the left and the central parties in the south boycotted the elections and, under extremely difficult conditions, organized elections in August 1948, parallel to the elections in the north for a joint general assembly. This proclaimed in September the formation of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea as a single republic for the north and south.
But it was the right-wing Syngman Rule regime that gained real control over South Korea. It had no particular popular support, but had US occupation troops in the back. The postwar era’s longest and most total national divide had begun.
1950-53 Korean Wars
In 1950, the Korean War broke out. After three years of war, the United States had to sign a humiliating ceasefire agreement, but at the same time North Korea was in ruins. The country now devoted every effort to rebuild the country under the leadership of the workers’ party. The party’s philosophy is called Juche and is a combination of relying on its own forces, nationalism and centralized control of economic development.
- AllCityPopulation: Find North Korea demographics including latest population, life expectancy, age structure, and urbanization.
In 1960, the Syngman Rhee government in the south was overthrown. North Korea tried to approximate the south, but this development was interrupted when the military in the south took power.
North Korea continued its industrial development, especially after 1958, to take place quickly, based on the country’s rich mineral deposits. A hydropower plant was built at Yalu River. It is shared with the Chinese and is one of the largest in the world. The country’s development was based on planning economy with 90% of the industry in the hands of the state and the rest organized in cooperatives.
In 1954-61, North Korea signed military aid agreements with China and the Soviet Union. In 1972, a new constitution was adopted, which at the same time made Kim Il Sung president.
Kim’s son, Kim Jong Il, was appointed head of government in 1980. In 84, North Korea provided assistance to the victims of flood disasters in the South. In the same year, it was made legal to form companies based on mixed private and state capital in the construction, technology and tourism sectors.
In 1988, the country embarked on a stage of «ideological correction» that went the opposite way of what Gorbachov had taken on in the Soviet Union. In 1990, both the north and the south made efforts to approximate the two countries – mhp. a possible reunion. North Korea demanded the signing of a peace treaty with the United States, as well as the dismantling of the superpower’s military bases on Korean soil before a reunification could take place. That same year, the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) proposed that an agreement be reached to ensure that the Korean Peninsula became nuclear weapons-free and that the United States pledged not to use such weapons against Korea.