Workers' Party of Korea
The Workers' Party of Korea is the founding and ruling political party of North Korea. It is the largest party represented in the Supreme People's Assembly and coexists de jure with two other legal parties making up the Democratic Front for the Reunification of the Fatherland. However, these minor parties are subservient to the WPK, must accept the WPK's "leading role" as a condition of their existence, it was founded in 1949 with the merger of the Workers' Party of North Korea and the Workers' Party of South Korea. The WPK controls the Korean People's Army; this political party remains illegal in South Korea under South Korea's own National Security Act and is sanctioned by Australia, the European Union, the United Nations and the United States. The WPK is organized according to the Monolithic Ideological System and the Great Leader, a system and theory conceived by Kim Yong-ju and Kim Jong-il; the highest body of the WPK is formally the Congress, but in practice a Congress occurs infrequently.
Between 1980 and 2016, there were no congresses held. Although the WPK is organizationally similar to communist parties, in practice it is far less institutionalized and informal politics plays a larger role than usual. Institutions such as the Central Committee, the Executive Policy Bureau, the Central Military Commission, the Politburo and the Politburo's Presidium have much less power than that formally bestowed on them by the party's charter, little more than a nominal document. Kim Jong-un is the current WPK leader, serving as CMC chairman; the WPK is committed to Juche, an ideology, described as a combination of collectivism and nationalism. At the 3rd Conference, the WPK removed a sentence from the preamble expressing the party's commitment "to building a communist society", replacing it with a new adherence to Songun, "military-first" policies; the 2009 revision had removed all references to communism. Party ideology has focused on perceived imperialist enemies of the party and state.
Before the rise of Juche and Songun, the party was committed to Marxist–Leninist thought as well, with its importance becoming diminished over time. The party's emblem is an adaptation of the communist hammer and sickle, with a traditional Korean calligraphy brush; the symbols represent the industrial workers and intellectuals. On 13 October 1945, the North Korean Bureau of the Communist Party of Korea was established, with Kim Yong-bom its first chairman. However, the NKB–CPK remained subordinate to the CPK Central Committee. Two months at the 3rd Plenum of the NKB, Kim Yong-bom was replaced by Kim Il-sung. In spring 1946 the North Korean Bureau became the Communist Party of North Korea, with Kim Il-sung its elected chairman. On 22 July 1946 Soviet authorities in North Korea established the United Democratic National Front, a popular front led by the Communist Party of North Korea; the Communist Party of North Korea soon merged with the New People's Party of Korea, a party composed of communists from China.
On 28 July 1946 a special commission of the two parties ratified the merger, it became official the following day. One month the party held its founding congress, establishing the Workers' Party of North Korea; the congress elected former leader of the New People's Party of Korea Kim Tu-bong as the first WPNK chairman, with Kim Il-sung its appointed deputy chairman. However, despite his formal downgrade in the party's hierarchy Kim Il-sung remained its leader. Party control increased throughout the country after the congress. From 27–30 March 1948, the WPNK convened its 2nd Congress. While Kim Tu-bong was still the party's formal head, Kim Il-sung presented the main report to the congress. In it he claimed. On 28 April 1948 a special session of the Supreme People's Assembly approved the constitution, which led to the official establishment of an independent North Korea, it did not call for a unified Korea. Kim Il-sung was the appointed head of government of the new state, with Kim Tu-bong heading the legislative branch.
A year on 30 June 1949, the Workers' Party of Korea was created with the merger of the WPNK and the Workers' Party of South Korea. Kim Il-sung was not the most ardent supporter of a military reunification of Korea. After several meetings with Joseph Stalin, the North Koreans invaded South Korea on 25 June 1950—this began the Korean War. With American intervention in the war the DPRK nearly collapsed, but it was saved by Chinese intervention in the conflict; the war had the effect of weakening Soviet influence over Kim Il-sung and the WPK. Around this time, the main fault lines in early WPK politics were created. Four factions formed: domestic, Soviet Koreans and guerrillas. Howe
Kim Jong-il was the second leader of North Korea. He ruled from the death of his father Kim Il-sung, the first leader of North Korea, in 1994 until his own death in 2011, he was an unelected dictator and was accused of human rights violations. Kim was born in Vyatskoye, Russia part of the Soviet Union. By the early 1980s, Kim had become the heir apparent for the leadership of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and assumed important posts in the party and army organs. Kim succeeded his father and DPRK founder, Kim Il-sung, following the elder Kim's death in 1994. Kim was the General Secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea, WPK Presidium, Chairman of the National Defence Commission of North Korea and the Supreme Commander of the Korean People's Army, the fourth-largest standing army in the world. During Kim's rule, the country had a poor human rights record. Kim involved his country in state terrorism and strengthened the role of the military by his Songun politics. Kim's rule saw tentative economic reforms, including the opening of the Kaesong Industrial Park in 2003.
In April 2009, North Korea's constitution was amended to refer to him and his successors as the "supreme leader of the DPRK". The most common colloquial title given to Kim was "Dear Leader" to distinguish him from his father Kim Il-sung, the "Great Leader". Following Kim's failure to appear at important public events in 2008, foreign observers assumed that Kim had either fallen ill or died. On 19 December 2011, the North Korean government announced that he had died two days earlier, whereupon his third son, Kim Jong-un, was promoted to a senior position in the ruling WPK and succeeded him. After his death, Kim was designated the "Eternal General Secretary" of the WPK and the "Eternal Chairman of the National Defence Commission", in keeping with the tradition of establishing eternal posts for the dead members of the Kim dynasty. Soviet records show that Kim was born Yuri Irsenovich Kim in 1941 in the village of Vyatskoye, near Khabarovsk, where his father, Kim Il-sung, commanded the 1st Battalion of the Soviet 88th Brigade, made up of Chinese and Korean exiles.
Kim Jong-il's mother, Kim Jong-suk, was Kim Il-sung's first wife. Inside his family, he was nicknamed "Yura", while his younger brother Kim Man-il was nicknamed "Shura". However, Kim Jong-il's official biography states he was born in a secret military camp on Paektu Mountain in Japanese-occupied Korea on 16 February 1942. According to one comrade of Kim's mother, Lee Min, word of Kim's birth first reached an army camp in Vyatskoye via radio and that both Kim and his mother did not return there until the following year. In 1945, Kim was four years old when World War II ended and Korea regained independence from Japan, his father returned to Pyongyang that September, in late November Kim returned to Korea via a Soviet ship, landing at Sonbong. The family moved into a former Japanese officer's mansion with a garden and pool. Kim Jong-il's brother drowned there in 1948. Reports indicate that his mother died in childbirth in 1949. According to his official biography, Kim completed the course of general education between September 1950 and August 1960.
He attended Middle School No. 1 in Pyongyang. This is contested by foreign academics, who believe he is more to have received his early education in the People's Republic of China as a precaution to ensure his safety during the Korean War. Throughout his schooling, Kim was involved in politics, he was active in the Korean Children's Union and the Democratic Youth League of North Korea, taking part in study groups of Marxist political theory and other literature. In September 1957 he became vice-chairman of his middle school's DYL branch, he pursued a programme of anti-factionalism and attempted to encourage greater ideological education among his classmates. Kim is said to have received English language education in Malta in the early 1970s on his infrequent holidays there as a guest of Prime Minister Dom Mintoff; the elder Kim had another son, Kim Pyong-il. Since 1988, Kim Pyong-il has served in a series of North Korean embassies in Europe and was the North Korean ambassador to Poland. Foreign commentators suspect that Kim Pyong-il was sent to these distant posts by his father in order to avoid a power struggle between his two sons.
By the time of the Sixth Party Congress in October 1980, Kim Jong-il's control of the Party operation was complete. He was given senior posts in the Military Commission and the party Secretariat. According to his official biography, the WPK Central Committee had anointed him successor to Kim Il-sung in February 1974; when he was made a member of the Seventh Supreme People's Assembly in February 1982, international observers deemed him the heir apparent of North Korea. Prior to 1980, he had no public profile and was referred to only as the "Party Centre". At this time Kim assumed the title "Dear Leader", the government began building a personality cult around him patterned after that of his father, the "Great Leader". Kim Jong-il was hailed by the media as the "fearless leader" and "the great successor to the revolutionary cause", he emerged as the most powerful figure behind his father in North Korea. On 24 December 1991, Kim was named Supreme Commander of the Korean People's Army. Defence Minister Oh Jin-wu, one of Kim Il-sung's mo
The Guardian is a British daily newspaper. It was founded in 1821 as The Manchester Guardian, changed its name in 1959. Along with its sister papers The Observer and The Guardian Weekly, the Guardian is part of the Guardian Media Group, owned by the Scott Trust; the trust was created in 1936 to "secure the financial and editorial independence of the Guardian in perpetuity and to safeguard the journalistic freedom and liberal values of the Guardian free from commercial or political interference". The trust was converted into a limited company in 2008, with a constitution written so as to maintain for The Guardian the same protections as were built into the structure of the Scott Trust by its creators. Profits are reinvested in journalism rather than distributed to shareholders; the current editor is Katharine Viner: she succeeded Alan Rusbridger in 2015. Since 2018, the paper's main newsprint sections have been published in tabloid format; as of November that year, its print edition had a daily circulation of 136,834.
The newspaper has an online edition, TheGuardian.com, as well as two international websites, Guardian Australia and Guardian US. The paper's readership is on the mainstream left of British political opinion, its reputation as a platform for liberal and left-wing editorial has led to the use of the "Guardian reader" and "Guardianista" as often-pejorative epithets for those of left-leaning or "politically correct" tendencies. Frequent typographical errors in the paper led Private Eye magazine to dub it the "Grauniad" in the 1960s, a nickname still used today. In an Ipsos MORI research poll in September 2018 designed to interrogate the public's trust of specific titles online, The Guardian scored highest for digital-content news, with 84% of readers agreeing that they "trust what see in it". A December 2018 report of a poll by the Publishers Audience Measurement Company stated that the paper's print edition was found to be the most trusted in the UK in the period from October 2017 to September 2018.
It was reported to be the most-read of the UK's "quality newsbrands", including digital editions. While The Guardian's print circulation is in decline, the report indicated that news from The Guardian, including that reported online, reaches more than 23 million UK adults each month. Chief among the notable "scoops" obtained by the paper was the 2011 News International phone-hacking scandal—and in particular the hacking of the murdered English teenager Milly Dowler's phone; the investigation led to the closure of the News of the World, the UK's best-selling Sunday newspaper and one of the highest-circulation newspapers in history. In June 2013, The Guardian broke news of the secret collection by the Obama administration of Verizon telephone records, subsequently revealed the existence of the surveillance program PRISM after knowledge of it was leaked to the paper by the whistleblower and former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. In 2016, The Guardian led an investigation into the Panama Papers, exposing then-Prime Minister David Cameron's links to offshore bank accounts.
It has been named "newspaper of the year" four times at the annual British Press Awards: most in 2014, for its reporting on government surveillance. The Manchester Guardian was founded in Manchester in 1821 by cotton merchant John Edward Taylor with backing from the Little Circle, a group of non-conformist businessmen, they launched their paper after the police closure of the more radical Manchester Observer, a paper that had championed the cause of the Peterloo Massacre protesters. Taylor had been hostile to the radical reformers, writing: "They have appealed not to the reason but the passions and the suffering of their abused and credulous fellow-countrymen, from whose ill-requited industry they extort for themselves the means of a plentiful and comfortable existence, they do not toil, neither do they spin, but they live better than those that do." When the government closed down the Manchester Observer, the mill-owners' champions had the upper hand. The influential journalist Jeremiah Garnett joined Taylor during the establishment of the paper, all of the Little Circle wrote articles for the new paper.
The prospectus announcing the new publication proclaimed that it would "zealously enforce the principles of civil and religious Liberty warmly advocate the cause of Reform endeavour to assist in the diffusion of just principles of Political Economy and support, without reference to the party from which they emanate, all serviceable measures". In 1825 the paper merged with the British Volunteer and was known as The Manchester Guardian and British Volunteer until 1828; the working-class Manchester and Salford Advertiser called the Manchester Guardian "the foul prostitute and dirty parasite of the worst portion of the mill-owners". The Manchester Guardian was hostile to labour's claims. Of the 1832 Ten Hours Bill, the paper doubted whether in view of the foreign competition "the passing of a law positively enacting a gradual destruction of the cotton manufacture in this kingdom would be a much less rational procedure." The Manchester Guardian dismissed strikes as the work of outside agitators: " if an accommodation can be effected, the occupation of the agents of the Union is gone.
They live on strife "The Manchester Guardian was critical of US President Abraham Lincoln's conduct during the US Civil War, writing on the news that Abraham Lincoln had been assassinated: "Of his rule, we can never speak except as a series of acts abhorrent to every true notion of constitutional right and human liberty " C. P. Scott ma
Card stunts are a planned, coordinated sequence of actions performed by an audience, whose members raise cards that, in the aggregate, create a recognizable image. The images they create can range and, through careful planning, the same cards can create a number of different images by systematically changing how the cards are held up. Although card stunts are now performed at a variety of events ranging from sports to political rallies, the card stunt is associated with American football college football, as well as football where it can form part of a tifo; the North Korean mass games Arirang Festival, were the first to extend the card stunt to an art form, using flip-book cards to produce enormous hour-long animated sequences. In Mexico's Heroic Military Academy, card stunts are done during various occasions on September 13, the anniversary of the Battle of Chapultepec, where a program is made in honor of this great battle. North Korea's yearly Arirang Festival known as the Mass Games, in Pyongyang capitalizes on choreography and card stunt to create sweeping images across the stadium.
The festival is famed for the use of this technique as part of the iconographic propaganda art of the regime. Card stunts are performed in certain sporting events in Thailand, they are associated with Jaturamitr Samakkee and Chula–Thammasat Traditional Football Match, but are employed in most school- and university-level sporting events where performances by the seated crowd play an important part in the competition. In addition to plain colored cards, other objects such as umbrellas and reflective surfaces are used, special plates with multiple tiles of colored card booklets are used to create detailed aggregate images; the origin of such performances in Thailand can be traced back to Assumption College, a member of the Jaturamitr, where in 1942, by the instruction of Cherd Sudara, a teacher at the school, differently-uniformed students in the audience arranged to form the school's initials. This developed into dynamic messages by physical movement of the crowd and the covering and exposure of specific-colored clothing.
The Chula–Thammasat Traditional Football Match adopted the card stunt in 1957. As a part of larger events, performances by Chulalongkorn University students were featured in the opening ceremony of the 1974 Asian Games at Tehran, eight thousand students from the Jaturamitr schools performed during the 1999 FESPIC Games in Bangkok. A 2006 Super Bowl commercial by Budweiser, titled "The Wave", features a fictional card stunt using computer animation; the crowd at the Rose Bowl performs a card stunt which shows a beer bottle being opened and poured around the stadium into a glass and subsequently being consumed one gulp at a time. The crowd finished with a collective "AHHHH". In February, 2006 the Gillette company sponsored the "World's Largest Card Stunt" at the NASCAR Daytona 500 with over 118,000 fans set to participate. During the singing of the US National Anthem, fans held up cards forming a patriotic design consisting of stars and stripes. Following the anthem, fans flipped the cards to display the "Gillette Fusion" logo.
The card stunt was produced by JacobDavis Productions. The first card stunt was performed by students at the University of California, Berkeley during the 1910 Big Game against rival Stanford University, consisted of two stunts in total: a picture of the Stanford Axe and a large blue "C" on a white background. While the card stunt is associated with college football, this first instance took place at a rugby match because all the major colleges and universities on the West Coast of the United States had dropped football in favor of rugby during the early 1910s; as universities switched back, students brought the card stunts with them and by that time they became a national phenomenon associated with college football. While the tradition has subsided at many American colleges and universities, Cal maintains the tradition through the UC Rally Committee. "Block I", the football student cheering section at the University of Illinois maintains the tradition by performing a 2000-member, 12-image card stunt during halftime of each home football game.
Card stunts have been the object of several famous college pranks, including the Great Rose Bowl Hoax and the 2004 Harvard-Yale Prank. At the opening and closing ceremonies of Moscow 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow at the Olympic Stadium, some 6,800 Soviet Army cadets in front of the presidium created many images using this technique; the cadets practiced some six months to perfect their card formations. One of the most memorable was a Misha with a tear dropping, during the closing ceremonies of the event; the opening ceremony of the 1984 Summer Olympics at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum boasted the single, biggest card stunt at the time. 85,000 spectators found colored cards in their seats. However, there is question today whether 140 flags were indeed flashed because only 87 sections at that time could accommodate only 87 flag sections. A similar stunt was tried at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games opening ceremony as well, which featured 82 nations vs. Los Angeles' supposed 140 images flashed, 55,000 spectators in Vancouver vs. the 85,000 cards ordered and used in 1984.
The stunt at Vancouver was performed in a dimly lit setting, w
Reuters is an international news organization. It has nearly 200 locations around the world; until 2008, the Reuters news agency formed part of an independent company, Reuters Group plc, a provider of financial market data. Since the acquisition of Reuters Group by the Thomson Corporation in 2008, the Reuters news agency has been a part of Thomson Reuters, making up the media division. Reuters transmits news in English, German, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, Japanese and Chinese, it was established in 1851. The Reuter agency was established in 1851 by Paul Julius Reuter in Britain at the London Royal Exchange. Paul Reuter worked at a book-publishing firm in Berlin and was involved in distributing radical pamphlets at the beginning of the Revolutions in 1848; these publications brought much attention to Reuter, who in 1850 developed a prototype news service in Aachen using homing pigeons and electric telegraphy from 1851 on in order to transmit messages between Brussels and Aachen, in what today is Aachen's Reuters House.
Upon moving to England, he founded Reuter's Telegram Company in 1851. Headquartered in London, the company covered commercial news, serving banks, brokerage houses, business firms; the first newspaper client to subscribe was the London Morning Advertiser in 1858. Afterwards more newspapers signed up, with Britannica Encyclopedia writing that "the value of Reuters to newspapers lay not only in the financial news it provided but in its ability to be the first to report on stories of international importance." Reuter's agency built a reputation in Europe and the rest of the world as the first to report news scoops from abroad. Reuters was the first to report Abraham Lincoln's assassination in Europe, for instance, in 1865. In 1872, Reuters expanded into the far east, followed by South America in 1874. Both expansions were made possible by advances in overland telegraphs and undersea cables. In 1883, Reuters began transmitting messages electrically to London newspapers. In 1923, Reuters began using radio to transmit a pioneering act.
In 1925, The Press Association of Great Britain acquired a majority interest in Reuters, full ownership some years later. During the world wars, The Guardian reported that Reuters "came under pressure from the British government to serve national interests. In 1941 Reuters deflected the pressure by restructuring itself as a private company." The new owners formed the Reuters Trust. In 1941, the PA sold half of Reuters to the Newspaper Proprietors' Association, co-ownership was expanded in 1947 to associations that represented daily newspapers in New Zealand and Australia; the Reuters Trust Principles were put in place to maintain the company's independence. At that point, Reuters had become "one of the world's major news agencies, supplying both text and images to newspapers, other news agencies, radio and television broadcasters." At that point, it directly or through national news agencies provided service "to most countries, reaching all the world's leading newspapers and many thousands of smaller ones," according to Britannica.
In 1961, Reuters scooped news of the erection of the Berlin Wall. Reuters was one of the first news agencies to transmit financial data over oceans via computers in the 1960s. In 1973, Reuters "began making computer-terminal displays of foreign-exchange rates available to clients." In 1981, Reuters began making electronic transactions on its computer network and afterwards developed a number of electronic brokerage and trading services. Reuters was floated as a public company in 1984, when Reuters Trust was listed on the stock exchanges such as the London Stock Exchange and NASDAQ. Reuters published the first story of the Berlin Wall being breached in 1989; the share price grew during the dotcom boom fell after the banking troubles in 2001. In 2002, Brittanica wrote that most news throughout the world came from three major agencies: the Associated Press and Agence France-Presse. Reuters merged with Thomson Corporation in Canada in 2008. In 2009, Thomson Reuters withdrew from the LSE and the NASDAQ, instead listing its shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange.
The last surviving member of the Reuters family founders, Baroness de Reuter, died at age 96 on 25 January 2009. The parent company Thomson Reuters is headquartered in Toronto, provides financial information to clients while maintaining its traditional news-agency business. In 2012, Thomson Reuters appointed Jim Smith as CEO; every major news outlet in the world subscribed to Reuters as of 2014. Reuters operated in more than 200 cities in 94 countries in about 20 languages as of 2014. In July 2016, Thomson Reuters agreed to sell its intellectual property and science operation for $3.55 billion to private equity firms. In October 2016, Thomson Reuters announced relocations to Toronto; as part of cuts and restructuring, in November 2016, Thomson Reuters Corp. eliminated 2,000 worldwide jobs out of its around 50,000 employees. Reuters employs 600 photojournalists in about 200 locations worldwide. Reuters journalists use the Reuters Handbook of Journalism as a guide for fair presentation and disclosure of relevant interests, to maintain the values of integrity and freedom upon which their reputation for reliability, accuracy and exclusivity relies.
In May 2000, Kurt Schork, an American reporter, was killed in an ambush while on assignment in Sierra Leone. In April and August 2003, news cameramen Taras Protsyuk and Mazen Dana were killed in separate incidents by U. S. troops in Iraq. In July 2007, Namir Noor-Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh were killed when they w
Politics of North Korea
The politics of North Korea takes place within the framework of the official state philosophy, Juche, a concept created by Hwang Jang-yop and attributed to Kim Il-sung. The Juche theory is the belief that through self-reliance and a strong independent state, true socialism can be achieved. North Korea's political system is built upon the principle of centralization. While the North Korean constitution formally guarantees protection of human rights, in practice there are severe limits on freedom of expression, the government supervises the lives of North Korean citizens; the constitution defines North Korea as "a dictatorship of people's democracy" under the leadership of the Workers' Party of Korea, given legal supremacy over other political parties. The WPK is the ruling party of North Korea, it has been in power since its creation in 1948. Two minor political parties exist, but are bound to accept the ruling role of the WPK. They, with the WPK, comprise the popular front Democratic Front for the Reunification of the Fatherland.
Elections occur only in single-candidate races where the candidate is selected beforehand by the WPK. In addition to the parties, there are over 100 mass organizations controlled by the WPK; those who are not WPK members are required to join one of these organizations. Of these, the most important ones are the Kimilsungist-Kimjongilist Youth League, Socialist Women's Union of Korea, General Federation of Trade Unions of Korea, Union of Agricultural Workers of Korea; these four organizations are DFRF members. Kim Il-sung ruled the country from 1948 until his death in July 1994, holding the offices of General Secretary of the WPK from 1949 to 1994, Premier of North Korea from 1948 to 1972 and President from 1972 to 1994, he was succeeded by Kim Jong-il. While the younger Kim had been his father's designated successor since the 1980s, it took him three years to consolidate his power, he was named to his father's old post of General Secretary in 1997, in 1998 became chairman of the National Defence Commission, which gave him command of the armed forces.
The constitution was amended to make the NDC chairmanship "the highest post in the state." At the same time, the presidential post was written out of the constitution, Kim Il-sung was designated "Eternal President of the Republic" in order to honor his memory forever. Most analysts believe the title to be a product of the cult of personality he cultivated during his life. Outside observers views North Korea as a totalitarian dictatorship noting the elaborate cult of personality around Kim Il-sung and his family; the Workers' Party of Korea, led by a member of the ruling family, holds power in the state and leads the Democratic Front for the Reunification of the Fatherland of which all political officers are required to be members.. In recent years, there has been great emphasis on "military-first" philosophy. All references to communism were removed from the North Korean constitution in 2009; the status of the military has been enhanced, it appears to occupy the center of the North Korean political system.
Kim Jong-il's public activity focused on "on-the-spot guidance" of places and events related to the military. The enhanced status of the military and military-centered political system was confirmed at the first session of the 10th Supreme People's Assembly by the promotion of NDC members into the official power hierarchy. All ten NDC members were ranked within the top twenty on 5 September, all but one occupied the top twenty at the fiftieth anniversary of the Day of the Foundation of the Republic on 9 September. According to the Constitution of North Korea, the country is a democratic republic and the Supreme People's Assembly and Provincial People's Assemblies are elected by direct universal suffrage and secret ballot. Suffrage is guaranteed to all citizens aged 17 and over. In reality, elections in North Korea are for feature single-candidate races only; those who want to vote against the sole candidate on the ballot must go to a special booth - in the presence of an electoral official - to cross out the candidate's name before dropping it into the ballot box—an act which, according to many North Korean defectors, is far too risky to contemplate.
All elected candidates are members of the Democratic Front for the Reunification of the Fatherland, a popular front dominated by the ruling Workers' Party of Korea. The two minor parties in the coalition are the Chondoist Chongu Party and the Korean Social Democratic Party; the WPK exercises direct control over the candidates selected for election by members of the other two parties. In the past, elections were contested by other minor parties as well, including the Korea Buddhist Federation, Democratic Independent Party, Dongro People's Party, Gonmin People's Alliance, People's Republic Party. A close ally of Joseph Stalin's Soviet Union, North Korea has emphasized Juche, an adoption of socialist self-reliance, which roots from Marxism–Leninism, its adoption of a certain ideological form of Marxism-Leninism is specific to the conditions of North Korea. Juche was enshrined as the official ideology when the country adopted a new constitution in 1972. In 2009, the constitution was amended again removing the brief references to communism.
Division of Korea
The Division of Korea began at the end of World War II in 1945. With the defeat of Japan, the Soviet Union occupied the north of Korea, the United States occupied the south, with the boundary between their zones being the 38th parallel. With the onset of the Cold War, negotiations between the United States and the Soviet Union failed to lead to an independent and unified Korea. In 1948, UN-supervised elections were held in the US-occupied south only. Syngman Rhee won the election; this led to the establishment of the Republic of Korea in South Korea, promptly followed by the establishment of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in North Korea. The United States supported the South, the Soviet Union supported the North, each government claimed sovereignty over the whole Korean peninsula. In 1950, North Korea invaded the South to try to reunify the peninsula under its communist rule; the subsequent Korean War, which lasted from 1950 to 1953, ended with a stalemate and has left the two Koreas separated by the Korean Demilitarized Zone up to the present day.
Diplomatic initiatives have so far failed to end the division. When the Russo-Japanese War ended in 1905 Korea became a nominal protectorate of Japan, was annexed by Japan in 1910; the Korean Emperor Gojong was removed. In the following decades and radical groups emerged in exile, to struggle for independence. Divergent in their outlooks and approaches, these groups failed to unite in one national movement; the Korean Provisional Government in China failed to obtain widespread recognition. At the Cairo Conference in November 1943, in the middle of World War Two, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Chiang Kai-shek agreed that Japan should lose all the territories it had conquered by force. At the end of the conference, the three powers declared that they were, "mindful of the enslavement of the people of Korea... determined that in due course Korea shall become free and independent." Roosevelt floated the idea of a trusteeship over Korea, but did not obtain agreement from the other powers.
Roosevelt raised the idea with Joseph Stalin at the Tehran Conference in November 1943 and the Yalta Conference in February 1945. Stalin advocated that the period of trusteeship be short. At the Tehran and Yalta Conferences, Stalin promised to join his allies in the Pacific War in two to three months after victory in Europe. On August 8, 1945, three months to the day after the end of hostilities in Europe, two days after the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, the Soviet Union declared war on Japan; as war began, the Commander-in-Chief of Soviet Forces in the Far East, Marshal Aleksandr Vasilevsky, called on Koreans to rise up against Japan, saying "a banner of liberty and independence is rising in Seoul". Soviet troops advanced and the US government became anxious that they would occupy the whole of Korea. On August 10, 1945 two young officers – Dean Rusk and Charles Bonesteel – were assigned to define an American occupation zone. Working on short notice and unprepared, they used a National Geographic map to decide on the 38th parallel.
They chose it because it divided the country in half but would place the capital Seoul under American control. No experts on Korea were consulted; the two men were unaware that forty years before and pre-revolutionary Russia had discussed sharing Korea along the same parallel. Rusk said that had he known, he "almost surely" would have chosen a different line; the division placed sixteen million Koreans in the American zone and nine million in the Soviet zone. To the surprise of the Americans, the Soviet Union accepted the division; the agreement was incorporated into General Order No. 1 for the surrender of Japan. Soviet forces began amphibious landings in Korea by August 14 and took over the north-east of the country, on August 16 they landed at Wonsan. On August 24, the Red Army reached Pyongyang. General Nobuyuki Abe, the last Japanese Governor-General of Korea, had established contact with a number of influential Koreans since the beginning of August 1945 to prepare the hand-over of power. Throughout August, Koreans organized people's committee branches for the "Committee for the Preparation of Korean Independence", led by Lyuh Woon-hyung, a left-wing politician.
On September 6, 1945, a congress of representatives was convened in Seoul and founded the short-lived People's Republic of Korea. In the spirit of consensus, conservative elder statesman Syngman Rhee, living in exile in the US, was nominated as President; when Soviet troops entered Pyongyang, they found a local branch of the Committee for the Preparation of Korean Independence operating under the leadership of veteran nationalist Cho Man-sik. The Soviet Army allowed these "People's Committees" to function. In September 1945, the Soviet administration issued its own currency, the "Red Army won". In 1946, Colonel-General Terentii Shtykov took charge of the administration and began to lobby the Soviet government for funds to support the ailing economy. In February 1946 a provisional government called the Provisional People's Committee was formed under Kim Il-sung, who had spent the last years of the war training with Soviet troops in Manchuria. Conflicts and power struggles ensued at the top levels of government in Pyongyang as different aspirants maneuvered to gain positions of power in the new government.
In March 1946 the provisional government instituted a sweeping land-reform program: land belonging to Japanese and collaborator landowners was divided and redistributed to poor farmers. Organizing the many poor civilians and agricultura