NORTH KOREAN POLITICS AND PARTIES
North Korean Government System: Single-Party State
North Korea is a single-party state led by the Korean Workers' Party (KWP). The country's government follows the Juche ideology of
self-reliance developed by the country's first leader, Kim Il-sung. Juche became the official state ideology when the
country adopted a new constitution in 1972, though Kim Il-sung had been using it to form policy since at least as early as 1955. After the
collapse of the Soviet Union and a series of natural disasters a famine occurred and caused the death of 1 to 2 million people. Facing
these circumstances, leader Kim Jong-Il adopted Songun, or a "military-first" policy, supposedly in order to strengthen the country
and its government.
Many outside organizations describe North Korea as a totalitarian, single-party Stalinist dictatorship with an elaborate cult of personality
around the Kim family and as having one of the lowest-ranking human rights records of any country. North Korea
is one of the most militarized nations in the world with nearly 10 million active, reserve and paramilitary personnel. It is a nuclear-weapons state and
has an active (if primitive) space program.