September 24, 2023

How North Korea got its (official) name

The "DPRK" moniker has its origins in the factionalism of the 1940s

One of most well-known things about North Korea is its unusual name. “Democratic People’s Republic of Korea” is long and often derided, since the country is far from democratic and in many ways closer to monarchy than to a republic. So how did it come about?

The first thing one should know about the origins of the name is that it is literally called "Korean Democratic People’s Republic" (조선민주주의인민공화국) in Korean, but "Korean People’s-Democratic Republic" (Корейская Народно-Демократическая Республика) in Russian.