The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) came to being as a result of a storied history. It was initially ruled by the Korean Empire until it came under Japanese control as a result of the Russo-Japanese War of 1905. Following this, the nation was split up into zones that were occupied by the Soviet Union and the United States in the aftermath of World War II in 1945. The Korean War of 1950 solidified the divide between North and South Korea. North Korea has been ruled as a single-party state under a united front guided by the Korean Workers' Party. The government has adhered to the ideology of Juche which is based on the notion of self-reliance. It was first developed by Kim Il-sung the nation's former leader, and in 1972, it became the official state ideology with the adoption of a new constitution. (Park 1998: 72). This essay will examine the DPRK and the Juche Ideology including its history, economics, and criticism from the Western world. From this it will be clear that Juche is an ideology that has done more to control the people than promote the stated objectives of the theory.
[...] It can also be seen as a tool of nationalism as it serves to keep the national resolve strong (which in a small way can be said to adhere to the theories of Juche). (Park 1998: 75-6). It has been shown that the ideology of Juche which is based on the notion of self-reliance can be interpreted in different ways when it comes to DPRK. This essay has examined the DPRK and the Juche Ideology including its history, economics, and criticism from the Western world. From this it is [...]
[...] Above all though, the Juche ideology demands complete loyalty to the party leader, and in this case it is the Workers' Party of Korea and Kim Jong-il. (Park 1998: 74). A notable period in the history of Juche was the Five-Year Plan which occurred 1956-1961. This saw North Korea develop itself economically with a primary focus on industry. The purpose of this was to create sufficiency from the Soviet Union and China. This did not completely work, as despite the country's efforts to create self-sufficiency, they still relied on assistance from the Soviet Empire until it collapsed in 1991. [...]
[...] Even though Juche is very much related to the ideas and teachings of classical Marxism, North Koreans, especially Kim Jong-il maintain that Juche is a new ideology that does not rely on Marxist principles. It is for this reason that Marxism is not mentioned in the North Korean Constitution. The key is nationalism, and this was not apart of classical Marxism. (Kihl 2006: 14-5). Nationalism is also a key component of the economic plans of the country, as the nation seeks to be economically self-sufficient; however, this might not be the case as North Korea is not as self-sufficient as perhaps they want to be. [...]
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