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      North Korean Overview

      For decades North Korea has been one of the world's most secretive societies, and one of the few remaining countries still under communist rule.

      North Korea emerged in 1948 amid the chaos following the end of World War II, its history dominated by its "Great Leader", Kim Il-sung. After the Korean War, Kim Il-sung introduced the personal philosophy of Juche, or self-reliance, which became a guiding light for North Korea's development.

      Kim Il-sung's son, Kim Jong-il, is now head of state. Decades of this rigid state-controlled system have led to stagnation and a leadership dependent on the cult of personality.

      Famine in North Korea is estimated to have killed some 2 to 3 million of the nation's 24 million people since 1995, because of acute food shortages caused by natural disasters and economic mismanagement.. Another 300,000 North Koreans have fled to China to live illegally, risking their lives to flee the mass starvation and brutal oppression of Kim Jong Il's Stalinist North Korea regime.

      The totalitarian state also stands accused of systematic human rights abuses. Reports of torture, public executions, slave labor, and forced abortions and infanticides in prison camps have emerged. Human rights groups estimate that there are up to 200,000 political prisoners in North Korea.

      Diplomatic efforts have so far failed to rein in North Korea's nuclear ambitions and US President George W Bush has named it as part of an "axis of evil".

      Source: BBC

      For more info on North Korea, try http://grantmontgomery.blogspot.com/