September 9th 1948 is the official date of the founding of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, more commonly called North Korea. Before its official formation communist groups such as the Down-With-Imperialism-Union had been waging a struggle against imperialist forces in order to facilitate revolution.
When the Japanese were eventually to surrender in Korea it left a vacuum before the intervention of the USA, and USSR, one which was very almost communist.
Peoples Republic of Korea
The PRK, not to be confused with the DPRK was a very short-lived provisional government that was organized at the time of the surrender of Japan at the end of World War 2. It was proclaimed on 12 September 1945.
Following the surrender of the Japanese the Japanese Governor-general wanted to secure the release of Japanese forces and of course counter retribution against the Japanese forces in Korea.
The Committee for Preparation of Korean Independence was approached to lead the government, which was eventually organized by Lyuh Woon-Hyung in Seoul. The committee insisted own the following short term aims;
- Immediate release of political prisoners and economic prisoners across the country.
- Secure food for 3 months in August, September and October.
- Don’t interfere with political activities.
- Don’t interfere with the education of students and youth.
- Don’t interfere with the mobilization of workers and peasants into workers’ councils.
And in return offered safe passage to the Japanese. The government lasted until it was outlawed by the United States on December 12th 1945.
The Peoples Republic of Korea despite its short reign had lots of support throughout he country and was the first full experiment in mass organizations and local democracy on he Korean peninsula.
After its termination the Korean peninsula drifted into heavy influence from the outside powers in their spheres of influence, and thus parallel organizations.
Provisional People’s Committee of North Korea
Whilst the various incarnations of communist can be mostly associated with the various forms of the Workers Party of Korea the first predatory state was the Provisional People’s Committee of North Korea.
The Provisional People’s Committee of North Korea was established on 8 February 1946 in response for the need of the Soviet Civil Administration and the communists to have some form of functioning civilian communist government in the north of Korea. It became a de facto provisional government that carried out important policies, such as land reform and the nationalization of industry.
It ceased operation just under one year later on February 22nd 1947.
People’s Committee of North Korea
The People’s Committee of North Korea superseded the Provisional People’s Committee of North Korea. The Committee was pro-Soviet and functioned as the local government in conjunction with the ruling Soviet Civil Administration.
In many respects this represented the first communist North Korean state with the Chairman being Kim Il-Sung with Kim Chaek as vice-chairman.
The main role of the committee seems to have ben to pave the way towards the formation of Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea. This occurred with the proclamation of the DPRK on September 9th 1948, which is when the Soviet occupying forces also handed over power to the Koreans.