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North Korea

Yellow Sea, Sea of Japan, East Sea, Republic of Korea, World War II

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North Korea, officially Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, country in northeastern Asia that occupies the northern portion of the Korea Peninsula. North Korea is bounded on the north by China, on the northeast by Russia, on the east by the East Sea (Sea of Japan), on the south by South Korea, and on the west by the Yellow Sea. It has an area of 120,538 sq km (46,540 sq mi). The state of North Korea was established in 1948 as a result of the Soviet military occupation of the northern portion of the peninsula after World War II. The capital and largest city of North Korea is P’yongyang.


For younger readers

Du Bois, Jill. Korea. 2nd ed. Marshall Cavendish, 1996. For readers in grades 6 to 9.

Landau, Elaine. Korea. Children's Press, 1999, 2000. Information on both North and South Korea; for readers in grades 3 to 5.

Salter, Christopher. North Korea. Chelsea House, 2003. In the Modern World Nations series, for grades 6 to 12.

Korean history and culture

Cumings, Bruce. Korea's Place in the Sun: A Modern History. Norton, 1997. Comprehensive, informative account of Korea over the last few centuries.

Hoare, James E., and Susan Pares. Conflict in Korea: An Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO, 1999. Provides solid coverage of all aspects of the Korean conflict, from 1945 to the present.

Nahm, Andrew C. Introduction to Korean History and Culture. Hollym, 1993, 1998. Excellent overview, with emphasis on the modern period.

Oberdorfer, Don. The Two Koreas: A Contemporary History. Addison Wesley, 1997, 2001. Detailed, insightful history of North and South Korean politics: emphasis is on the last twenty years.

Portal, Jane. Korea: Art and Archaeology. Thames & Hudson, 2000. For the non-specialist, an informative introduction to Korea's cultural treasures.

North Korea

Breen, Michael. The Koreans: Who They Are, What They Want, Where Their Future Lies. St. Martin's, 1999. An in-depth portrait of a polarized people.

Nash, Amy K. North Korea. Chelsea House, 1991, 1999. Survey of the geography and history of North Korea; for younger readers.

Oh, Kongdan, and Ralph C. Hassig. North Korea Through the Looking Glass. Brookings Institution Press, 2000. A study of an isolated society.

Sun-Kyung, Yi. Inside the Hermit Kingdom. Key, 1997. Korean Canadian author (the first Western journalist allowed an “extended” visit of three weeks) returns to her homeland.

Savada, Andrea Matles, ed. North Korea: A Country Study. 4th ed. Library of Congress, 1994. General overview of geography, culture, politics, and history of North Korea.

Suh, Dae-Sook, ed. Kimm Il Sung: The North Korean Leader. Columbia University Press, 1988, 1995. A clear account of Kim's career, with observations on what is to come after him.

Suh, Dae-Sook, ed. North Korea After Kim Il Sung. Rienner, 1998. Eleven scholarly articles assess the future of North Korea.


Harrison, Selig S., B.A. Director of the Asia Program of the Center for International Policy and Senior Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; author of Korean Endgame: A Strategy for Reunification and U.S. Disengagement (2002) and The Widening Gulf.- Asian Nationalism and American Policy (1978); former Northeast Asia Bureau Chief of the Washington Post from 1968 to 1972 and senior associate of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace from 1974 to 1996.

Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2009. © 1993-2008 Microsoft Corporation.

Article key phrases:

Yellow Sea, Sea of Japan, East Sea, Republic of Korea, World War II, Russia, capital, China, South Korea, west, country, result, area

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