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The Democratic People's Republic of Korea

110 pages30 minutes


North Korea ranks among the world’s most centrally planned and isolated economies. The resulting economic distortions and the government’s reluctance to publicize economic data limit the amount of reliable information available. State-owned industry still produces nearly all manufacturing goods and the regime continues to emphasize heavy and military industries at the expense of light and consumer industries under the songun (military first ideology). Although the country has a Constitution and theoretically an executive, a legislative and a judiciary system, in practice the system is a one-man dictatorship, enforced through the political machinery of the only party – the Korean’s Workers’ Party – and the military elite. In the 1992-1998 massive famine may have killed as many as 10% of the population. The estimated GNP per capita in 2006 was about $ 1038, approximately the same as Honduras, Guyana, and Cameroon. However, North Korea spends 20-25% of its GNP in the military sector.

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