What impact has the division of the Korean peninsula had on the development of the two Koreas?

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In relation to politics and economy, the North and the South also handle the social aspect of development differently.On the matter of rights, the Northern state has been accused of being “the world’s worst violator of press freedom” (BBC “Media”).


In 1948, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea was established in the USSR-occupied North while the Republic of Korea was established in the US-occupied South. The succeeding Korean War, started in 1950, formalized the rift between the two states (Feffer). An armistice was finally declared in 1953, with the two states still holding their original territories. Due to decades of division, the two Koreas undertook diverging paths of development and achieved different levels of success.

In terms of economic development, dark North Korea is facing poverty and food shortage whereas bright South Korea is "one of the world's major economies and a leading exporter of cars and electronic goods" (BBC "Overview"). The Central Intelligence Agency states, "North Korea, one of the world's most centrally directed and least open economies, faces chronic economic problems" (Central Intelligence Agency "Economy - Korea, North"). On the other hand, the CIA asserts, "South Korea has achieved an incredible record of growth and integration into the high-tech modern world economy" (Central Intelligence Agency "Economy - Korea, South"). The 2007 estimate of the GDP per capita of North Korea was pegged at $1,900 whereas that of South Korea was pegged at $24,600. ...
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