Fall Union supported Kim Il-Sung in the North.

Fall 2017POLS 102Helen SharpeProf. Fornella-Oehninger              The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, also known asNorth Korea, was established on September 9th 1948.  Before then, North Korea and South Korea weretogether to form their own Korea. It was until the end of WW2 that the US andRussian forces had to set up their occupation areas to defeat the Japaneseforces. Korea was split along the 38th parallel with the Soviet Union takingthe northern half while the United States took the southern half.

After bothforces trying to help the country govern itself after 36 years of the Japaneserule, tensions began to rise between the communists and the capitalists. In theSouth, the US supported Syngman Rhee as the Soviet Union supported Kim Il-Sungin the North. After the North refused to participate in the UN led elections,the South decided to have their own and elected Syngman Rhee as theirpresident. Shortly after, the North chose to have an election and brought KimIl-Sung to power. In the early months of 1948, communists that were still inSouth Korea created a bloody rebellion but were eventually defeated with Rhee’sforces in 1949. In 1950, both Stalin and Kim then invaded South Korea, whichthis is known as the Korean War.

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This war ended in a stalemate and sealed theseparation of the two Korea’s.           Under the ruleof the Kim regime, this country is anything but democratic. “… The two views ofpolitical classification which are both in theory and in reality. In theory,Kim Jung-Il and his late father, Kim Il-Sung had over 50 years to perfect theirpolitical system.

They created the idea that their dictatorship can afford togrant its people both social and political equality but as well theyconstructed a more elaborated model of ‘political stratification,discrimination, and persecution’ than most dictatorships compared to othercountries. In North Korea’s case, the only way to achieve socialism or equalityis to be personally loyal to Kim Jung-il and his regime. In the year 1967,Il-Sung then classified his country into three classes. A core class, awavering class, and a hostile class. Then after this, each member of society isthen into 51 different sub-categories based on whether or not they owned land,were communists, or lived in ‘South Korea’ before 1945. In this idea, all ofthe leaders in the past and future were able to locate who was truly loyal topower and who was not. A citizen’s loyalty was also examined based on how theyapproached authority such as applying for a job or owning a house.

Only thesepeople who were loyal to the government were able to obtain responsiblepositions in the DPRK. Sadly the loyalty doesn’t influence the state to be asocialist one. In fact, the socialist economy does not work. 85% of the countrylives in poverty and millions are starving. Those who are loyal and work forthe government tend to bend and break the rules to make their lives better forthemselves and their immediate family. The country also runs on bribery such asgetting out of jail with money and also illegally buying necessities such asemployment, healthcare, food etc. The North Korean Society is unstable ingeneral and most of the DPRK are not allowed to flee the country. The reasonfor this is that the Kim Regime would not want its people to see the possiblepolitical alternatives rather than living in North Korea (Oh).

” The DPRK’sgovernment has a strong pull on its people since the majority respects andobeys its leaders. For example, it is illegal for the North Korean people toleave the country without the regimes consent. The same goes for travelinginside of the country. In order to even travel to a different providence, youmust have permission from the regime. The only other way to leave the country is to escape and not get caught.”Since the famine, North Koreans who have been able to have been fleeing thecountry in their thousands, even risking their lives to do so.

Over 28,000North Korean refugees have made it all the way to South Korea, with an unknownnumber still in limbo in China…. They have provided much of the information weknow about North Korea today. In addition, because it is illegal to leave thecountry without state permission, crossing the border is an act of defianceagainst the repressive government. As more North Koreans become aware of therising numbers of their fellow countrymen ‘voting with their feet’ and leadingbetter lives in more affluent neighboring countries, this presents a growingchallenge to the legitimacy of the North Korean regime (Liberty in NorthKorea).”          Due to havingthe constraint over its people, the DPRK is currently ruled under adictatorship of the Kim Regime.

Kim Jung-Un, the current supreme leader ofNorth Korea, learned from his father and grandfather on how to keep his hold ontothe people. Along with ‘trapping’ the citizens in their respective province’s.Most of the people of the country genuinely believe that their leaders are theequivalent to the modern day Messiah, the supreme leader being their God. Whenchildren are in school, they are forced to learn that South Korea and theUnited States of America are the ‘bad’ guys.

That they exist only to destroyall North Korean’s including their God. But when it comes to their identity,they claim themselves to be ‘Korean’ just like the South Koreans do. They planto always defend their country, no matter what the cause. “‘We would neverthink of eating for pleasure,’ North Korea defector admits. In North Korea, thepeople believed that the dictator Kim Jung-Un knew all. He could readeveryone’s thoughts and that if a person would to think badly about thegovernment, they must turn themselves in or face harsh punishment or evendeath. In the households of the DPRK, a picture of Kim IL Sung and Kim Jung ILis proudly placed onto the walls of the living room. This idea is that they arealways watching the people to see if they were communicating with the outsideworld or to be planning an attack inside the country.

Kim Hak Min, a defectorwho now lives in South Korea states that only 10% of the people of the countryhave access to foreign media and that 9.5% of that is illegal. People can facethe North Korean Death Penalty if they are caught with any foreign media thatis banned from the country. This article shows that the right to privacy doesnot exist in North Korea post WW2 and that its government is very restrictedwhen it comes to possessing any form of it. The unfiltered media can definitelycause an uproar in the DPRK community and that is the last thing that they wantand need (Maresca).       In modern time,there are many issues facing the DPRK today. One of them, being widely known,is the famine. Over 90 percent of the population is currently affected by thefamine and yet the people are supposedly fine with it.

In the beginning of the1990’s the DPRK entered a dark time where necessities were available to thepublic. Everything that was donated by the United Nations was given to theGovernment and never seen by the eyes of the people. At this time, more than3/4ths of the country had little to no access to food, clothing, etc. Thefamine was caused by the state’s inability to fulfill the ‘economic obligationsthat is had assumed, forcing institutions, enterprises, and households to copewith the ensuing challenges of maintaining stability with limited cooperationbetween the Korean government and the international community.

‘ The response tothis crisis that was caused by the famine then led to thousands fleeing thecountry.  This book goes into depth ontothe cruel government that the DPRK has adopted and how the citizens aredefinitely unhappy. It also came from the interviews of those who escaped thisterrible crisis so it is very much reliable (Haggard).” The cause for thefamine one of the main topics currently being discussed within the UnitedNations due to being a Human Rights violation.       Another issue thatis happening in North Korea is the tensions with the United States and NuclearWar. For the past few months, President Donald J. Trump and Leader Kim Jung-Unhave been constantly arguing with each other through different forms of socialmedia with the idea of nukes being involved.

Lately the use of threats,sanctions, and missile tests have been introduced and used but the only thingdifferent between now and the Cold War is that each country knows what theother is thinking. With the help of Soviet Russia, the DPRK have begundeveloping a nuclear site in the 1980’s, known as Yongbyon.  North Korea claimed that it was peaceful atthe time then even signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty in 1985 thenenacted in 1991 that promised not to produce or use nuclear weapons, whichSouth Korea also signed onto. In later years, the International Atomic EnergyAgency then wanted access to the DPRK nuclear sites but then the countrythreated that they would leave the NPT. In the early years of the ClintonAdministration, Bill decided to negotiate with the DPRK to end its nuclearprogram. They even threatened to send a strike to Yongbyon but was terminatedwhen Kim Il-Sung died and his son took over.

The negotiations eventually cameto be with the Agreed Framework in late 1994. This Framework then collapsed in2002 when President George W. Bush came into office and took a hardlineapproach to North Korea. The country as a whole took this as a threat andpulled out immediately. In the summer of 2006, North Korea finally decides tostart its first nuclear test. The explosion was less than a kiloton, so theydid not officially break any treaty.

But the United Nations did respond with aresolution for North Korea to stop testing their nuclear weapons and to teardown their program. The DPRK believed that this was in reaction to thepressures that the United States has put upon them. Eventually the DRK had shutdown its nuclear facilities in Yongbyon and it also agreed to disable thefacilities for any future needs. When President Barack Obama began hispresidency, only three months in, North Korea decided to launch another nucleartest. The launch did fail and the United Nations did tightened their sanctionsfor any future needs. When President Barack Obama began his presidency, onlythree months in, North Korea decided to launch another nuclear test.

The launchdid fail and the United Nations did tightened their sanctions. But when it cameto the Trump administration, everything turned for the worst. Threats began tobecome more common and more countries began to get involved. Both the citizensof the US and the DPRK are in danger now.      Wikipedia. Yaduvanshi.                 Works Cited.Oh, Kongdan.

(2003). PoliticalClassification and Social Structure in North Korea. Brookings. https://www.

brookings.edu/testimonies/political-classification-and-social-structure-in-north-korea/Liberty in North Korea. (2015). AChanging North Korea. Liberty in North Korea. https://www.libertyinnorthkorea.

org/learn-a-changing-north-korea/Maresca, Thomas. (2017). We wouldnever think of eating for pleasure, North Korea defector admits. USA Today. https://www.usatoday.

com/story/news/world/2017/09/05/noth-korea-defectors-provide-rare-glimpse-isolated-life/625916001/Haggard, Stephan. (2011). Witness toTransformation: Refugees Insights into North Korea. Peterson Institute forInternational Economics. Wikipedia.

(2016). 2006 North Koreannuclear test. Wikipedia.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_North_Korean_nuclear_testYaduvanshi, Amit. (2017).

What’s thedistance between North Korean and USA?. Quora. https://www.quora.com/Whats-the-distance-between-North-Korea-and-USA


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