REPUBLICAN REFERENCE

Area (sq.km)
120,538

Population

24,589,122

Capital
Pyongyang

Currency
North Korean won (KPW)

Leader
Kim Jong-il

NORTH KOREA

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Japan occupied Korea in 1905 following the Russo-Japanese War; five years later it formally annexed the entire peninsula. Following World War II, Korea was split, with the northern half coming under Communist domination and the southern portion becoming Western-oriented. KIM Chong-il has ruled North Korea since his father and the country's founder, president KIM Il-song, died in 1994. After decades of mismanagement, the North relies heavily on international food aid to feed its population while continuing to expend resources to maintain an army of about 1 million. North Korea's long-range missile development and research into nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and massive conventional armed forces are of major concern to the international community. In December 2002, North Korea repudiated a 1994 agreement that shut down its nuclear reactors and expelled UN monitors, further raising fears it would produce nuclear weapons. 

 

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