Created by Kim Il-sung and based off classic Marxist-Leninist dogma, the Juche Ideology
of self-reliance was created in the sixties as a check against proxy control by other prominent
communist nations. Focused on North Korea's contemporary goals of an independent foreign
policy, a self sustaining economy and self reliant defensive posture, it has also served to
create an autocratic regime completely under the control of Kim Jong-Il.
While the Juche Ideology is focused on self-reliance and manifesting the will of the people
the North Korean government has been forced to accept food aid from the outside and
implement a number of market reforms. Famine resulting from Kim Jong-Il's policies has
resulted in widespread starvation, and numerous governments including the United States
have given aid to North Korea through the UN World Food Program. While this has
weakened the foundation of the ideology, it has not stopped the North Koreans from
attempting to re-unite the peninsula on their terms, using erratic displays of military power
to threaten its neighbors.
Many critics and human rights organization contend that the North Korean political
environment bears no resemblance to the Juche Ideology. Based on reports from defectors,
the people have no actual part in the decision making process, and the country relies on aid
for more than a quarter of its food. It remains to be seen how long Kim Jong-il can maintain
absolute control over the country.