For the history of Korea, see Korea.
North Korea is the commonly used short form name for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (or DPRK), a state located in East Asia, in the northern half of the Korean Peninsula, with its capital in the city of Pyongyang.
To the south, separated by the Korean Demilitarized Zone, lies South Korea, with which it formed one nation until division following World War II. At its northern Amnok River border are China and, separated by the Tumen River in the extreme north-east, Russia.
North Korea is widely considered to be a Stalinist dictatorship. The country's government styles itself as following the Juche ideology of self reliance, developed by Kim Il-sung, the country's former leader. The current leader is Kim Jong-il, the late president Kim Il-sung's son. Relations are strongest with other officially socialist states, Vietnam, Laos, especially China and Russia, as well as with Cambodia and Burma. Following a major famine in the early 1990s, due partly to the collapse of the Soviet Union (previously a major economic partner), leader Kim Jong-il instigated the "Military-First" policy in 1995, increasing economic concentration and support for the military.
North Korea's culture is officially promoted and heavily controlled by the government. The Mass Games are government-organized events glorifying its two leaders, involving over 100,000 performers.