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Last Updated: Dec 03, 2007

Overview


North Korea has been run by Kim Jong IL since July 1994. Its official government is a Communist-led single-party state under the Juche system - a policy of economic self-reliance. The country is highly dependent on foreign aid for food.

Aid agencies have estimated that up to two million people have died since the mid-1990s because of acute food shortages caused by natural disasters and economic mismanagement. Despite these disasters, funds were used to develop nuclear weapons. In July 2006, North Korea launched seven missiles—the long-range Taepodong-2 missile (which failed) and six medium-range ones—roiling its neighbors and much of the rest of the world. North Korea maintains one of the world's largest standing armies.













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