North Korea
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK; Chosŏn'gŭl
Hangul,Pronounced or ; Korean: 한글 Hangeul/Han'gŭl or 조선글 Chosŏn'gŭl/Joseongeul the Korean alphabet, is the native alphabet of the Korean language. It is a separate script from Hanja, the logographic Chinese characters which are also sometimes used to write Korean...

: , Hanja
Hanja is the Korean name for the Chinese characters hanzi. More specifically, it refers to those Chinese characters borrowed from Chinese and incorporated into the Korean language with Korean pronunciation...

: ), (commonly known as North Korea ), is a country in East Asia
East Asia
East Asia or Eastern Asia is a subregion of Asia that can be defined in either geographical or cultural terms...

, occupying the northern half of the Korean Peninsula
Korean Peninsula
The Korean Peninsula is a peninsula in East Asia. It extends southwards for about 684 miles from continental Asia into the Pacific Ocean and is surrounded by the Sea of Japan to the south, and the Yellow Sea to the west, the Korea Strait connecting the first two bodies of water.Until the end of...

. Its capital and largest city is Pyongyang
Pyongyang is the capital of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, commonly known as North Korea, and the largest city in the country. Pyongyang is located on the Taedong River and, according to preliminary results from the 2008 population census, has a population of 3,255,388. The city was...

. The Korean Demilitarized Zone
Korean Demilitarized Zone
The Korean Demilitarized Zone is a strip of land running across the Korean Peninsula that serves as a buffer zone between North and South Korea. The DMZ cuts the Korean Peninsula roughly in half, crossing the 38th parallel on an angle, with the west end of the DMZ lying south of the parallel and...

 serves as the buffer zone
Buffer zone
A buffer zone is generally a zonal area that lies between two or more other areas , but depending on the type of buffer zone, the reason for it may be to segregate regions or to conjoin them....

 between North Korea and South Korea
South Korea
The Republic of Korea , , is a sovereign state in East Asia, located on the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. It is neighbored by the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east, North Korea to the north, and the East China Sea and Republic of China to the south...

. The Amnok
Yalu River
The Yalu River or the Amnok River is a river on the border between North Korea and the People's Republic of China....

, or Yalu, and the Tumen
Tumen River
The Tumen River is a 521 km-long river that serves as part of the boundary between China, North Korea, and Russia, rising in Mount Baekdu and flowing into the Sea of Japan....

 rivers form the border between North Korea and China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

. A section of the Tumen River in the far northeast is the border with Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...


The peninsula was governed by the Korean Empire
Korean Empire
The Greater Korean Empire was an empire of Korea that succeeded the Joseon Dynasty.In October 1897, Emperor Gojong proclaimed the new entity at Gyeongungung Palace and oversaw the partially successful modernization of the military, economy, land system, education system, and various industries...

 until it was annexed by Japan
Korea under Japanese rule
Korea was under Japanese rule as part of Japan's 35-year imperialist expansion . Japanese rule ended in 1945 shortly after the Japanese defeat in World War II....

 following the Russo-Japanese War
Russo-Japanese War
The Russo-Japanese War was "the first great war of the 20th century." It grew out of rival imperial ambitions of the Russian Empire and Japanese Empire over Manchuria and Korea...

 of 1905.

1945    The official North Korean newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, is first published under the name ''Chongro''. Australia joins the United Nations.

1946    The Chondoist Chongu Party is founded in North Korea.

1948    The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) is established, with Kim Il-sung as leader.

1948    Republic Day of Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

1950    The Korean War begins with the invasion of South Korea by North Korea.

1950    Seoul is captured by North Korean troops.

1950    Korean War: North Korean troops initiate the Battle of Taejon.

1950    United Nations troops recapture Seoul from the North Koreans.

1950    Korean War: United States Air Force Lt. Russell J. Brown shoots down two North Korean MiG-15s in the first jet aircraft-to-jet aircraft dogfight in history.

1950    Korean War: Troops from the People's Republic of China launch a massive counterattack in North Korea against South Korean and United Nations forces (the Battle of the Ch'ongch'on River and the Battle of Chosin Reservoir), ending any hopes of a quick end to the conflict.