The North Korea was formed as a separate state in 1948 in the Soviet occupation zone, after the approval of a socialist constitution. Head of government became the leader of the Communist Party (from 1949 Korean Workers’ Party) Kim Il Sung, who led the country continuously until 1994. Together with the modernization and planning and socialization efforts of agriculture Kim Il Sung moved towards a form of autonomy from the Soviet and Chinese models, called iuche. From 1972, with the launch of a new Constitution that attributed to the President of the Republic the function of head of the executive, Kim Il Sung assumed this position. In foreign policy the North Korea was admitted to the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries (1975) and to the UN (1991). Starting from 1971 he started contacts with Seoul to achieve a peaceful reunification of the country; these contacts were intensified from 1990 also due to the political isolation of Pyŏngyang following the crisis of the Soviet Union and the rapprochement between China and Southern Korea Although the improvement of Pyŏngyang’s relations with Japan and the USA seemed to confirm the détente process (together with the agreement for the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula), in the following years the situation was characterized by considerable instability.
According to localcollegeexplorer, Kim Il Sung’s death (1994) opened a period of institutional uncertainty. His son Kim Jong Il, long indicated as the probable successor, took over the leadership of the party only in 1997. At the same time serious economic problems arose, caused by the end of Soviet credits, by the drastic decrease in food exports by China. and the lack of aid from the USA. The limited opening to foreign capital was not able to improve the situation, which was made dramatic by the floods of 1995-96. At the same time there was a resumption of diplomatic contacts between the representatives of Korea of the North, Korea of the South, the United States and China which resulted in the meetings in Geneva (1997-99), but they did not lead to any conclusions. The continuation of the talks culminated in a historic meeting between Kim Jong Il and South Korean Prime Minister Kim Dae Jung (2000), during which an agreement was ratified which provided for a common commitment to the reunification of the two countries, the promotion of economic cooperation, and the easing of the state of tension along the border. However, the international situation, already compromised after the attacks of 11 September 2001, has become progressively more tense since 2003, when the North Korean government withdrew from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, starting from 2006 new nuclear tests that have provoked harsh reactions worldwide and which have not ceased even after the attempts at conciliation made by the USA in 2009; indeed, the following year the North Korea announced a new development of nuclear weapons with the aim of countering the hostile policy of the United States.
In this climate of strong tensions, the death of Kim Jong Il in December 2011 was viewed with great apprehension.and the transfer of leadership into the hands of his third son and designated successor Kim Jong-un; in the following period there was a resurgence of tensions with Southern Italy and the United States, as well as further developments in the nuclear program already underway. In April 2013, after Kim Jong-un’s repeated threats about a nuclear attack against Southern Korea and the United States, given the decision to prevent Southern workers from accessing the Kaesong industrial complex and reactivating the reactor Yong-byon nuclear power plant, the Pentagon has ordered the deployment of a missile defense system on the island of Guam, in the Pacific Ocean, where there is a US military base.
In the parliamentary elections for the renewal of the Supreme People’s Assembly held in March 2014 with a turnout of 99%, Kim Jong-un, the only candidate for his district, predictably obtained 100% of the votes. Despite the economic sanctions imposed on the country by the international community, atomic tests continued under his dictatorial regime, this increasing hostility in relations with the United States, which experienced moments of great tension following the launch in July 2017 of ICBMs and the repeated threats of an attack on the US territory of Guam. A phase of gradual thaw seems to have opened in the following months, starting with the relaxation of relations with South Korea favored by the Winter Olympics in February 2018 and the attempts to avoid frontal confrontations with the Trump administration. After Kim Jong-un’s statements in April 2018 on the renunciation of nuclear and missile tests, in the same month a historic meeting was held in the village of Panmunjŏm between the politician and South Korean President Moon Jae-in in which key issues such as the renunciation of nuclear weapons by Pyongyang and a peace treaty between the Koreas were discussed, while in June Kim Jong-un and Trump signed a document for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula at the summit held on the island of Sentosa (Singapore). In August 2020, the North Korean leader, prolonged absent from public life, delegated part of the powers to his younger sister Kim Yo-jong, deputy director of the Central Committee of the Labor Party.