North Korea is one of the world’s few remaining dictatorships, and a source of endless fascination from the outside. Officially known as the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea), it occupies the upper half of the Korean Peninsula. The name is somewhat of a misnomer, as the country is neither democratic, nor is it a republic. It’s capital is Pyongyang.

The country is also home to the world’s most popular dictator. Kim Jong Un. He took this role of the most popular dictator on earth following the death of his father, Kim Jong Il. The country was established in 1948 following its liberation from Japanese rule. For centuries, the two Koreas were a single nation. As a result of Cold War politics, the top half of the peninsula entered the Soviet sphere of influence, and the bottom half entered the American sphere of influence. The bottom half became what is known as South Korea or the ROK (Republic of Korea).

The nation saw early success as part of the Soviet block. In the decades that followed, however, its fortunes changed. The country started experiencing severe economic problems, which resulted in what was effectively economic stagnation, ultimately leading to famines. It is a sort of hermit kingom, with few economic partners and political allies beyond China and Russia.

Tensions are still high between the DPRK and the ROK. The two countries are still at war. They are one people united by a single goal. This goal is to reunify the two countries. The issue is that they have opposing ideologies. The DPRK seeks to spread their brand of communism to the South, and the ROK seeks to spread their brand of capitalism to the North.