Since the Korean war ended in the early 1950s, the Korean peninsula has been separated between two nations. South Korea has largely existed as a pro-western, pro-market economy and capitalistic nation. In the north, North Korea has largely existed as a communist, feudal-like dictatorship ruled by the family of the descendants of Kim Il Sung. The country has long been known as an international aggressor. For the unfortunate people that live there, their world appears quite different than in the western hemisphere. Internet access is largely restricted, and there is no such thing as freedom of speech. Everything is extremely ordered in the society, which remains extremely isolated and cut off from the rest of the world. The neighboring communist nation of China largely is responsible for the sustainability of the country, and maintains a strong trade relationship with the rogue state. Almost all of the country’s exports go to China, and it is extremely reliant on these exports for sustainability. North Korea is exporting about $300 million in products to the communist power. Materials like tungsten, coal, and watch movements (parts) are key products. The UN imposed sanctions on the country after 2016, and the nation has felt the brunt of these sanctions as trade has decreased.
The country continues to maintain its threatening position. A large military demonstration was held in the fall that featured large trucks (dump trucks and others that were civilian in design) that had been repurposed for military usage. Recently, another ballistic missile was launched from the country towards the sea according to the South Korean military. North Korea had announced months ago that it was testing new “engines” for missiles that could be used against the United States. This most recent launch was the first of 2024 for the communist state. Some experts claim that North Korea may have political intentions or hope to influence the upcoming South Korean or American presidential elections.