Following the end of World War II, Korea was divided into Soviet (north) and American (south) zones. Cold War tensions between the two gave rise to the proclamation of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), better known as North Korea, in 1948. Kim Il-sung became its first leader, and so the world's most isolated nation was born. The 'Great Leader' ruled until his death in 1994, having created a personality cult giving him god-like status. 'Dear Leader' Kim Jong-il took over the communist dynasty, and has led the country branded part of the 'axis of evil' into further isolation.
Follow my visits in 2009 and 2011 and get an insight into this fascinating but highly secretive nation.