North Korea came into existence as an independent country in 1945 with the defeat of Japan in WWII. Prior to this, it was part of the larger Korean State and shares its history, language, ethnicity, and culture with South Korea.The division of the Koreas was a direct result of the hardening of relations between the U.S. and the Soviet Union after the World War; the parallel along which Korea is divided marks the line where each nation took the surrender of the Japanese. Known in the U.S. as the invader of South Korea in 1950, in its attempt to unify the country, North Korea is today the most isolationist nation in the world.Originally dependent upon the Soviet Union for support, it has pursued a policy of self-reliance(Juche) since the collapse of its ally. A highly controlled Communist police state, North Korea is ruled by Kim Jung Il (Dear Leader), son of Kim Il Sung (Great Leader). For more information on North Korea, please click on the above buttons.