Why North Korea Still Exist

Political Reasons for the Sustainability of North Korea

North Korea has been ruled by a faction of the ruling family, the Kim dynasty, for the past seventy years. It is an authoritarian state led by the Supreme Leader, Kim Jong Un. North Korea is the only country in the world that is still a communist state. As a consequence of this, the North Korean society has been relatively stable and has been resistant to certain types of change, such as technological advancement and liberalization.
The country has remained largely isolated from the rest of the world due to its advancing military technology, its aggressive foreign policy, and its nuclear weapons program. This isolation has allowed the North Korean government to maintain its grip on power. North Korea’s heavily militarized borders are a deterrent to any possible invasion or regime change, and the threat of nuclear weapons serves as a deterrent to foreign interference.
The country’s security and stability is also assured by the presence of its allies, such as China and Russia. These two states have both pledged to protect North Korea from military intervention, and also provide it with economic and political support. The presence of these allies also serves to deter other states from taking a hostile stance toward North Korea.
North Korea has survived several waves of internal unrest, such as famines, political purges and social unrest. Despite these internal crises, the North Korean government has remained steadfast in its resistance to foreign interference and the preservation of its sovereignty. This resilience is partly due to the stringent control of access to information that is implemented by the North Korean government. This means that the country is not as exposed to external influences in the way that some other countries may be.
Finally, North Korea has been highly successful in utilizing its propaganda machine to its advantage. The North Korean government has made sure that its citizens are fed a constant diet of stories of the greatness of the nation, which allows it to maintain an idea of unity and loyalty among its people. The government also tightly controls the media, limiting access to outside sources of information, which further adds to its ability to sustain its current regime.

Economic Reasons for the Sustainability of North Korea

The traditional North Korean economy is based on state-owned enterprises and a centrally planned model of economic planning. This system has allowed the North Korean government to control economic activity and to restrict access to foreign currencies, goods, and technology.
North Korea has been able to withstand sanctions imposed on it from the international community due to its self-sufficient nature. Since the state controls all of the major economic activities within the country, its ability to meet the needs of its citizens is not as reliant on foreign capital or imports. By keeping its economy closed off from the rest of the world, North Korea has also been able to remain largely unaffected by global economic trends that have affected other countries in the region.
In recent years, North Korea has implemented some economic reforms, such as partially allowing foreign investment, allowing foreign currency to be used in the country and allowing limited access to the internet and modern communication technologies. However, these reforms are tightly controlled by the government and are limited to the privileged in the country.
Despite the economic sanctions imposed on the country, the country operates a well-developed black-market. This market allows the people to access goods not available through the traditional channels and provides a source of income to circumvent the restrictions imposed on economic activity. This black-market activity has also provided an alternate source of income to the government, which allows it to sustain itself and remain independent of the global economy.

Social and Cultural Reasons for the Sustainability of North Korea

Despite the restrictions on civil liberties and freedom of speech, North Koreans generally have access to basic necessities such as food, shelter, and healthcare. The North Korean government has invested heavily in its education system and has implemented a range of policies to protect its citizens from exploitation. For example, the North Korean government has implemented laws prohibiting activities such as arranged marriages and human trafficking.
The North Korean government has also invested heavily in developing a strong national identity with North Korea being glorified as a ‘paradise on earth” where the citizens are loyal to the state and its leader. This has successfully prevented any dissent from the citizens, as they are either too scared or too loyal to question the practices of the state.
Religion is not officially recognized in North Korea and citizens are not allowed to practice religion. However, Buddhism still exists in the country and is practiced by some citizens. The government has also allowed some limited access to foreign culture, particularly from its allies such as China. This has allowed some citizens to access foreign culture, particularly music and art, which has further strengthened the North Korean culture.

Military Reasons for the Sustainability of North Korea

North Korea has one of the largest and most powerful military forces in the world. This has provided it with the ability to intimidate its neighbors and deter any potential aggression. The country has also invested heavily in its own domestic military production and has developed its own arms technology, giving it some degree of self-sufficiency.
The North Korean government also utilizes its military as part of its political and economic strategies. This includes the use of military personnel in some industrial and public services, such as in state-owned enterprises. The presence of military personnel also serves as a reminder of the power of the state and the loyalty of the population.
Finally, the North Korean military has also been a major source of arms for certain states and rebel groups, which has acted as an additional source of foreign exchange for the state. This foreign exchange has allowed it to buy military equipment from outside vendors and sustain its military capabilities.

The International Community and North Korea

The international community has been unable to effectively deal with the North Korean issue due to its authoritarian nature and its nuclear weapons program. This has resulted in a stalemate in relations between the two parties and North Korea remains relatively isolated from the international community.
The North Korean government is well aware of the power of the international community and has used this fact to its advantage. It regularly engages in negotiations with other states to secure aid and ease sanctions, while also using its nuclear weapons program as a bargaining chip. This has allowed the North Korean government to remain in control of its own destiny and maintain its current status.
The international community has also been unable to effectively craft sanctions against the North Korean government due to its secrecy and isolation. This has made it difficult for the international community to track the flow of goods into the country, as well as its economic activities. As a result, the effectiveness of sanctions has been significantly reduced, further allowing North Korea to sustain itself.

The Role of China and Russia in North Korea

China and Russia are North Korea’s two biggest allies, and are also the two countries that have provided the most support for the North Korean regime. Both countries have provided economic and political aid to North Korea, and have also acted as a barrier to any hostile actions taken against the country from the international community.
China and Russia have also been instrumental in helping North Korea maintain its isolation from the outside world. They have used their positions in global institutions, such as the United Nations, to oppose actions against North Korea and protect the regime from external pressure or interference.
Moreover, China and Russia both have an economic interest in keeping the North Korean regime in power. China has used North Korea as a buffer state to deter any hostile action from the United States and South Korea, while Russia has used North Korea as an entry point into the Asian market, while also benefiting from sales of fuel and other commodities.


The sustainability of the North Korean regime has been attributed to a range of factors, such as its internal strength and stability, its economic self-reliance and the support of its allies. The country’s isolation and its focus on internal politics and culture also play a major role in its survival. Additionally, the presence of China and Russia as allies and protectors of North Korea has been a major factor in allowing the North Korean government to remain in power.

Cassie Grissom is an American journalist and author living in Seoul, South Korea. She has been studying the Korean peninsula since 2011, and her work focuses on understanding human rights issues in North Korea. In addition to her work as an author, Cassie is an active advocate for human rights in North Korea. She regularly shares stories about life in North Korea with international audiences to raise awareness of the plight of its citizens.

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