North Korea and South Korea are the two countries that reside in the Korean Peninsula. Originally Korea was a single empire, under the rule of Japan until August 15, 1945, when both these countries gained independence. However, later, the Korean peninsula divided into two countries after the WWII when North Korea didn’t participate in the election in South Korea which was conducted by United Nations.
What is North Korea?
North Korea located in the northern side of the Korean peninsula got separated from its neighbor South Korea after the end of WWII. Being an ally of Russia, it embraced Communism as its form of government, which lasted even after the fall of USSR at the end of WWII. Eventually, on September 9, 1948, Kim II-sung as its first President found the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North).
Even today, North Korea’s government type is a communist dictatorship in which Kim Jong II acts as the Chief of State since 1994. The largest city in North Korea with a population of more than 3 million and is Pyongyang which also means “flat land”. Zinc, iron, ore, gold, and lead are some of the natural resources that can be found in North Korea.
Due to the communist dictatorial rule in North Korea, human rights are severely violated with reported cases of rape, torture, forced labor, and over 200,000 political prisoners. Many North Koreans cross to China in order to avoid oppression and starvation.
North Korea tried to conquer the south but the war (although not officially over) ended with essentially the status quo ante and friction on both sides. As a result, the two countries are divided by the ‘demilitarized zone’, which is one of the heavily armed borders in the world. However, recently both parties have taken several peace attempts.
What is South Korea?
After the WWII, South Korea accepted the election administered by United Nations thus founded the Republic of Korea (South) on August 15, 1945. Therefore, as an ally of United States, the majority of the people in South Korea accepted Democracy. And in 1945, President Syngman Rhee as its first president formed Republic of Korea. Seoul, which is also the 8th largest city in the world with over 10 million in population, is South Korea’s capital.
Almost 1/2 of the whole population in South Korea do not identify themselves with any religion. South Korea’s growth is tremendous; within 4 decades it has grown from a poor country to a hi-tech industrialized economy. Now it’s among the world’s 20 largest economies. The CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) regarded South Korea as a fully-functioning modern democratic country. Furthermore, South Korea’s popular culture through K-pop, TV drama act as a rising soft power in the world.
What is the Difference Between North Korea and South Korea?
North Korea vs South Korea
|North Korea is the separate state situated in the northern side of the Korean Peninsula||South Korea is the separate state situated in the southern side of the Korean Peninsula|
|North Korean Communist form of government is more of a dictatorship type compared to the South Korean’s.||South Korea has a republic form of government.|
|Democratic People’s Republic of Korea||Republic of Korea|
|North Korea’s current Supreme Leader, also called as Generalissimo, is Kim Jong II||South Korea’s current President is Moon Jae-in|
|Capital of North Korea is Pyongyang.||Capital of South Korea is Seoul.|
|120,538 sq km||99,720 sq km|
|Natural Resources in North Korea are coal, tungsten, graphite, molybdenum, lead and hydropower.||Natural Resources in South Korea are coal, lead, tungsten, zinc, graphite, magnesite, iron ore, copper, gold, pyrites, salt, fluorspar, and hydropower.|
|Population in North Korea is 22,757,275 (World ranking 50)||Population in South Korea is 48,636,068 (World ranking 26)|
|Literacy rate in North Korea is 99%||Literacy rate in South Korea is 97.9%|
|GDP per capita|
|GDP per capita in North Korea is 1, 800 (2009 est)||GDP per capita in South Korea is $28,500 (2009 est)|
Summary – North Korea vs South Korea
Though located on the same peninsula, North Korea and South Korea are two states with two entirely different forms of governments. The difference between North Korea and South Korea is North Korea is a communist country with a dictatorial leadership. On the contrary, South Korea is a Republican country with a democratic leadership. Hence, the form of governments and administrative procedures of these two countries have created a drastic difference between them.