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Synopsis

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, which is certainly better known as North Korea, has some difficulty in living up to its billing. There is cause to question the label of democracy and also whether the people come first. But the rest of the world is too busy concentrating on the more immanent problem of it becoming a nuclear power which might just use its bombs. Thus, like it or not, North Korea is a very important country despite its rudimentary economy and social woes, because it is a threat to its nearest neighbors South Korea and Japan, and even its sole “ally” China. That may change, or maybe not, because there is now a new ruler in Pyongyang, the third in a series of Kims.


This Historical Dictionary of the People’s Republic of Korea takes a very close look at the country, especially for the period from 1948 when it was founded, but also before so we know how it emerged, and this can be readily seen from an extensive chronology. The introduction traces its evolution more analytically, going from one period to the next, and ending with the arrival of Kim Jong Un. Obviously, in the dictionary section, there is an informative entry on him and also on his predecessor, Kim Jong Il, and the state’s founder, Kim Il Song, plus many other persons of note. Other entries deal with major events, institutions, economic, social and cultural features, and foreign relations. This ends with a reasonable bibliography, not that large as not that much is written, which only makes this historical dictionary more significant than others.

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