North Korea

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December 20, 2012:
Interest in Pyongyang Racer Game overwhelms site.

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Why is North Korea so isolated?

Communist dynasty has few allies, makes lots of waves.

Renewed interest in North Korea has come about over the last year thanks to a couple of rocket launches, the passing of the baton to Kim Jong Un, the discovery of a Unicorn Lair, and a new video game that takes drivers over the streets of Pyongyang. The game, which features traffic wardens and the need to collect petroleum barrels to keep your car moving, showcases many North Korean monuments as well as the capital, Pyongyang. As a nation, North Korea has been isolated for some time. The country was created as a division of Korea after World War II, when the Japanese occupation was ended and western aligned powers created governments in the North and South divided by the 38th parallel. While the North was controlled by Kim Jong Il and allies in the form of Stalin and Mao, the South had a government aligned with the US and Western Allies. In 1950, the North invaded the South, and nearly drove the US army out of Korea at the Pusan Perimeter where a holding action delayed the North until a surprise invasion at Inchon by Macarthur turned the tide of the war, and within months the North was nearly defeated, having retreated to the border of China. In another surprise, the Chinese joined the war, and pushed UN troops back to Seoul, where they again rallied and pushed back close to the 38th parallel. The war went on for a few more years, with few gains on each side until an armistice was declared. Technically, both sides are still at war. The cities of Pyongyang and Seoul were largely destroyed in the changing tides of battle, so construction in these places is fairly recent. While Seoul, under capitalism, has become a thriving metropolis, the city of Pyongyang is a more stolid and monumental city reflecting the communist dictatatorial styles found in many Eastern European cities and old Soviet republics.

Notes and Special Information

Special note: Of course, the North Koreans have a completely different take on world events, and would dispute everything said here.