Difference Between North Korea and South Korea

The Korean Peninsula was at one point in history a single unified entity. Until World War 2 happened. The Northern half was under occupation by the communist USSR and the Southern half was occupied by the United States. 

The occupation and the subsequent Korean War (1950-1953) ensured that the two nations would take diverging paths that have set them apart to this day.

Difference Between North and South Korea - UPSC 2020

In this article, we will discuss in great detail about the differences between North Korea and South Korea within the context of the IAS Exam        

Differences between North Korea and South Korea

North Korea

South Korea

The Official Name for North Korea is the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) The Official Name for South Korea is the Republic of Korea (ROK)
The Capital of North Korea is Pyongyang The Capital of South Korea is Seoul
North Korea is lead by Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un since 2011 following the death of his father Kim Jong-il South Korea is lead by President Moon Jae-in. He was elected to office in May 2017.
The population of North Korea as of 2018 estimate is 25,549,604 The population of South Korea as of 2019 is 51,709,098.
The DPRK is a single-party dictatorship state. The official state ideology is “Juche” or “National Self-Reliance The ROK is of the Presidential Republic form of government
The administrative division of North Korea consists of the following:

  • 9 provinces 
  • 3 cities 
The administrative division of South Korea consists of the following:

  • 9 provinces
  • 6 cities
The legal system of North Korea is based on the Prussian model with influences from the Japanese legal system and Communist legal theory The legal system of South Korea is that of a mixed variety combining European civil law, Anglo-American law, and Chinese classical thought
Steeped deeply in communism, the economy of North Korea is a centrally planned system where the role of the free market is limited, although increasing.

The nominal GDP estimate as of 2018 stands at $32.1 billion.

The economy of South Korea is of a capitalist nature that consists of a highly developed mixed economy dominated by family-owned conglomerates called chaebols.

The nominal GDP estimate as of 2020 stands at $1.626 trillion

The North Korean industry consists of the following:

  • Electronics 
  • Telecommunications 
  • Chemicals 
  • Shipbuilding 
  • Steel
The South Korean industry consists of the following:

  • Military products 
  • Machine building 
  • Electric power
  • Electronics
  • Textiles
  • Tourism
  • Automobile production
The population of North Korea is ethnically homogeneous in nature The population of South Korea is racially homogeneous; there is a small Chinese community and a few ethnic Japanese.

Both North and South Korea are in the news whenever the tensions between the two escalate. As a result, questions pertaining to them have been regularly featured as current affairs-based questions in the IAS Exam. Aspirants can refer to the following links and other allied articles given below to stay updated about such topics.

Difference Between North Korea and South Korea – Download PDF Here

Aspirants can become familiar with the general pattern of the IAS exam by visiting the IAS Syllabus page. For more preparation materials they can refer to the links given in the table below:

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