Dictators of North Korea

At the end of World War II the Korean peninsula was divided into two occupied zones, with the northern half of the peninsula occupied by the Soviet Union and the southern half by the United States. A United Nations-supervised election held in 1948 led to the creation of separate Korean governments for the two occupation zones: the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in the north, and the Republic of Korea in the south. North Korea and South Korea each claimed sovereignty over the entire Korean peninsula, which led to the start of the Korean War in 1950. An armistice in 1953 committed both to a cease-fire, but the two countries remain officially at war because a formal peace treaty was never signed.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il adopted Songun, or "military-first" policy in order to strengthen the country and its government. North Korea is the world's most militarized country.