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Inside Facebook

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Mark Zuckerberg

Zuckerberg at the 37th G8 summit in 2011.
Born Mark Elliot Zuckerberg
May 14, 1984 (age 27)[1]
White Plains, New York, U.S.
Residence Palo Alto, California, U.S.[2]
Ethnicity Jewish
Alma mater Harvard University (Dropped out)
Occupation CEO of Facebook
(24% shareholder in 2010)[3]
Known for Co-founding Facebook in 2004;
becoming world’s youngest
billionaire as of 2008[4]
Net worth increase US$ 17.5 billion (2011)[5]
Relatives Randi, Donna and Arielle
Awards TIME Person of the Year 2010

Mark Elliot Zuckerberg (born May 14, 1984) is an American computer programmer and Internet entrepreneur.[6] He is best known for co-creating the social networking site Facebook, of which he is chief executive.[7] It was co-founded as a private company in 2004 by Zuckerberg and classmates Dustin MoskovitzEduardo Saverin, and Chris Hughes while they were students at Harvard University.[8][9] Zuckerberg was named four times in Time 100 respectively in 2009 as one of the 100 influential people of the world, in 2010 as Time magazine’s Person of the Year[10], in 2011[11] as one of the 100 influential people of the world and in 2012 in “The All-Time TIME 100 of All Time” by Joel Stein in Time.[12] As of 2011, his personal wealth was estimated to be $17.5 billion, making him one of the world’s youngest billionaires.[5]


Personal life

Zuckerberg was born in 1984 in White Plains, New York[13] to Karen, a psychiatrist, and Edward Zuckerberg, a dentist. He and his three sisters, Randi, Donna, and Arielle,[2] were brought up in Dobbs Ferry, New York.[2] Zuckerberg was raised Jewish and had his bar mitzvah when he turned 13;[14][15] he has since described himself as an atheist.[15][16][17][18]

At Ardsley High School, Zuckerberg had excelled in the classics before transferring to Phillips Exeter Academy in his junior year, where he won prizes in science (math, astronomy and physics) and classical studies (on his college application, Zuckerberg listed as non-English languages he could read and write: French, Hebrew, Latin, and ancient Greek) and was a fencing star and captain of the fencing team.[17][19][20][21] In college, he was known for reciting lines from epic poems such as The Iliad.[19]

At a party put on by his fraternity during his sophomore year, Zuckerberg met Priscilla Chan, a Chinese-American fellow student originally from the Boston suburbs,[22] and they began dating in 2003. In September 2010, Zuckerberg invited Chan, by then a medical student at the University of California, San Francisco,[23] to move into his rented Palo Alto house.[2][24] Zuckerberg studied Mandarin Chinese in preparation for the couple’s visit to China in December 2010.[25][26]

On Zuckerberg’s Facebook page, he listed his personal interests as “openness, making things that help people connect and share what’s important to them, revolutions, information flow, minimalism”.[27] Zuckerberg sees blue best because of red–green colorblindness; blue is also Facebook’s dominant color.[28]

Software developer

Early years

Zuckerberg began using computers and writing software as a child in middle school. His father taught him Atari BASIC Programming in the 1990s, and later hired software developer David Newman to tutor him privately. Newman calls him a “prodigy,” adding that it was “tough to stay ahead of him.” Zuckerberg also took a graduate course in the subject at Mercy College near his home while he was still in high school. He enjoyed developing computer programs, especially communication tools and games. In one such program, since his father’s dental practice was operated from their home, he built a software program he called “ZuckNet,” which allowed all the computers between the house and dental office to communicate by pinging each other. It is considered a “primitive” version of AOL‘s Instant Messenger, which came out the following year.[2]

According to writer Jose Antonio Vargas, “some kids played computer games. Mark created them.” Zuckerberg himself recalls this period: “I had a bunch of friends who were artists. They’d come over, draw stuff, and I’d build a game out of it.” However, notes Vargas, Zuckerberg was not a typical “geek-klutz,” as he later became captain of his prep school fencing team and earned a classics diploma. Napster co-founder Sean Parker, a close friend, notes that Zuckerberg was “really into Greek odysseys and all that stuff,” recalling how he once quoted lines from the Roman epic poem Aeneid, by Virgil, during a Facebook product conference.[2]

During Zuckerberg’s high school years, under the company name Intelligent Media Group, he built a music player called the Synapse Media Player that used artificial intelligence to learn the user’s listening habits, which was posted to Slashdot[29] and received a rating of 3 out of 5 from PC Magazine.[30] Microsoft and AOL tried to purchase Synapse and recruit Zuckerberg, but he chose instead to enroll at Harvard University in September 2002.

Harvard years

By the time he began classes at Harvard, he had already achieved a “reputation as a programming prodigy,” notes Vargas. He studied psychology and computer science as well as belonging to Alpha Epsilon Pi, a Jewish fraternity.[2][7][10][31] In his sophomore year, he wrote a program he called CourseMatch, which allowed users to make class selection decisions based on the choices of other students and also to help them form study groups. A short time later, he created a different program he initially calledFacemash that let students select the best looking person from a choice of photos. According to Zuckerberg’s roommate at the time, Arie Hasit, “he built the site for fun.” Hasit explains:

We had books called Face Books, which included the names and pictures of everyone who lived in the student dorms. At first, he built a site and placed two pictures, or pictures of two males and two females. Visitors to the site had to choose who was “hotter” and according to the votes there would be a ranking.[32]

The site went up over a weekend, but by Monday morning the college shut it down because its popularity had overwhelmed Harvard’s server and prevented students from accessing the Internet. In addition, many students complained that their photos were being used without permission. Zuckerberg apologized publicly, and the student paper ran articles stating that his site was “completely improper.”[32]

Around the time of Facemash, however, students were requesting that the university develop an internal website that would include similar photos and contact details. According to Hasit, “Mark heard these pleas and decided that if the university won’t do something about it, he will, and he would build a site that would be even better than what the university had planned.”[32]


Waist high portrait of man in his thirties, looking into the camera and gesturing with both hands, wearing a black pullover shirt that says "The North Face" and wearing identification on a white band hanging from his neck

Zuckerberg at World Economic ForumDavos, Switzerland(January 2009)

President Barack Obama and Zuckerberg talk before a private meeting where Obama dined with technology business leaders in Woodside, California, February 17, 2011. (Also pictured, from left:Carol Bartz of Yahoo!, Art Levinson ofGenentechSteve Westly of The Westly Group, and Eric Schmidt of Google.)

Founding and goals

Zuckerberg launched Facebook from his Harvard dormitory room on February 4, 2004.[33][34] An earlier inspiration for Facebook may have come from Phillips Exeter Academy, the prep school from which Zuckerberg graduated in 2002. It published its own student directory, “The Photo Address Book,” which students referred to as “The Facebook.” Such photo directories were an important part of the student social experience at many private schools. With them, students were able to list attributes such as their class years, their proximities to friends, and their telephone numbers.[33]

Once at college, Zuckerberg’s Facebook started off as just a “Harvard thing” until Zuckerberg decided to spread it to other schools, enlisting the help of roommate Dustin Moskovitz. They first started it at StanfordDartmouthColumbiaNew York UniversityCornellPennBrown, and Yale, and then at other schools that had social contacts with Harvard.[35][36][37][38]

Zuckerberg moved to Palo Alto, California, with Moskovitz and some friends. They leased a small house that served as an office. Over the summer, Zuckerberg met Peter Thiel who invested in the company. They got their first office in mid-2004. According to Zuckerberg, the group planned to return to Harvard but eventually decided to remain in California.[39][40] They had already turned down offers by major corporations to buy out Facebook. In an interview in 2007, Zuckerberg explained his reasoning:

It’s not because of the amount of money. For me and my colleagues, the most important thing is that we create an open information flow for people. Having media corporations owned by conglomerates is just not an attractive idea to me.[34]

He restated these same goals to Wired magazine in 2010: “The thing I really care about is the mission, making the world open.”[41] Earlier, in April 2009, Zuckerberg sought the advice of former Netscape CFO Peter Currie about financing strategies for Facebook.[42]

On July 21, 2010, Zuckerberg reported that the company reached the 500 million-user mark.[43] When asked whether Facebook could earn more income from advertising as a result of its phenomenal growth, he explained:

I guess we could … If you look at how much of our page is taken up with ads compared to the average search query. The average for us is a little less than 10 percent of the pages and the average for search is about 20 percent taken up with ads … That’s the simplest thing we could do. But we aren’t like that. We make enough money. Right, I mean, we are keeping things running; we are growing at the rate we want to.[41]

In 2010, Steven Levy, who authored the 1984 book Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution, wrote that Zuckerberg “clearly thinks of himself as a hacker.”[44] Zuckerberg said that “it’s OK to break things” “to make them better.”[44][45] Facebook instituted “hackathons” held every six to eight weeks where participants would have one night to conceive of and complete a project.[44] The company provided music, food, and beer at the hackathons, and many Facebook staff members, including Zuckerberg, regularly attended.[45] “The idea is that you can build something really good in a night”, Zuckerberg told Levy. “And that’s part of the personality of Facebook now … It’s definitely very core to my personality.”[44]

Vanity Fair magazine named Zuckerberg number 1 on its 2010 list of the Top 100 “most influential people of the Information Age”.[46] Zuckerberg ranked number 23 on the Vanity Fair 100 list in 2009.[47] In 2010, Zuckerberg was chosen as number 16 in New Statesmans annual survey of the world’s 50 most influential figures.[48]

In a 2011 interview with PBS after the death of Steve Jobs, Zuckerberg said that Jobs had advised him on how to create a management team at Facebook that was “focused on building as high quality and good things as you are.”[49]


Main article: Wirehog

A month after Facebook launched in February 2004, i2hub, another campus-only service, created by Wayne Chang, was launched. i2hub focused on peer-to-peer file sharing. At the time, both i2hub and Facebook were gaining the attention of the press and growing rapidly in users and publicity. In August 2004, Zuckerberg, Andrew McCollum,Adam D’Angelo, and Sean Parker launched a competing peer-to-peer file sharing service called Wirehog, a precursor to Facebook Platform applications.[50][51]

Platform and Beacon

On May 24, 2007, Zuckerberg announced Facebook Platform, a development platform for programmers to create social applications within Facebook. Within weeks, many applications had been built and some already had millions of users. It grew to more than 800,000 developers around the world building applications for Facebook Platform.

On November 6, 2007, Zuckerberg announced a new social advertising system called Beacon, which enabled people to share information with their Facebook friends based on their browsing activities on other sites. For example, eBay sellers could let friends know automatically what they have for sale via the Facebook news feed as they list items for sale. The program came under scrutiny because of privacy concerns from groups and individual users. Zuckerberg and Facebook failed to respond to the concerns quickly, and on December 5, 2007, Zuckerberg wrote a blog post on Facebook[52] taking responsibility for the concerns about Beacon and offering an easier way for users to opt out of the service.

In 2007, Zuckerberg was named to the MIT Technology Review TR35 as one of the top 35 innovators in the world under the age of 35.[53]

On July 23, 2008, Zuckerberg announced Facebook Connect, a version of Facebook Platform for users.

Legal controversies

Main article: Criticism of Facebook

ConnectU lawsuits

Main article: ConnectU

Harvard students Cameron WinklevossTyler Winklevoss, and Divya Narendra accused Zuckerberg of intentionally making them believe he would help them build a social network called (later called ConnectU).[54] They filed a lawsuit in 2004 but it was dismissed on a technicality on March 28, 2007. It was refiled soon thereafter in federal court in Boston. Facebook counter sued in regards to Social Butterfly, a project put out by The Winklevoss Chang Group, an alleged partnership between ConnectU and i2hub. On June 25, 2008, the case settled and Facebook agreed to transfer over 1.2 million common shares and pay $20 million in cash.[55]

In November 2007, confidential court documents were posted on the website of 02138, a magazine that catered to Harvard alumni. They included Zuckerberg’s social security number, his parents’ home address, and his girlfriend’s address. Facebook filed to have the documents removed, but the judge ruled in favor of 02138.[56]

Saverin lawsuit

A lawsuit filed by Eduardo Saverin against Facebook and Zuckerberg was settled out of court. Though terms of the settlement were sealed, the company affirmed Saverin’s title as co-founder of Facebook. Saverin signed a non-disclosure contract after the settlement.[57][58]

Pakistan criminal investigation

In June 2010, Pakistani Deputy Attorney General Muhammad Azhar Sidiqque launched a criminal investigation into Zuckerberg and Facebook co-founders Dustin Moskovitzand Chris Hughes after a “Draw Muhammad” contest was hosted on Facebook. The investigation also named the anonymous German woman who created the contest. Sidiqque asked the country’s police to contact Interpol to have Zuckerberg and the three others arrested for blasphemy. On May 19, 2010, Facebook’s website was temporarily blocked in Pakistan until Facebook removed the contest from its website at the end of May. Sidiqque also asked its UN representative to raise the issue with theUnited Nations General Assembly.[59][60]

Paul Ceglia

Main article: Paul Ceglia

On June 30, 2010, Paul Ceglia, the owner of a wood pellet fuel company in Allegany County, upstate New York, filed a lawsuit against Zuckerberg, claiming 84% ownership of Facebook and seeking monetary damages. According to Ceglia, he and Zuckerberg signed a contract on April 28, 2003, that an initial fee of $1,000 entitled Ceglia to 50% of the website’s revenue, as well as an additional 1% interest in the business per day after January 1, 2004, until website completion. Zuckerberg was developing other projects at the time, among which was Facemash, the predecessor of Facebook, but did not register the domain name until January 1, 2004. Facebook management dismissed the lawsuit as “completely frivolous”. Facebook spokesman Barry Schnitt told a reporter that Ceglia’s counsel had unsuccessfully sought an out-of-court settlement.[61]

Pursuant to the contract, Ceglia agreed to pay Zuckerberg $1,000 for StreetFax and $1,000 for PageBook. The contract also refers to The Face Book, a project that was to be completed by January 2004. Ceglia offered a receipt for $1,000, dated six months after the contract, to prove he paid Zuckerberg, but it was not the full amount due, and the contract did not specify what occurs in the event of a default.[62]

In an interview with ABC World News, Zuckerberg stated he was confident he had never signed such an agreement. At the time, Zuckerberg worked for Ceglia as a code developer on a project named “StreetFax”. Judge Thomas Brown issued a restraining order on all financial transfers concerning ownership of Facebook until further notice; in response, Facebook removed the case to federal court and asked that the state court injunction be dissolved. According to Facebook, the injunction would not affect their business and lacked any legal basis.[63][64][65][66][67][68]

Depictions in media

The Social Network

Main article: The Social Network

A movie based on Zuckerberg and the founding years of Facebook, The Social Network was released on October 1, 2010, and stars Jesse Eisenberg as Zuckerberg. After Zuckerberg was told about the film, he responded, “I just wished that nobody made a movie of me while I was still alive.”[69] Also, after the film’s script was leaked on the Internet and it was apparent that the film would not portray Zuckerberg in a wholly positive light, he stated that he wanted to establish himself as a “good guy”.[70] The film is based on the book The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich, which the book’s publicist once described as “big juicy fun” rather than “reportage.”[71] The film’s screenwriterAaron Sorkin told New York magazine, “I don’t want my fidelity to be to the truth; I want it to be to storytelling”, adding, “What is the big deal about accuracy purely for accuracy’s sake, and can we not have the true be the enemy of the good?”[72]

Upon winning the Golden Globes award for Best Picture on January 16, 2011, producer Scott Rudin thanked Facebook and Zuckerberg “for his willingness to allow us to use his life and work as a metaphor through which to tell a story about communication and the way we relate to each other.”[73] Sorkin, who won for Best Screenplay, retracted some of the impressions given in his script:[74]

“I wanted to say to Mark Zuckerberg tonight, if you’re watching, Rooney Mara‘s character makes a prediction at the beginning of the movie. She was wrong. You turned out to be a great entrepreneur, a visionary, and an incredible altruist.”

On January 29, 2011, Zuckerberg made a surprise guest appearance on Saturday Night Live, which was being hosted by Jesse Eisenberg. They both said it was the first time they ever met.[75] Eisenberg asked Zuckerberg, who had been critical of his portrayal by the film, what he thought of the movie. Zuckerberg replied, “It was interesting.”[76] In a subsequent interview about their meeting, Eisenberg explains that he was “nervous to meet him, because I had spent now, a year and a half thinking about him …” He adds, “Mark has been so gracious about something that’s really so uncomfortable … The fact that he would do SNL and make fun of the situation is so sweet and so generous. It’s the best possible way to handle something that, I think, could otherwise be very uncomfortable.”[77][78]

Disputed accuracy

Jeff Jarvis, author of the book Public Parts, interviewed Zuckerberg and believes Sorkin has made too much of the story up. He states, “That’s what the internet is accused of doing, making stuff up, not caring about the facts.”[79]

According to David Kirkpatrick, former technology editor at Fortune magazine and author of The Facebook Effect:The Inside Story of the Company That Is Connecting the World, (2011),[80] “the film is only “40% true … he is not snide and sarcastic in a cruel way, the way Zuckerberg is played in the movie.” He says that “a lot of the factual incidents are accurate, but many are distorted and the overall impression is false,” and concludes that primarily “his motivations were to try and come up with a new way to share information on the internet.”[79]

Although the film portrays Zuckerberg’s creation of Facebook in order to elevate his stature after not getting into any of the elite final clubs at Harvard, Zuckerberg himself said he had no interest in joining the final clubs.[2] Kirkpatrick agrees that the impression implied by the film is “false.”[79]

Karel Baloun, a former senior engineer at Facebook, notes that the “image of Zuckerberg as a socially inept nerd is overstated … It is fiction …” He likewise dismisses the film’s assertion that he “would deliberately betray a friend.”[79]

Other depictions

Zuckerberg voiced himself on an episode of The Simpsons, “Loan-a Lisa“, which first aired on October 3, 2010. In the episode, Lisa Simpson and her friend Nelson encounter Zuckerberg at an entrepreneurs’ convention. Zuckerberg tells Lisa that she does not need to graduate from college to be wildly successful, referencing Bill Gates and Richard Branson as examples.[81]

On October 9, 2010, Saturday Night Live lampooned Zuckerberg and Facebook.[82] Andy Samberg played Zuckerberg. The real Zuckerberg was reported to have been amused: “I thought this was funny.”[83]

Stephen Colbert awarded a “Medal of Fear” to Zuckerberg at the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear on October 30, 2010, “because he values his privacy much more than he values yours.”[84]

Use of other social networks

Zuckerberg created an account with Google+ soon after the social network was unveiled, saying he sees it as a “validation for his vision” of online social networking.[85] By July 2011, Zuckerberg had become the most followed user on Google+, outranking Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin.[86] As of March 6, 2012, his ranking has dropped to 184 on the service, behind Page and Brin.[87] His public profile is minimal with one photo and a bio that reads “I make things”.[88]

Zuckerberg has maintained a private account on Twitter under the username “zuck”, though in 2009 he revealed that the public account “finkd” also belonged to him.[89]


Zuckerberg donated an undisclosed amount to Diaspora, an open-source personal web server that implements a distributed social networking service. He called it a “cool idea.”[41]

Zuckerberg founded the Start-up: Education foundation.[90][91] On September 22, 2010, it was reported that Zuckerberg had arranged to donate $100 million to Newark Public Schools, the public school system of Newark, New Jersey.[92][93] Critics noted the timing of the donation as being close to the release of The Social Network, which painted a somewhat negative portrait of Zuckerberg.[94][95] Zuckerberg responded to the criticism, saying, “The thing that I was most sensitive about with the movie timing was, I didn’t want the press about The Social Network movie to get conflated with the Newark project. I was thinking about doing this anonymously just so that the two things could be kept separate.”[94] Newark Mayor Cory A. Booker stated that he and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie had to convince Zuckerberg’s team not to make the donation anonymously.[94]

On December 9, 2010, Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and investor Warren Buffett signed a promise they called the “Giving Pledge“, in which they promised to donate to charity at least half of their wealth over the course of time, and invited others among the wealthy to donate 50% or more of their wealth to charity.[9][96][97]


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External links

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Document list

Welcome to North Korea

May 5, 2012 1 comment

North Korea 2011 Parade

North Korea Military Parade 15/4/12

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

Chosŏn Minjujuŭi Inmin Konghwaguk[1]
Flag Emblem
Motto: 강성대국
(English: Powerful and Prosperous Nation)

Play sound
The National Anthem of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (Converted MIDI).ogg

(tr.: “Aegukka“)
(English: “The Patriotic Song”)

(and largest city)
39°2′N 125°45′E
Official language(s) Korean
Official scripts Chosŏn’gŭl
Ethnic groups Korean
Demonym North Korean,Korean
Government Juche unitarysingle-party state
 – First Chairman of the Defence Commission[a] Kim Jong-un
 – First Secretary of the Workers’ Party Kim Jong-un
 – Supreme Commander of the People’s Army Kim Jong-un[b]
 – Chairman of the Presidium of Assembly Kim Yong-nam[c]
 – Premier Choe Yong-rim
Legislature Supreme People’s Assembly
 – Independence declared March 1, 1919
 – Liberation August 15, 1945
 – Formal declaration September 9, 1948
 – Total 120,540 km2 (98th)
46,528 sq mi
 – Water (%) 4.87
 – 2011 estimate 24,051,218[2] (51st)
 – 2011 census 25,000,000[3]
 – Density 198.3/km2
513.8/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2011[4] estimate
 – Total $45 billion
 – Per capita $2,400
GDP (nominal) 2011[5] estimate
 – Total $32.7 billion
 – Per capita $1,800[6]
HDI (2011) 0.618 (not rated)
Currency North Korean won(₩) (KPW)
Time zone Korea Standard Time (UTC+9)
Date formats yy, yyyy년 mm월 dd일
yy, yyyy/mm/dd (CE–1911CE)
Drives on the right
ISO 3166 code KP
Internet TLD .kp
Calling code 850
^ a. The DPRK Constitution defines the Chairman of the NDC as the “supreme leader” of the DPRK.
^ b. Kim-Jong-un, described as “Supreme Leader of the party, state and army” by North Korean state media on December 29, 2011,[7] was named Supreme Commander of the KPA on December 30, 2011 but has not yet succeeded to his father as Chairman of the NDC and General Secretary of the WPK.[8]
^ c. Kim Yong-nam is the “head of state for foreign affairs”. The position of president (formerly head of state) was written out of the constitution in 1998, andKim Il-sung (who died in 1994) was given the appellationEternal President in its preamble.
This article contains Koreantext. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbolsinstead of Hangul or Hanja.

Coordinates40°00′N 127°00′ENorth Korea (About this sound listen), officially the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRKChosŏn’gŭl: 조선민주주의인민공화국), is a country in East Asia, occupying the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Pyongyang. The Korean Demilitarized Zone serves as the buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea. The Amnok, or Yalu, and the Tumen rivers form the border between North Korea and China. A section of the Tumen River in the far northeast is the border with Russia.

The peninsula was governed by the Korean Empire until it was annexed by Japan after the Russo-Japanese War in 1910. It was divided into Soviet- and American-occupied zones in 1945, after the end of World War II. North Korea refused to participate in a United Nations–supervised election held in the south in 1948, which led to the creation of separate Korean governments for the two occupation zones. North and South Korea each claimed sovereignty over the whole Korean Peninsula, which led to the Korean War of 1950. The Armistice Agreement of 1953 ended the fighting; but the two countries are officially still at war against each other, for a peace treaty was never signed.[9] Both states were accepted into the United Nations in 1991.[10]

North Korea is a single-party state under a united front led by the Korean Workers’ Party (KWP).[11][12][13][14] The country’s government follows the Juche ideology of self-reliance, developed by the country’s first and only PresidentKim Il-sung. After his death, Kim Il-sung was declared the country’s Eternal PresidentJuche became the official state ideology when the country adopted a new constitution in 1972,[15]though Kim Il-sung had been using it to form policy since at least as early as 1955.[16] After the collapse of the Soviet Union and a series of natural disasters, a famine occurred, causing the death of 900,000 to 2 million people.[17] Facing these circumstances, leader Kim Jong-Il adopted Songun, or a “military-first” policy in order to strengthen the country and its government.[18]

Many outside organizations describe North Korea as a totalitariansingle-party Stalinist dictatorship[12][13][19][20][21] with an elaborate cult of personality around the Kim family and one of the lowest-rankinghuman rights records of any country.[22] The North Korean government denies this.[23] North Korea is one of the most militarized nations,[24][25] with a total of 9,495,000 active, reserve, and paramilitarypersonnel. It is a nuclear-weapons state and has an active space program.[26]




Main article: History of North Korea

Before the division

Main article: History of Korea

Jikji, the first known book printed with movable metal type in 1377. Bibliothèque Nationale de Paris.

Korean history begins with the founding of Jo-seon (often known as “Gojoseon” to prevent confusion with another dynasty founded in the 14th century; the prefix Go- means ‘old’ or ‘earlier’) in 2333 BC byDangun, according to Korean foundation mythology.[27] Gojoseon expanded until it controlled northern Korean Peninsula and some parts of Manchuria. After many conflicts with the Chinese Han Dynasty, Gojoseon disintegrated, leading to the Proto–Three Kingdoms of Korea period.

In the early centuries of the Common Era, BuyeoOkjeoDongye, and the Samhan confederacy occupied the peninsula and southern Manchuria. Of the various states, GoguryeoBaekje, and Silla grew to control the peninsula as Three Kingdoms of Korea. The unification of the Three Kingdoms by Silla in 676 led to the North South States Period, in which much of the Korean Peninsula was controlled by Unified Silla, while Balhae succeeded the northern parts of Goguryeo.

In Unified Silla, poetry and art was encouraged, and Buddhist culture thrived. Relationships between Korea and China remained relatively peaceful during this time. However, Unified Silla weakened under internal strife, and surrendered to Goryeo in 935. Balhae, Silla’s neighbor to the north, was formed as a successor state to Goguryeo. During its height, Balhae controlled most of Manchuria and parts of Russian Far East. It fell to the Khitan in 926.

The peninsula was united by Emperor Taejo of Goryeo in 936. Like Silla, Goryeo was a highly cultural state and created the Jikji in 1377, using the world’s oldest movable metal type printing press.[28] TheMongol invasions in the 13th century greatly weakened Goryeo. After nearly 30 years of war, Goryeo continued to rule Korea, though as a tributary ally to the Mongols. After the Mongol Empire collapsed, severe political strife followed and the Goryeo Dynasty was replaced by the Joseon Dynasty in 1388 following a rebellion by General Yi Seong-gye.

Gyeongbok Palace is the largest of theFive Grand Palaces built during the Joseon Dynasty.

King Taejo declared the new name of Korea as “Joseon” in reference to Gojoseon, and moved the capital to Seoul. The first 200 years of the Joseon Dynasty were marked by relative peace and saw the creation of Hangul by King Sejong the Great in the 14th century and the rise in influence of Confucianism in the country.

Between 1592 and 1598, the Japanese invaded KoreaToyotomi Hideyoshi led the forces and tried to invade the Asian continent through Korea, but was eventually repelled by the Righteous army and assistance from Ming Dynasty China. This war also saw the rise of Admiral Yi Sun-sin and his renowned “turtle ship“. In the 1620s and 1630s, Joseon suffered from invasions by the Manchu who eventually conquered all of China.

After another series of wars against Manchuria, Joseon experienced a nearly 200-year period of peace. King Yeongjo and King Jeongjo particularly led a new renaissance of the Joseon Dynasty.

However, the latter years of the Joseon Dynasty were marked by a dependence on China for external affairs and isolation from the outside world. During the 19th century, Korea’s isolationist policy earned it the name the “Hermit Kingdom“. The Joseon Dynasty tried to protect itself against Western imperialism, but was eventually forced to open trade. After the First Sino-Japanese War and the Russo-Japanese War, Korea was occupied by Japan (1910–1945).

Division of Korea

Main article: Division of Korea

North Korean war monument in Pyongyang.

In the aftermath of the Japanese occupation of Korea which ended with Japan’s defeat in World War II in 1945, Korea was divided at the 38th parallel in accordance with a United Nations arrangement, to be administered by the Soviet Union in the north and the United States in the south. The history of North Korea formally begins with the establishment of the Democratic People’s Republic in 1948.

In August 1945, the Soviet Army established a Soviet Civil Authority to rule the northern portion of the Korean Peninsula until a domestic regime, friendly to the USSR, could be established. This became governed by the Provisional People’s Committee for North Korea through 1948. After the Soviet forces’ departure in 1948, the main agenda in the following years was unification of Korea until the consolidation of Syngman Rhee regime in the South with American military support and the suppression of the October 1948 insurrection ended hopes that the country could be reunified by way of Communist revolution in the South. In 1949, a military intervention into South Korea was considered by Kim Il-sung, but failed to receive support from the Soviet Union, which had played a key role in the establishment of the country.[29]

The withdrawal of most United States forces from the South in June dramatically weakened the Southern regime and encouraged Kim Il-sung to rethink an invasion plan against the South.[29] The idea itself was first rejected by Joseph Stalin but with the development of Soviet nuclear weapons, Mao Zedong‘s victory in China and the Chinese indication that it would send troops and other support to North Korea, Stalin approved an invasion which led to the Korean War.[30]

Korean War

Main article: Korean War

Korean War Armistice Agreement

After Korea was divided by the UN, the two Korean powers both tried to control the whole Korea under their respective governments. This led to escalating border conflicts on the 38th parallel and attempts to negotiate elections for the whole of Korea.[31] These attempts ended when the military of North Korea invaded the South on June 25, 1950, leading to a full-scale civil war. With endorsement from the United Nations, countries allied with the United States intervened on behalf of South Korea. After rapid advances in a South Korean counterattack, North-allied Chinese forces intervened on behalf of North Korea, shifting the balance of the war. Fighting ended on July 27, 1953, with an armistice that approximately restored the original boundaries between North and South Korea. More than 2 million civilians and soldiers were killed in the war.

Although some have referred to the conflict as a civil war, other important factors were involved.[32] The Korean War was also the first armed confrontation of the Cold War and set the standard for many later conflicts. It created the idea of a proxy war, where the two superpowers would fight in another country, forcing the people in that country to suffer most of the destruction and death involved in a war between such large nations. The superpowers avoided descending into an all-out war against one another, as well as the mutual use of nuclear weapons. It also expanded the Cold War, which to that point had mostly been concerned with Europe. A heavily guarded demilitarized zone on the 38th parallel still divides the peninsula, and an anti-Communist and anti-North Korea sentiment remains in South Korea.

Since the Armistice in 1953, relations between the North Korean government and South Korea, the European UnionCanada, the United States, and Japan have remained tense, and hostile incidents occur often.[33][page needed] North and South Korea signed the June 15th North-South Joint Declaration in 2000, in which they promised to seek peaceful reunification.[34] On October 4, 2007, the leaders of North and South Korea pledged to hold summit talks to officially declare the war over and reaffirmed the principle of mutual non-aggression.[35]

Late 20th century

DPRK soldier pointing to the DMZ

The relative peace between the south and the north was interrupted by border skirmishes and assassination attempts. The North failed in several assassination attempts on South Korean leaders, most notably in 1968, 1974 and the Rangoon bombing in 1983; tunnels were frequently found under the DMZ and war nearly broke out over the Axe Murder Incident at Panmunjeom in 1976.[36] In 1973, extremely secret, high-level contacts began to be conducted through the offices of the Red Cross, but ended after the Panmunjeom incident with little progress having been made and the idea that the two Koreas would join international organisations separately.[37]

In the late 1990s, with the South having transitioned to liberal democracy, the success of the Nordpolitik policy, and power in the North having been taken up by Kim Il-sung’s son Kim Jong-il, the two nations began to engage publicly for the first time, with the South declaring its Sunshine Policy.[38][39]

21st century

Globe icon.
The examples and perspective in this article deal primarily with the United States and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject. Please improve this article and discuss the issue on the talk page(November 2010)

In 2002, United States president George W. Bush labeled North Korea part of an “axis of evil” and an “outpost of tyranny“. The highest-level contact the government has had with the United States was with U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who made a visit to Pyongyang in 2000,[40] but the two countries do not have formal diplomatic relations.[5] By 2006, approximately 37,000 American soldiers remained in South Korea, although by June 2009 this number had fallen to around 30,000.[41][42] Kim Jong-il privately stated his acceptance of U.S. troops on the peninsula, even after a possible reunification.[43] Publicly, North Korea strongly demands the removal of American troops from Korea.[43]

On June 13, 2009, the Associated Press reported that in response to new UN sanctions, North Korea declared it would progress with its uranium enrichment program. This marked the first time the DPRK has publicly acknowledged that it is conducting a uranium enrichment program.[44] In August 2009, former US president Bill Clinton met with Kim Jong-il to secure the release of two US journalists, who had been sentenced for entering the country illegally.[45] Current U.S. President Barack Obama‘s position towards North Korea has been to resist making deals with North Korea for the sake of defusing tension, a policy known as “strategic patience.”[46]

On November 23, 2010, North Korea fired about 170 rounds of artillery on Yeonpyeong Island and the surrounding waters near the Yellow Sea border, with some 90 shells landing on the island. The attack resulted in the deaths of two marines and two civilians on the South Korean side, and fifteen marines and at least three civilians wounded.[47] The South fired back 80 shells, with unknown effects. North Korean news sources alleged that the North Korean actions, described as “a prompt and powerful physical strike”, were in response to provocation from South Korea that had held an artillery exercise in the disputed waters south of the island.[48]

On the 17th of December 2011 the Supreme Leader of North KoreaKim Jong-il died from a heart attack.[49] His death was reported by the Korean Central News Agency around 08:30 local time with the newscaster announcing his youngest son Kim Jong-un as his successor.

The announcement placed South Korean and United States troops on high alert, with many politicians from the global community stating that Kim’s death leaves a great deal of uncertainty in the country’s future.[49] North Korea was put into a state of semi-alert, with foreigners put under suspicion and asked to leave.[50]


Lake Ch’ŏnji at Mount Paektu, North Korea’s highest point

North Korea occupies the northern portion of the Korean Peninsula, lying between latitudes 37° and 43°N, and longitudes 124° and 131°E. It covers an area of 120,540 square kilometres (46,541 sq mi). North Korea shares land borders with China and Russia to the north, and borders South Korea along the Korean Demilitarized Zone. To its west are the Yellow Sea and Korea Bay, and to its east lies Japan across theSea of Japan (East Sea of Korea). The highest point in North Korea is Paektu-san Mountain at 2,744 metres (9,003 ft). The longest river is the Amnok River which flows for 790 kilometres (491 mi).[51] The capital and largest city is Pyongyang; other major cities include Kaesong in the south, Sinuiju in the northwest, Wonsan and Hamhung in the east and Chongjin in the northeast.


Topography of North Korea

Further information: Korean Peninsula

Early European visitors to Korea remarked that the country resembled “a sea in a heavy gale” because of the many successive mountain ranges that crisscross the peninsula.[52] Some 80% of North Korea is composed of mountains and uplands, separated by deep and narrow valleys, with all of the peninsula’s mountains with elevations of 2,000 metres (6,600 ft) or more located in North Korea. The coastal plains are wide in the west and discontinuous in the east. A great majority of the population lives in the plains and lowlands.

The highest point in North Korea is Baekdu Mountain which is a volcanic mountain near the Chinese border with basalt lava plateau with elevations between 1,400 and 2,000 metres (4,600 and 6,600 ft) above sea level.[52] The Hamgyong Range, located in the extreme northeastern part of the peninsula, has many high peaks including Gwanmosan at approximately 1,756 m (5,761 ft).

Other major ranges include the Rangrim Mountains, which are located in the north-central part of North Korea and run in a north-south direction, making communication between the eastern and western parts of the country rather difficult; and the Kangnam Range, which runs along the North Korea–China border. Mount Kumgang, or Diamond Mountain, (approximately 1,638 metres or 5,374 feet) in the Taebaek Range, which extends into South Korea, is famous for its scenic beauty.[52]

For the most part, the plains are small. The most extensive are the Pyongyang and Chaeryong plains, each covering about 500 square kilometres (190 sq mi). Because the mountains on the east coast drop abruptly to the sea, the plains are even smaller there than on the west coast. Unlike neighboring Japan or northern China, North Korea experiences few severe earthquakes.


Main article: Climate of North Korea

North Korea has a continental climate with four distinct seasons.[53] Long winters bring bitter cold and clear weather interspersed with snow storms as a result of northern and northwestern winds that blow fromSiberia. Average snowfall is 37 days during the winter. The weather is likely to be particularly harsh in the northern, mountainous regions.

Summer tends to be short, hot, humid, and rainy because of the southern and southeastern monsoon winds that bring moist air from the Pacific Ocean. Typhoons affect the peninsula on an average of at least once every summer.[53] Spring and autumn are transitional seasons marked by mild temperatures and variable winds and bring the most pleasant weather. Natural hazards include late spring droughts which often are followed by severe flooding. There are occasional typhoons during the early fall.

North Korea’s climate is relatively temperate. Most of the country is classified as type Dwa in the Köppen climate classification scheme, with warm summers and cold, dry winters. In summer there is a short rainy season called changma.[54] On August 7, 2007, the most devastating floods in 40 years caused the North Korean government to ask for international help. NGOs, such as the Red Cross, asked people to raise funds because they feared a humanitarian catastrophe.[55]

Administrative divisions

Map Namea Chosŏn’gŭl Hanja Administrative Seat
Capital city (chikhalsi)a
1 Pyongyang 평양직할시 平壤直轄市 (Chung-guyok)
Special city (teukbyeolsi)a
2 Rason 라선특별시 羅先特別市 (Rajin-guyok)
Provinces (do)a
3 South Pyongan 평안남도 平安南道 Pyongsong
4 North Pyongan 평안북도 平安北道 Sinuiju
5 Chagang 자강도 慈江道 Kanggye
6 South Hwanghae 황해남도 黃海南道 Haeju
7 North Hwanghae 황해북도 黃海北道 Sariwon
8 Kangwon 강원도 江原道 Wonsan
9 South Hamgyong 함경남도 咸鏡南道 Hamhung
10 North Hamgyong 함경북도 咸鏡北道 Chongjin
11 Ryanggang * 량강도 兩江道 Hyesan
* – Rendered in Southern dialects as “Yanggang” (양강도).

Largest cities of North Korea
2008 Census[3]

Rank City name Administrative division Pop.
1 Pyongyang Pyongyang Capital City 3,255,288 Chongjin
2 Hamhung South Hamgyong Province 768,551
3 Chongjin North Hamgyong Province 667,929
4 Nampho South Pyongan Province 366,815
5 Wonsan Kangwon Province 363,127
6 Sinuiju North Pyongan Province 359,341
7 Tanchon South Hamgyong Province 345,875
8 Kaechon South Pyongan Province 319,554
9 Kaesong North Hwanghae Province 308,440
10 Sariwon North Hwanghae Province 307,764

Government and politics

The Juche Tower (‘Tower ofJuche Idea’).

North Korea is a self-described Juche (self-reliant) state,[56] described by some observers as a de facto absolute monarchy[57][58][59] or “hereditary dictatorship”[60] with a pronounced cult of personality organized aroundKim Il-sung (the founder of North Korea and the country’s only president) and his late son, Kim Jong-il. There are also those who reject the view that North Korea is a communist state, instead claiming that the North Korean leadership uses communism as a justification for their rule.[61][62][63] Following Kim Il-sung’s death in 1994, he was not replaced but instead received the designation of “Eternal President“, and was entombed in the vast Kumsusan Palace of the Sun in central Pyongyang.[64]

Although the office of the President is ceremonially held by the deceased Kim Il-sung,[65][66][67] the Supreme Leader until his death in December 2011 was Kim Jong-il, who was General Secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea and Chairman of the National Defence Commission of North Korea. The legislature of North Korea is the Supreme People’s Assembly, currently led by Chairman Kim Yong-nam. The other senior government figure is Premier Choe Yong-rim.

The structure of the government is described in the Constitution of North Korea, the latest version of which is from 2009 and officially rejects North Korea’s founding ideology of communism.[68] The governing party by law is the Democratic Front for the Reunification of the Fatherland, a coalition of the Workers’ Party of Korea and two other smaller parties, the Korean Social Democratic Party and the Chondoist Chongu Party. These parties nominate all candidates for office and hold all seats in the Supreme People’s Assembly; although they have negligible power, as the leader holds autocratic control over the nation’s affairs.

In June 2009, it was reported in South Korean media that intelligence indicated that the country’s next leader would be Kim Jong-un, the youngest of Kim Jong-il’s three sons.[69] This was confirmed on 19 December 2011, following Kim Jong-il’s death.[49][70]

Political expression is tightly controlled in North Korea. Supporters of the government who deviate from the government line are subject to reeducation in sections of labor camps set aside for that purpose. Those who are successfully rehabilitated may reassume responsible government positions on their release.[71] Troublesome political dissidents, factionalists and class enemies, who are considered irredeemable are incarcerated together with any close family members or children born in the camp in “Total Control Zones” for life at hard labor. Labor camps in North Korea are actually areas of the country set aside for that purpose, Camp 22 (also known as Kwan-li-so No.22 Haengyong) is 31 miles by 25 miles with a population of about 50,000. Those who attempt to escape or violate camp rules are executed or sent to a separate prison within the camp. The labor camps are reserved for political prisoners; common criminals are incarcerated in a separate system.[72] There are 6 such areas in the northern and northeastern portion of North Korea.[73]

Factionalists or enemies of class, whoever they are, their seed must be eliminated through three generations. Kim Il Sung (1972)[72]

Foreign relations

Kim Jong-il and Vladimir Putin in 2002.

North Korea has long maintained close relations with the People’s Republic of China and Russia. The fall of communism in eastern Europe in 1989, and the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991, resulted in a devastating drop in aid to North Korea from Russia, although China continues to provide substantial assistance. North Korea continues to have strong ties with its socialist southeast Asian allies in Vietnam andLaos, as well as with Cambodia.[74] North Korea has started installing a concrete and barbed wire fence on its northern border, in response to China’s wish to curb refugees fleeing from North Korea. Previously the border between China and North Korea had only been lightly patrolled.[75]

As a result of the North Korean nuclear weapons program, the Six-party talks were established to find a peaceful solution to the growing tension between the two Korean governments, the Russian Federation, the People’s Republic of China, Japan, and the United States.

On July 17, 2007, United Nations inspectors verified the shutdown of five North Korean nuclear facilities, according to the February 2007 agreement.[76]

On October 4, 2007, South Korean President Roh Moo-Hyun and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il signed an 8-point peace agreement, on issues of permanent peace, high-level talks, economic cooperation, renewal of train, highway and air travel, and a joint Olympic cheering squad.[35]

The United States and South Korea previously designated the North as a state sponsor of terrorism.[77] The 1983 bombing that killed members of the South Korean government and the destruction of a South Korean airliner have been attributed to North Korea.[78] North Korea has also admitted responsibility for the kidnapping of 13 Japanese citizens in the 1970s and 1980s, five of whom were returned to Japan in 2002.[79] On October 11, 2008, the United States removed North Korea from its list of states that sponsor terrorism.[80]

In 2009, relationships between North and South Korea increased in intensity; North Korea had been reported to have deployed missiles,[81] ended its former agreements with South Korea,[82] and threatened South Korea and the United States not to interfere with a satellite launch it had planned.[83] North and South Korea are still technically at war (having never signed a peace treaty after the Korean War) and share the world’s most heavily fortified border.[84] On May 27, 2009, North Korean media declared that the Korean Armistice was no longer valid due to the South Korean government’s pledge to “definitely join” the Proliferation Security Initiative.[citation needed] To further complicate and intensify strain between the two nations, the sinking of the South Korean warship Cheonan in March 2010, killing 46 seamen, is as of May 20, 2010 claimed by a multi-national research team[85] to have been caused by a North Korean torpedo, which the North denies. South Korea agreed with the findings from the research group and President Lee Myung-bak declared in May 2010 that Seoul would cut all trade with North Korea as part of measures primarily aimed at striking back at North Korea diplomatically and financially.[86] As a result of this, North Korea severed all ties, completely abrogated the previous pact of non aggression and expelled all South Koreans from a joint industrial zone in Kaesong.[87] On November 23, 2010, North Korea attacked Yeonpyeong Island, further deteriorating the diplomatic relations with the South and other nations.[88]

Most of the foreign embassies connecting with diplomatic ties to North Korea are situated in Beijing rather than Pyongyang.[89]


Human rights

Sneaker-wearing Korean youth walking in Pyongyang.

A uniformed civilian man riding a bicycle in Pyongyang.

Multiple international human rights organizations accuse North Korea of having one of the worst human rights records of any nation.[90] Amnesty International reports of severe restrictions on the freedom of association, expression and movement, arbitrary detention, torture and other ill-treatment resulting in death, and executions.[91] The organization demands the closure of prison camps, where 200,000 political prisoners and their families exist in “the most inhuman conditions imaginable”.[92] North Koreans have been referred to as “some of the world’s most brutalized people” by Human Rights Watch, due to the severe restrictions placed on their political and economic freedoms.[93]

Bribery became prevalent throughout the country.[94] In the 1990’s just listening to South Korean radio could result in capital punishment.[citation needed] However, many North Koreans now illegally wear clothes of South Korean origin, listen to Southern music, watch South Korean videotapes and even receive Southern broadcasts.[95][96]

Political prison camps

Political prison camps in North Korea

North Korean defectors have testified to the existence of prisons and concentration camps[97] and have reported torture, starvation, rape, murder, medical experimentation, forced labour, and forced abortions.[98] According to Amnesty International around 200,000 prisoners (about 0.85% of the population) are held in six large political prison camps,[99]being in operation since the 1950s. They are forced to work in conditions approaching slavery and are frequently subjected to torture and other cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment.[100] Camp 14 in Kaechon,[101] Camp 15 in Yodok[102] and Camp 18 in Bukchang[103] are described in detailed testimonies.[98] People suspected not to be loyal to the regime, e. g. because they are Christians or because they criticized the leadership,[99] are deported to these camps without trial,[104] often with their whole family and mostly without any chance to be released.[105] The International Coalition to Stop Crimes Against Humanity in North Korea (ICNK) estimates that over 10,000 people die in North Korean prison camps every year.[106]

Personality cult

The North Korean government exercises control over many aspects of the nation’s culture, and this control is used to perpetuate a cult of personality surrounding Kim Il-sung, and, to a lesser extent, Kim Jong-il. While visiting North Korea in 1979, journalist Bradley Martin noted that nearly all music, art, and sculpture that he observed glorified “Great Leader” Kim Il-sung, whose personality cult was then being extended to his son, “Dear Leader” Kim Jong-il.[107] There is even widespread belief that Kim Il-sung “created the world”, and Kim Jong-il could “control the weather”.[107]

A propaganda poster with Kim Il-sung’s official portrait

The song “No Motherland Without You” (당신이없으면 조국도없다), sung by the North Korean Army Choir, was created especially for Kim Jong-il and is one of the most popular tunes in the country. Kim Il-sung is still officially revered as the nation’s “Eternal President”. Several landmarks in North Korea are named for Kim Il-sung, including Kim Il-sung UniversityKim Il-sung Stadium, and Kim Il-sung Square. Defectors have been quoted as saying that North Korean schools deify both father and son.[108] Kim Il-sung rejected the notion that he had created a cult around himself, and accused those who suggested this of “factionalism“.[107]

Critics maintain this Kim Jong-il personality cult was inherited from his father, Kim Il-sung. Kim Jong-il was often the center of attention throughout ordinary life in the DPRK. His birthday is one of the most important public holidays in the country. On his 60th birthday (based on his official date of birth), mass celebrations occurred throughout the country.[109] Kim Jong-il’s personality cult, although significant, was not as extensive as his father’s. In 2004, some of his official portraits were taken down from public buildings.[110] One point of view is that Kim Jong-il’s cult of personality was solely out of respect for Kim Il-sung or out of fear of punishment for failure to pay homage.[111] Media and government sources from outside of North Korea generally support this view,[112][113][114][115][116] while North Korean government sources say that it is genuine hero worship.[117]

Korean reunification

Main article: Korean reunification

North Korea’s policy is to seek reunification without what it sees as outside interference, through a federal structure retaining each side’s leadership and systems. Both North and South Korea signed the June 15th North–South Joint Declaration in which both sides made promises to seek out a peaceful reunification.[118] The Democratic Federal Republic of Korea is a proposed state first mentioned by then North Korean president Kim Il-sung on October 10, 1980, proposing a federation between North and South Korea in which the respective political systems would initially remain.[119]


Main article: Korean People’s Army

Korean People’s Army soldiers observing the South Korean side of the DMZ

The Korean People’s Army (KPA) is the name for the collective armed personnel of the North Korean military. It has five branches: Ground ForceNaval ForceAir ForceSpecial Operations Force, and Rocket Force. According to the U.S. Department of State, North Korea has the fourth-largest army in the world, at an estimated 1.21 million armed personnel, with about 20% of men aged 17–54 in the regular armed forces.[120] North Korea has the highest percentage of military personnel per capita of any nation in the world, with approximately one enlisted soldier for every 25 citizens.[24][121]

Koksan, one of North Korea’s principal heavy artillery pieces. This example was captured in Iraq.

Military strategy is designed for insertion of agents and sabotage behind enemy lines in wartime,[120] with much of the KPA’s forces deployed along the heavily fortified Korean Demilitarized Zone. The Korean People’s Army operates a very large amount of equipment, including 4,060 tanks, 2,500 APCs, 17,900 artillery pieces, 11,000 air defence guns and some 10,000 MANPADS and anti-tank guided missiles[122] in the Ground force; at least 915 vessels in the Navy and 1,748 aircraft in the Air Force,[123] of which 478 are fighters and 180 are bombers.[124] North Korea also has the largest special forces in the world, as well as the largest submarine fleet.[125] The equipment is a mixture of World War II vintage vehicles and small arms, widely proliferated Cold War technology, and more modern Soviet or locally produced weapons. In line with its asymmetric warfare strategy, North Korea has also developed a wide range of unconventional techniques and equipment, such as GPS jammers,[126] stealth paint,[127] midget submarines and human torpedoes,[128] a vast array of chemical and biological weapons,[129] and anti-personnel lasers.[130] According to official North Korean media, military expenditures for 2010 amount to 15.8% of the state budget.[131]

North Korea has active nuclear and ballistic missile weapons programs and has been subject to United Nations Security Council resolutions 1695 of July 2006, 1718 of October 2006, and 1874 of June 2009, for carrying out both missile and nuclear tests. North Korea probably has fissile material for up to nine nuclear weapons,[132] and has the capability to deploy nuclear warheads on intermediate-range ballistic missiles.[133]


Main article: Economy of North Korea

An image of the Korean Peninsula at night rendered fromDMSP observations. The disparity in illumination levels is an indication of the differences between the North and South in population and, mostly, energy usage.[134][135]

North Korea has an industrialised, near-autarkic, highly centralized command economy. Of the five remaining Communist states in the world, North Korea is one of only two (along with Cuba) with an almost entirely government-planned, state-owned economy. The Central Planning Committee prepares, supervises and implements economic plans, while a General Bureau of Provincial Industry in each region is responsible for the management of local manufacturing facilities, production, resource allocation and sales.[136]

North Korea’s isolation policy means that international trade is highly restricted. North Korea passed a law in 1984 allowing for foreign investment through joint ventures,[137] but failed to attract any significant investment. In 1991, it established the Rason Economic Special Zone,[138] in an attempt to attract foreign investment from China and Russia. Chinese and Russian companies have purchased rights to use the ports at Rason. Chinese investors are renovating a road from Rason to China,[139] and Russian railway workers are renovating the railway from Rason to Russia, from where it continues onto the Trans-Siberian Railway.[140]

Until 1998, the United Nations published HDI and GDP per capita figures for North Korea, which stood at a medium level of human development at 0.766 (ranked 75th) and a GDP per capita of $4,058.[141] The average salary was about $47 per month in 2004.[142] The average official salary in 2011 was equivalent to $2 per month while the actual monthly income seems to be around $15 because most North Koreans earn money in illegal small businesses: trade, subsistence farming, and handicrafts. The illegal economy is dominated by women because men have to attend their places of official work even though most of the factories are non-functioning.[143] It is estimated that in the early 2000s, the average North Korean family drew some 80% of its income from small businesses that are legal in market economies but illegal in North Korea.[144]

Despite substantial economic problems, quality of life was improving and wages were rising steadily in 2007.[145] Small-scale private markets, known as janmadang, exist throughout the country and provide the population with imported food and commodities ranging from cosmetics to motorcycles in exchange for money.[146][147] In 2009, the government carried out a currency redenomination with the aim to curb free market activity across the country, but the attempt failed, causing inflation rates to skyrocket, and eventually led to the lifting of the ban on free market trade.[148]

Food rations, housing, healthcare, and education are offered from the state for free,[149] and the payment of taxes has been abolished since April 1, 1974.[150] In order to increase productivity from agriculture and industry, since the 1960s the North Korean government has introduced a number of management systems such as the Taean work system.[151] In the 21st century, North Korea’s GDP growth has been slow but steady, although in recent years, growth has gradually accelerated to 3.7% in 2008, the fastest pace in almost a decade, largely due to a sharp growth of 8.2% in the agricultural sector.[152]

GDP Growth by year[152][153]
2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
1.3% 3.7% 1.2% 1.8% 2.2% 1.0% 1.6% 1.8% 3.7% 3.7%

Hungju collective chicken farm, Chagang Province.

According to estimates from 2002, the dominant sector in the North Korean economy is industry (43.1%), followed by services (33.6%) and agriculture (23.3%). In 2004, it was estimated that agriculture employed 37% of the workforce while industry and services employed the remaining 63%.[5] Major industries include military products, machine building, electric power, chemicals, mining, metallurgy, textiles, food processing and tourism.Iron ore and coal production are among the few sectors where North Korea performs significantly better than its southern neighbour – the DPRK produces about 10 times larger amounts of each resource.[154]

Rice yields are about 2.8 tonnes per hectare, about half that in most countries, with soil degradation, lack of fertilisers, and limited mechanisation blamed.[155] In 2005, North Korea was ranked by the FAO as an estimated 10th in the production of fresh fruit[156] and as an estimated 19th in the production of apples.[157] It has substantial natural resources and is the world’s 18th largest producer of iron and zinc, having the22nd largest coal reserves in the world. It is also the 15th largest fluorite producer and 12th largest producer of copper and salt in Asia. Other major natural resources in production include leadtungstengraphite,magnesitegoldpyritesfluorspar, and hydropower.[5]

Private commerce

Generic paracetamol tablets made in the DPRK by a joint venture company

FamilyMart store in Kaesong Industrial Region, North Korea’s light industry center.

In 1991, North Korea started experimenting with private capitalism in the Rajin-Sonbong Economic Special Zone, and in 2002 also set up the Kaesong Industrial Region.[158] A small number of other areas have been designated as Special Administrative Regions. China and South Korea are the biggest trade partners of North Korea, with trade with China increasing 15% to US$1.6 billion in 2005, and trade with South Korea increasing 50% to over 1 billion for the first time in 2005.[159] China is North Korea’s closest economic partner, with 73% of North Korea’s foreign trade being conducted with this country.[160]

In 2000, Centre for the Study of the Capitalist System was established.[161] Increasingly more foreign-invested joint ventures have been set up since 2002.[162] The Pyongyang Business School was established by the Swiss government to help teach students business management.[163]

A small number of capitalistic elements are gradually spreading from the trial area, including a number of advertising billboards along certain highways. Recent visitors have reported that the number of open-air farmers’ markets has increased in Kaesong and Pyongyang, as well as along the China-North Korea border, bypassing the food rationing system. In addition to food aid, China reportedly provides an estimated 80 to 90 percent of North Korea’s oil imports at “friendly prices” that are sharply lower than the world market price.[164]

North Korea also has a cartoon animation industry, sub-contracting work from South Korean animation studios.[165]


Main article: Tourism in North Korea

The Mount Kumgang Tourist Region was popular among South Korean tourists until its suspension in 2008

Tourism in North Korea is organized by the state-owned Korea International Travel Company. All tourists/visitors are constantly accompanied by one or two “guides”, who usually speak the tourist’s native language. While tourism has increased over the last few years, tourists from Western countries remain few.

Most visitors come from China, Russia, and Japan. Russian citizens from the Asian part of Russia prefer North Korea as a tourist destination because of the relatively low prices, lack of pollution, and warmer climate. For citizens of South Korea, it is almost impossible to get a visa to North Korea; they can get “entry permits” to special tourist areas designated for South Koreans, such as Kaesong. United States citizens were also subject to visa restrictions, allowed to visit only during the yearly Arirang Festival; these restrictions were lifted in January 2010. Fewer than 2,500 United States citizens have visited North Korea since 1953.[166]

In the area of Mount Kumgang, the company Hyundai established and operates a special tourist area. Travel to this area is possible for South Koreans and United States citizens, but only in organized groups from South Korea. A special administrative region, the Mount Kumgang Tourist Region, exists for this purpose. Trips to the region were suspended after a South Korean woman who wandered into a controlled military zone was shot dead by border guards in late 2008.[167] When tours had not resumed by May 2010, North Korea announced that it would seize South Korean real estate assets in the region.[168]


Main article: North Korean famine

In the 1990s North Korea faced significant economic disruptions, including a series of natural disasters, economic mismanagement and serious resource shortages after the collapse of the Eastern Bloc. These resulted in a shortfall of staple grain output of more than 1 million tons from what the country needs to meet internationally accepted minimum dietary requirements.[169] The North Korean famine known as “Arduous March” resulted in the deaths of between 300,000 and 800,000 North Koreans per year during the three year famine, peaking in 1997.[17] The deaths were most likely caused by famine-related illnesses such as pneumoniatuberculosis, and diarrhea rather than starvation.[17]

In 2006, Amnesty International reported that a national nutrition survey conducted by the North Korean government, the World Food Programme, and UNICEF found that 7% of children were severely malnourished; 37% were chronically malnourished; 23.4% were underweight; and one in three mothers was malnourished and anaemic as the result of the lingering effect of the famine. The inflation caused by some of the 2002 economic reforms, including the Songun or “Military-first” policy, was cited for creating the increased price of basic foods.[170]

The history of Japanese assistance to North Korea has been marked with challenges; from a large pro-Pyongyang community of Koreans in Japan to public outrage over the 1998 North Korean missile launch and revelations regarding the abduction of Japanese citizens.[171] In June 1995 an agreement was reached that the two countries would act jointly.[171] South Korea would provide 150,000 MT of grain in unmarked bags, and Japan would provide 150,000 MT gratis and another 150,000 MT on concessional terms.[171] In October 1995 and January 1996, North Korea again approached Japan for assistance. On these two occasions, both of which came at crucial moments in the evolution of the famine, opposition from both South Korea and domestic political sources quashed the deals.[171]

Beginning in 1997, the U.S. began shipping food aid to North Korea through the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to combat the famine. Shipments peaked in 1999 at nearly 700,000 tons making the U.S. the largest foreign aid donor to the country at the time. Under the Bush Administration, aid was drastically reduced year after year from 350,000 tons in 2001 to 40,000 in 2004.[172] The Bush Administration took criticism for using “food as a weapon” during talks over the North’s nuclear weapons program, but insisted the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) criteria were the same for all countries and the situation in North Korea had “improved significantly since its collapse in the mid-1990s.” Agricultural production had increased from about 2.7 million metric tons in 1997 to 4.2 million metric tons in 2004.[173]

Media and telecommunications


North Korean media are under some of the strictest government control in the world. The North Korean constitution provides for freedom of speech and the press; but the government prohibits the exercise of these rights in practice. In its 2010 report,Reporters without Borders ranked freedom of the press in North Korea as 177th out of 178, above only that of Eritrea.[174] Only news that favors the regime is permitted, while news that covers the economic and political problems in the country, and foreign criticism of the government, are not allowed.[175] The media upheld the personality cult of Kim Jong-un, regularly reporting on his daily activities. The main news provider to media in the DPRK is the Korean Central News Agency.

North Korea has 12 principal newspapers and 20 major periodicals, all of varying periodicity and all published in Pyongyang.[176] Newspapers include the Rodong SinmunJoson InmingunMinju Choson, and Rodongja Sinmum. No private press is known to exist.[177]

In January 2012, the Associated Press opened a bureau in Pyongyang for full news coverage within North Korea.[178] [179]

Telephones and Internet

North Korea has an adequate telephone system, with 1.18 million fixed lines available in 2008.[180] However, most phones are only installed for senior government officials. Someone wanting a phone installed must fill out a form indicating their rank, why he wants a phone, and how he will pay for it.[181] The number of mobile phones in Pyongyang rose from 3,000 in 2002 to approximately 20,000 in 2004.[182] In June 2004, mobile phones were forbidden again.[183] The prohibition lasted until 2008, when a new,3G network, Koryolink, was built through a joint venture with Orascom Telecom Holding, of Egypt. In May 2010, more than 120,000 North Koreans owned mobile phones.[184] By September 2010, the number of subscribers reached 301,000.[185] By August 2011, the number of mobile-phone subscribers had increased to 660,000 users.[186] By December 2011, the number of subscribers was reported as 900,000.[187]

North Korea’s first Internet café opened in 2002 as a joint venture with a South Korean Internet company, Hoonnet. Ordinary North Koreans do not have access to the global Internet network, but are provided with a nationwide, public-use Intranet service called Kwangmyong, which features domestic news, an e-mail service, and censored information from foreign websites (mostly scientific).[188]


Puhŭng station of the Pyongyang Metro.

Two of the few ways to enter North Korea are over the Sino-Korea Friendship Bridge or via Panmunjeom, the former crossing the Amnok River and the latter crossing the Demilitarized Zone.

On October 13, 2011 a train from the Russian border settlement of Khasan made an inaugural run to Rajin in North Korea. It run a 54-kilometer along a newly repaired link of reconstruction all the Trans-Korean railfor its further integration into the Trans-Siberian railroad.[189]

Private cars in North Korea are a rare sight, but as of 2008 some 70% of households used bicycles, which also play an increasingly important role in small-scale private trade.[190] Very few cars and light trucks are made in a joint-venture between Pyeonghwa Motors of South Korea, and the North Korean Ryonbong General Corp at a facility in Nampo North Korea.[191] Another local producer of vehicles is Sungri Motor Plant, which manufactures civilian vehicles and heavy trucks.

There is a mix of locally built and imported trolleybuses and trams in urban centers in North Korea. Earlier fleets were obtained in Europe and China, but the trade embargo has forced North Korea to build their own vehicles.

Rail transport

A train in North Korea

Choson Cul Minzuzui Inmingonghoagug is the only rail operator in North Korea. It has a network of 5,200 km (3,200 mi) of track with 4,500 km (2,800 mi) in standard gauge.[192] There is a small narrow gauge railway in operation in Haeju peninsula.[192] The railway fleet consists of a mix of electric and steam locomotives. Cars are mostly made in North Korea using Soviet and Chinese designs. There are some locomotives from Imperial Japan, the United States, and Europe remaining in use. Second-hand Chinese locomotives (early DF4Bs, BJ Hydraulics, etc.) have also been spotted in active service.

People traveling from the capital Pyongyang to other regions in North Korea typically travel by rail. But in order to travel out of Pyongyang, people need an official travel certificate, ID, and a purchased ticket in advance. Due to lack of maintenance on the infrastructure and vehicles, the travel time by rail is increasing. It has been reported that the 120 mile (193 km) trip from Pyongyang to Kaesong can take up to 6 hours.[193]

Marine transport

A North Korean cargo ship off the coast of Somalia

Water transport on the major rivers and along the coasts plays a growing role in freight and passenger traffic. Except for the Yalu and Taedong rivers, most of the inland waterways, totaling 2,253 kilometres (1,400 mi), are navigable only by small boats. Coastal traffic is heaviest on the eastern seaboard, whose deeper waters can accommodate larger vessels. The major ports are Nampho on the west coast and Rajin,ChongjinWonsan, and Hamhung on the east coast. The country’s harbor loading capacity in the 1990s was estimated at almost 35 million tons a year.[194]

In the early 1990s, North Korea possessed an oceangoing merchant fleet, largely domestically produced, of sixty-eight ships (of at least 1,000 gross-registered tons), totaling 465,801 gross-registered tons (709,442 metric tons deadweight (DWT)), which includes fifty-eight cargo ships and two tankers. There is a continuing investment in upgrading and expanding port facilities, developing transportation—particularly on the Taedong River—and increasing the share of international cargo by domestic vessels.[195]

Air transport

The departure lounge at Sunan International Airport

North Korea’s international air connections are limited. There are regularly scheduled flights from the Sunan International Airport – 24 kilometres (15 mi) north of Pyongyang – to MoscowKhabarovskVladivostokBangkokBeijingDalianKuala LumpurShanghaiShenyang along with seasonal services to Singapore and charter flights from Sunan to numerous Asian and European destinations including Tokyo and Nagoya. Regular charters to existing scheduled services are operated as per demand. An agreement to initiate a service between Pyongyang and Tokyo was signed in 1990. Internal flights are available between PyongyangHamhungHaeju,KaesongKanggyeKiljuNampoSinuijuSamjiyonWonsan, and Chongjin.[196]

All civil aircraft are operated by Air Koryo: 38 aircraft in 2010, which were purchased from the Soviet Union and Russia. From 1976 to 1978, four Tu-154 jets were added to the 7 of propeller-driven An-24s and 2 Ilyushin Il-18’s afterwards adding four long range Ilyushin Il-62M, three Ilyushin Il-76MD large cargo aircraft. In 2008 a long range Tupolev Tu-204-300’s purchased along with a larger version the Tupolev Tu-204-100B in 2010.[194]


Population pyramid of North Korea

Prefabricated apartments house a large portion of the population. Housing in North Korea is free, but cramped as with many other Asian nations.[197]

North Korea’s population of roughly 24 million is one of the most ethnically and linguistically homogeneous in the world, with very small numbers of Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, South Korean, and European expatriate minorities.

According to the CIA World Factbook, North Korea’s life expectancy was 63.8 years in 2009, a figure roughly equivalent to that of Pakistan and Burma and slightly lower than Russia.[198] Infant mortality stood at a high level of 51.3, which is 2.5 times higher than that of China, 5 times that of Russia, 12 times that of South Korea.[199]

According to the UNICEF “The State of the world’s Children 2003” North Korea appears ranked at the 73rd place (with first place having the highest mortality rate), between Guatemala (72nd) and Tuvalu(74th).[199][200] North Korea’s Total fertility rate is relatively low and stood at 2.0 in 2009, comparable to those of the United States and France.[201]


Main article: Korean language

North Korea shares the Korean language with South Korea. There are dialect differences within both Koreas, but the border between North and South does not represent a major linguistic boundary. While prevalent in the South, the adoption of modern terms from foreign languages has been limited in North Korea. Hanja (Chinese characters) are no longer used in North Korea (ever since 1949), although still occasionally used in South Korea. In South Korea, knowledge of Chinese writing is viewed as a measure of intellectual achievement and level of education. Both Koreas share the phonetic writing system calledChosongul in the north and Hangul south of the DMZ. The official Romanization differs in the two countries, with North Korea using a slightly modified McCune-Reischauer system, and the South using the Revised Romanization of Korean. The move toward prohibiting both Roman and Chinese based characters in North Korea has led to a number of words and phrases not common in the southern half of the peninsula or in Korean communities abroad.


Both Koreas share a Buddhist and Confucian heritage and a recent history of Christian and Cheondoism (“religion of the Heavenly Way”) movements. The North Korean constitution states that freedom of religion is permitted.[202] According to the Western standards of religion, the majority of the North Korean population could be characterized as irreligious. However, the cultural influence of such traditional religions as Buddhism and Confucianism still have an effect on North Korean spiritual life.[203][204][205]

Nevertheless, Buddhists in North Korea reportedly fare better than other religious groups, particularly Christians, who are said to face persecution by the authorities. Buddhists are given limited funding by the government to promote the religion, because Buddhism played an integral role in traditional Korean culture.[206]

An ancient relief image of the Buddha, Mount Kumgang

According to Human Rights Watch, free religious activities no longer exist in North Korea, as the government sponsors religious groups only to create an illusion of religious freedom.[207] According to Religious Intelligence the situation of religion in North Korea is the following:[208]

  • Irreligion: 15,460,000 (64.3% of population, the vast majority of which are adherents of the Juche philosophy)
  • Korean shamanism: 3,846,000 adherents (16% of population)
  • Cheondoism: 3,245,000 adherents (13.5% of population)
  • Buddhism: 1,082,000 adherents (4.5% of population)
  • Christianity: 406,000 adherents (1.7% of population)

Pyongyang was the center of Christian activity in Korea until 1945. From the late forties 166 priests and other religious figures were killed or disappeared in concentration camps, including Francis Hong Yong-ho, bishop of Pyongyang[209] and all monks of Tokwon abbey.[210] No Catholic priest survived the persecution, all churches were destroyed and the government never allowed any foreign priest to set up in North Korea.[211]

Today, four state-sanctioned churches exist, which freedom of religion advocates say are showcases for foreigners.[212][213] Official government statistics report that there are 10,000 Protestants and 4,000 Roman Catholics in North Korea.[214]

According to a ranking published by Open Doors, an organization that supports persecuted Christians, North Korea is currently the country with the most severe persecution of Christians in the world.[215] Open Doors estimates that 50000 – 70000 Christians are detained in North Korean prison camps.[216] Human rights groups such as Amnesty International also have expressed concerns about religious persecution in North Korea.[217]


A young girl in a school in Mangyongdae

Education in North Korea is free of charge,[218] compulsory until the secondary level, and is controlled by the government. The state also used to provide school uniforms free of charge until the early 1990s.[219]Heuristics is actively applied in order to develop the independence and creativity of students.[220] Compulsory education lasts eleven years, and encompasses one year of preschool, four years of primary education and six years of secondary education. The school curriculum has both academic and political content.[221]

Primary schools are known as people’s schools, and children attend them from the age of 6 to 9. Then from age 10 to 16, they attend either a regular secondary school or a special secondary school, depending on their specialties.

Higher education is not compulsory in North Korea. It is composed of two systems: academic higher education and higher education for continuing education. The academic higher education system includes three kinds of institutions: universitiesprofessional schools, and technical schoolsGraduate schools for master’s and doctoral level studies are attached to universities, and are for students who want to continue their education. Two notable universities in the DPRK are the Kim Il-sung University and Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, both in Pyongyang. The former, founded in October 1946, is an elite institution whose enrollment of 16,000 full- and part-time students in the early 1990s occupies, in the words of one observer, the “pinnacle of the North Korean educational and social system.”[222]

North Korea is one of the most literate countries in the world, with an average literacy rate of 99%.[5]

Health care

A dental cabinet at one of North Korea’s major hospitals

North Korea has a national medical service and health insurance system.[223] North Korea spends 3% of its gross domestic product on health care. Beginning in the 1950s, the DPRK put great emphasis on healthcare, and between 1955 and 1986, the number of hospitals grew from 285 to 2,401, and the number of clinics – from 1,020 to 5,644.[224] There are hospitals attached to factories and mines. Since 1979 more emphasis has been put on traditional Korean medicine, based on treatment with herbs and acupuncture.

North Korea’s healthcare system has been in a steep decline since the 1990s due to natural disasters, economic problems, and food and energy shortages. Many hospitals and clinics in North Korea now lack essential medicines, equipment, running water and electricity.[225]

Almost 100% of the population has access to water and sanitation, but it is not completely potable. Infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis, malaria, and hepatitis B, are considered to be endemic to the country.[226] Life expectancy in North Korea is 63.8 years, occupying the 170th place in the world, according to 2009 estimates.[198]

Among other health problems, many North Korean citizens suffer from the after effects of malnutrition, caused by famines related to the failure of its food distribution program and “military first” policy. A 1998 United Nations (UN) World Food Program report revealed that 60% of children suffered from malnutrition, and 16% were acutely malnourished. As a result, those who suffered during the disaster have ongoing health problems.

Culture and arts

Kimchaek University e-Library in Pyongyang

Scene from the Mass Games

A drawing in one of the chambers of theGoguryeo tombs.

North Korea shares its traditional culture with South Korea, but the two Koreas have developed distinct contemporary forms of culture since the peninsula was divided in 1945. Historically, while the culture of Korea has been influenced by that of neighbouring China, it has nevertheless managed to develop a unique and distinct cultural identity from its larger neighbour.[227]

Literature and arts in North Korea are state-controlled, mostly through the Propaganda and Agitation Department or the Culture and Arts Department of the Central Committee of the KWP.[228]

Korean culture came under attack during the Japanese rule from 1910 to 1945. Japan enforced a cultural assimilation policy. During the Japanese rule, Koreans were encouraged to learn and speak Japanese, adopt the Japanese family name system and Shinto religion, and were forbidden to write or speak the Korean language in schools, businesses, or public places.[229] In addition, the Japanese altered or destroyed various Korean monuments including Gyeongbok Palace and documents which portrayed the Japanese in a negative light were revised.

In July 2004, the Complex of Goguryeo Tombs became the first site in the country to be included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.

In February 2008, The New York Philharmonic Orchestra became the first US orchestra to perform in North Korea,[230] albeit for a handpicked “invited audience.”[231] The concert was broadcast on national television.[232] The Christian rock band Casting Crowns played at the annual Spring Friendship Arts Festival in April 2007, held in Pyongyang.[233]

A popular event in North Korea is the Mass Games. The most recent and largest Mass Games was called “Arirang“. It was performed six nights a week for two months, and involved over 100,000 performers. Attendees to this event in recent years report that the anti-West sentiments have been toned down compared to previous performances. The Mass Games involve performances of dance, gymnastics, and choreographic routines which celebrate the history of North Korea and the Workers’ Party Revolution. The Mass Games are held in Pyongyang at various venues (varying according to the scale of the Games in a particular year) including the Rungrado May Day Stadium, which is the largest stadium in the world with a capacity of 150,000 people.

North Korea employs artists to produce art for export at the Mansudae Art Studio in Pyongyang. Over 1,000 artists are employed. Products include water colors, ink drawings, posters, mosaics and embroidery.Socialist realism is the approved style with North Korea being portrayed as prosperous and progressive and its citizens as happy and enthusiastic. Traditional Korean designs and themes are present most often in the embroidery. The artistic and technical quality of the works produced is very high but other than a few wealthy South Korean collectors there is a limited market due to public taste and reluctance of states and collectors to financially support the regime.[234]


Main article: Sport in North Korea

North Korea (in red) playing against Brazil in the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

Perhaps the most well known sporting event in North Korea is the annual Arirang Festival. The main attraction of Arirang is the mass gymnastics display. In football, fifteen clubs compete in the DPR Korea League level-one and vie for both the Technical Innovation Contests and the Republic Championship. The national football team, Chollima, compete in the AFC and are ranked 105 by FIFA as of 26 May 2010. The team competed in the finals of the FIFA World Cup in 1966 and 2010. In hockey, North Korea has a men’s team that is ranked 43rd out of 49[235] and competes in Division II. The women’s team is ranked 21 out of 34[236] and competes in Division II.

North Korea has been competing in the Olympics since 1964 and debuted at the summer games in 1972 by taking home five medals, including one gold. The IOC Code is PRK.

North Korea boycotted the 1988 Summer Olympics in neighboring Seoul.

At the Athens Games in 2004, the North and South marched together in the opening and closing ceremonies under the Unification Flag, but competed separately. To date, North Korea has medaled in every summer Olympics in which they have participated.

The martial art taekwondo originated in Korea. In the 1950s and 60s, modern rules were standardised and taekwondo became an official Olympic sport in 2000. Other Korean martial arts include taekkyeon,hapkidotang soo dokuk sool wonkumdo and subak.

See also

 Media related to North Korea at Wikimedia Commons


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Further reading

External links

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The Secret Life Of The Dog (BBC Documentary)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Domestic dog
Temporal range: 0.015–0 Ma

Yellow Labrador Retriever, the most registered breed of 2009 with the AKC
More images of dogs.
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Canidae
Genus: Canis
Species: C. lupus
Subspecies: C. l. familiaris[1]
Trinomial name
Canis lupus familiaris[2]

The domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris),[2][3] is a subspecies of the gray wolf (Canis lupus), a member of the Canidaefamily of the mammilian order Carnivora. The term “domestic dog” is generally used for both domesticated and feralvarieties. The dog may have been the first animal to be domesticated, and has been the most widely kept workinghunting, and companion animal in human history. The word “dog” may also mean the male of a canine species,[4] as opposed to the word “bitch” for the female of the species.

The present lineage of dogs was domesticated from gray wolves about 15,000 years ago.[5] Remains of domesticated dogs have been found in Siberia and Belgium from about 33,000 years ago. The earlier specimens not only show shortening of the snout but widening of the muzzle and some crowding of teeth making them clearly domesticated dogs and not wolves. There are more sites of varying ages in and around Europe and Asia younger than 33,000 years ago but significantly older than 15,000 years ago. None of these early domestication lineages seem to have survived the Last Glacial Maximum. Although mDNA suggest a split between dogs and wolves around 100,000 years ago no specimens predate 33,000 years ago that are clearly morphologically domesticated dog.[6][7][8]

Dogs’ value to early human hunter-gatherers led to them quickly becoming ubiquitous across world cultures. Dogs perform many roles for people, such as huntingherdingpulling loadsprotectionassisting police and militarycompanionship, and, more recently, aiding handicapped individuals. This impact on human society has given them the nickname “Man’s Best Friend” in the Western world. In some cultures, dogs are also an important source of meat.[9][10] In 2001, there were estimated to be 400 million dogs in the world.[11]

Most breeds of dogs are at most a few hundred years old, having been artificially selected for particular morphologies and behaviors by people for specific functional roles. Through this selective breeding, the dog has developed into hundreds of varied breeds, and shows more behavioral and morphological variation than any other land mammal.[12] For example, height measured to the withers ranges from a 2 inches (51 mm) in the Chihuahua to a 2 feet (0.61 m) in the Irish Wolfhound; color varies from white through grays (usually called “blue”) to black, and browns from light (tan) to dark (“red” or “chocolate”) in a wide variation of patterns; coats can be short or long, coarse-haired to wool-like, straight, curly, or smooth.[13] It is common for most breeds to shed this coat.



Etymology and related terminology

Dog is the common use term that refers to members of the subspecies Canis lupus familiaris (canis, “dog”; lupus, “wolf”; familiaris, “of a household” or “domestic”). The term can also be used to refer to a wider range of related species, such as the members of the genus Canis, or “true dogs”, including the wolfcoyote, and jackals; or it can refer to the members of the tribe Canini, which would also include the African wild dog; or it can be used to refer to any member of the family Canidae, which would also include thefoxesbush dograccoon dog, and others.[14] Some members of the family have “dog” in their common names, such as the raccoon dog and the African wild dog. A few animals have “dog” in their common names but are not canids, such as the prairie dog.

The English word dog comes from Middle English dogge, from Old English docga, a “powerful dog breed”.[15] The term may derive from Proto-Germanic *dukkōn, represented in Old English finger-docce (“finger-muscle”).[16] The word also shows the familiar petname diminutive -ga also seen in frogga “frog”, picga “pig”, stagga “stag”, wicga “beetle, worm”, among others.[17] Due to the archaic structure of the word, the term dog may ultimately derive from the earliest layer of Proto-Indo-European vocabulary, reflecting the role of the dog as the earliest domesticated animal.[18]

In 14th-century England, hound (from Old Englishhund) was the general word for all domestic canines, and dog referred to a subtype of hound, a group including the mastiff. It is believed this “dog” type of “hound” was so common it eventually became the prototype of the category “hound”.[19] By the 16th century, dog had become the general word, and hound had begun to refer only to types used for hunting.[20] Houndcognate to German Hund, Dutch hond, common Scandinavian hund, and Icelandic hundur, is ultimately derived from the Proto-Indo-European *kwon- “dog”, found in Welsh ci (plural cwn), Latin canisGreek kýōnLithuanian šuõ.[21]

In breeding circles, a male canine is referred to as a dog, while a female is called a bitch (Middle English bicche, from Old English bicce, ultimately from Old Norse bikkja). A group of offspring is a litter. The father of a litter is called the sire, and the mother is called the dam. Offspring are, in general, called pups or puppies, from French poupée, until they are about a year old. The process of birth is whelping, from the Old English word hwelp (cf. German Welpe, Dutch welp, Swedish valpa, Icelandic hvelpur).[22]


In 1753, the father of modern biological taxonomy, Carl Linnaeus, listed among the types of quadruped familiar to him, the Latin word for dog, “Canis.” Among the species within this genus, Linnaeus listed the fox, as “Canis vulpes”, wolves (Canis lupus), and the domestic dog, (Canis canis).[23]

In later editions, Linnaeus dropped “Canis canis” and greatly expanded his list of the Canis genus of quadrupeds, and by 1758 included alongside the foxes, wolves, andjackels and many more terms which are now listed as synonyms for domestic dog, including ‘’aegyptius” (hairless dog), ‘’aquaticus’’, (water dog), and ‘’mustelinus’’ (literally “badger dog).” Among these were two that later experts have been widely used for domestic dogs as a species: ‘’Canis domesticus’’ and, most predominantly, ‘’Canis familiaris”, the “common” or “familiar” dog.[24]

The domestic dog was accepted as a species in its own right until overwhelming evidence from behavior, vocalizations, morphology, and molecular biology led to the contemporary scientific understanding that a single species, the gray wolf, is the common ancestor for all breeds of domestic dogs. [25][26][27] In recognition of this fact, the domestic dog was reclassified in 1993 as Canis lupus familiaris, a subspecies of the gray wolf Canis lupus, by the Smithsonian Institution and the American Society of MammalogistsCanis lupus familiaris is listed as the name for the taxon that is broadly used in the scientific community and recommended by ITIS although Canis familiaris, however, is a recognised synonym.[28]

Since that time, domesticus and all taxa referring to domestic dogs or subspecies of dog listed by Linnaeus, Johann Friedrich Gmelin in 1792, and Christian Smith in 1839, lost their subspecies status and have been listed as taxonomic synonyms for Canis lupus familiaris [29]

History and evolution

Ancient Greek rhyton in the shape of a dog’s head, made by Brygos, early 5th century BC. Jérôme Carcopino Museum, Department of Archaeology, Aleria

Domestic dogs inherited complex behaviors from their wolf ancestors, which would have been pack hunters with complex body language. These sophisticated forms of social cognition and communication may account for their trainability, playfulness, and ability to fit into human households and social situations, and these attributes have given dogs a relationship with humans that has enabled them to become one of the most successful species on the planet today.[25]

Although experts largely disagree over the details of dog domestication, it is agreed that human interaction played a significant role in shaping the subspecies.[30]Domestication may have occurred initially in separate areas particularly Siberia and Europe. Currently it is thought domestication of our current lineage of dog occurred sometime as early as 15,000 years ago and arguably as late as 8500 years ago. Shortly after the latest domestication, dogs became ubiquitous in human populations, and spread throughout the world. Emigrants from Siberia likely crossed the Bering Strait with dogs in their company, and some experts[who?] suggest the use ofsled dogs may have been critical to the success of the waves that entered North America roughly 12,000 years ago,[citation needed] although the earliest archaeological evidence of dog-like canids in North America dates from about 9,000 years ago.[31] Dogs were an important part of life for the Athabascan population in North America, and were their only domesticated animal. Dogs also carried much of the load in the migration of the Apache and Navajo tribes 1,400 years ago. Use of dogs as pack animals in these cultures often persisted after the introduction of the horse to North America.[32][page needed]

The current consensus among biologists and archaeologists is that the dating of first domestication is indeterminate,[30][32] although more recent evidence shows isolated domestication events as early as 33,000 years ago.[33][34] There is conclusive evidence the present lineage of dogs genetically diverged from their wolf ancestors at least 15,000 years ago,[5][35][36] but some believe domestication to have occurred earlier.[30] Evidence is accruing that there were previous domestication events, but that those lineages died out.[37] It is not known whether humans domesticated the wolf as such to initiate dog’s divergence from its ancestors, or whether dog’s evolutionary path had already taken a different course prior to domestication. For example, it is hypothesized that some wolves gathered around the campsites of paleolithic camps to scavenge refuse, and associated evolutionary pressure developed that favored those who were less frightened by, and keener in approaching, humans.

Tesem, an old Egyptian sighthound-like dog.

The bulk of the scientific evidence for the evolution of the domestic dog stems from morphological studies of archaeological findings and mitochondrial DNA studies. The divergence date of roughly 15,000 years ago is based in part on archaeological evidence that demonstrates the domestication of dogs occurred more than 15,000 years ago,[25][32] and some genetic evidence indicates the domestication of dogs from their wolf ancestors began in the late Upper Paleolithic close to the Pleistocene/Holoceneboundary, between 17,000 and 14,000 years ago.[38] But there is a wide range of other, contradictory findings that make this issue controversial.[citation needed] There are findings beginning currently at 33,000 years ago distinctly placing them as domesticated dogs evidenced not only by shortening of the muzzle but widening as well as crowding of teeth.

Archaeological evidence suggests the latest dogs could have diverged from wolves was roughly 15,000 years ago, although it is possible they diverged much earlier.[25] In 2008, a team of international scientists released findings from an excavation at Goyet Cave in Belgium declaring a large, toothy canine existed 31,700 years ago and ate a diet of horse, musk ox and reindeer.[39]

Prior to this Belgian discovery, the earliest dog fossils were two large skulls from Russia and a mandible from Germany dated from roughly 14,000 years ago.[5][25] Remains of smaller dogs from Natufian cave deposits in the Middle East, including the earliest burial of a human being with a domestic dog, have been dated to around 10,000 to 12,000 years ago.[5][40] There is a great deal of archaeological evidence for dogs throughout Europe and Asia around this period and through the next two thousand years (roughly 8,000 to 10,000 years ago), with fossils uncovered in Germany, the French Alps, and Iraq, and cave paintings in Turkey.[25] The oldest remains of a domesticated dog in the Americas were found in Texas and have been dated to about 9,400 years ago.[41]

DNA studies

DNA studies have provided a wide range of possible divergence dates, from 15,000 to 40,000 years ago,[5] to as much as 100,000 to 140,000 years ago.[42] These results depend on a number of assumptions.[25] Genetic studies are based on comparisons of genetic diversity between species, and depend on a calibration date. Some estimates of divergence dates from DNA evidence use an estimated wolf-coyote divergence date of roughly 700,000 years ago as a calibration.[43] If this estimate is incorrect, and the actual wolf-coyote divergence is closer to one or two million years ago, or more,[44] then the DNA evidence that supports specific dog-wolf divergence dates would be interpreted very differently.

Furthermore, it is believed the genetic diversity of wolves has been in decline for the last 200 years, and that the genetic diversity of dogs has been reduced by selective breeding. This could significantly bias DNA analyses to support an earlier divergence date. The genetic evidence for the domestication event occurring in East Asia is also subject to violations of assumptions. These conclusions are based on the location of maximal genetic divergence, and assume hybridization does not occur, and that breeds remain geographically localized. Although these assumptions hold for many species, there is good reason to believe that they do not hold for canines.[25]

Genetic analyses indicate all dogs are likely descended from a handful of domestication events with a small number of founding females,[25][38] although there is evidence domesticated dogs interbred with local populations of wild wolves on several occasions.[5] Data suggest dogs first diverged from wolves in East Asia, and these domesticated dogs then quickly migrated throughout the world, reaching the North American continent around 8000 BC.[5] The oldest groups of dogs, which show the greatest genetic variability and are the most similar to their wolf ancestors, are primarily Asian and African breeds, including the BasenjiLhasa Apso, and Siberian Husky.[45] Some breeds thought to be very old, such as the Pharaoh HoundIbizan Hound, and Norwegian Elkhound, are now known to have been created more recently.[45]

There is a great deal of controversy surrounding the evolutionary framework for the domestication of dogs.[25] Although it is widely claimed that “man domesticated the wolf,”[46] man may not have taken such a proactive role in the process.[25] The nature of the interaction between man and wolf that led to domestication is unknown and controversial. At least three early species of the Homo genus began spreading out of Africa roughly 400,000 years ago, and thus lived for a considerable time in contact with canine species. Despite this, there is no evidence of any adaptation of canine species to the presence of the close relatives of modern man. If dogs were domesticated, as believed, roughly 15,000 years ago, the event (or events) would have coincided with a large expansion in human territory and the development of agriculture. This has led some biologists to suggest one of the forces that led to the domestication of dogs was a shift in human lifestyle in the form of established human settlements. Permanent settlements would have coincided with a greater amount of disposable food and would have created a barrier between wild and anthropogenic canine populations.[25]

Roles with humans

Siberian Husky used as a pack animal

Early roles

Wolves, and their dog descendants, would have derived significant benefits from living in human camps—more safety, more reliable food, lesser caloric needs, and more chance to breed.[47] They would have benefited from humans’ upright gait that gives them larger range over which to see potential predators and prey, as well as color vision that, at least by day, gives humans better visual discrimination.[47] Camp dogs would also have benefitted from human tool use, as in bringing down larger prey and controlling fire for a range of purposes.[47]

Humans would also have derived enormous benefit from the dogs associated with their camps.[48] For instance, dogs would have improved sanitation by cleaning up food scraps.[48] Dogs may have provided warmth, as referred to in the Australian Aboriginal expression “three dog night” (an exceptionally cold night), and they would have alerted the camp to the presence of predators or strangers, using their acute hearing to provide an early warning.[48] Anthropologists believe the most significant benefit would have been the use of dogs’ sensitive sense of smell to assist with the hunt.[48] The relationship between the presence of a dog and success in the hunt is often mentioned as a primary reason for the domestication of the wolf, and a 2004 study of hunter groups with and without a dog gives quantitative support to the hypothesis that the benefits of cooperative hunting was an important factor in wolf domestication.[49]

The cohabitation of dogs and humans would have greatly improved the chances of survival for early human groups, and the domestication of dogs may have been one of the key forces that led to human success.[50]

Couple sitting on the lawn with a pet British Bulldog

British Bulldog shares a day at the park.

As pets

“The most widespread form of interspecies bonding occurs between humans and dogs”[48] and the keeping of dogs as companions, particularly by elites, has a long history.[51] However, pet dog populations grew significantly after World War II as suburbanization increased.[51] In the 1950s and 1960s, dogs were kept outside more often than they tend to be today [52] (using the expression “in the doghouse” to describe exclusion from the group signifies the distance between the doghouse and the home) and were still primarily functional, acting as a guard, children’s playmate, or walking companion. From the 1980s, there have been changes in the role of the pet dog, such as the increased role of dogs in the emotional support of their owners.[53] People and dogs have become increasingly integrated and implicated in each other’s lives,[54] to the point where pet dogs actively shape the way a family and home are experienced.[55]

There have been two major trends in the changing status of pet dogs. The first has been the ‘commodification’ of the dog, shaping it to conform to human expectations of personality and behaviour.[55] The second has been the broadening of the concept of the family and the home to include dogs-as-dogs within everyday routines and practices.[55]

There are a vast range of commodity forms available to transform a pet dog into an ideal companion.[56] The list of goods, services and places available is enormous: from dog perfumes, couture, furniture and housing, to dog groomers, therapists, trainers and care-takers, dog cafes, spas, parks and beaches, and dog hotels, airlines and cemeteries.[56] While dog training as an organized activity can be traced back to the 18th century, in the last decades of the 20th century it became a high profile issue as many normal dog behaviors such as barking, jumping up, digging, rolling in dung, fighting, and urine marking became increasingly incompatible with the new role of a pet dog.[57] Dog training books, classes and television programs proliferated as the process of commodifying the pet dog continued.[58]

An Australian Cattle Dog in reindeer antlers sits on Santa's lap

A pet dog taking part in Christmas traditions

The majority of contemporary dog owners describe their dog as part of the family,[55] although some ambivalence about the relationship is evident in the popular reconceptualisation of the dog-human family as a pack.[55] A dominance model of dog-human relationships has been promoted by some dog trainers, such as on the television program Dog Whisperer. However it has been disputed that “trying to achieve status” is characteristic of dog–human interactions.[59] Pet dogs play an active role in family life; for example, a study of conversations in dog-human families showed how family members use the dog as a resource, talking to the dog, or talking through the dog, to mediate their interactions with each other.[60] Another study of dogs’ roles in families showed many dogs have set tasks or routines undertaken as family members, the most common of which was helping with the washing-up by licking the plates in the dishwasher, and bringing in the newspaper from the lawn.[55] Increasingly, human family members are engaging in activities centred on the perceived needs and interests of the dog, or in which the dog is an integral partner, such asDog Dancing and Doga.[56]

According to the statistics published by the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association in the National Pet Owner Survey in 2009–2010, it is estimated there are 77.5 million dog owners in the United States.[61] The same survey shows nearly 40% of American households own at least one dog, of which 67% own just one dog, 25% two dogs and nearly 9% more than two dogs. There does not seem to be any gender preference among dogs as pets, as the statistical data reveal an equal number of female and male dog pets. Yet, although several programs are undergoing to promote pet adoption, less than a fifth of the owned dogs come from a shelter.


Dogs have lived and worked with humans in so many roles that they have earned the unique nickname, “man’s best friend”,[62] a phrase used in other languages as well. They have been bred for herding livestock,[63] hunting (e.g. pointers and hounds),[64] rodent control,[3] guarding, helping fishermen with nets, detection dogs, and pulling loads, in addition to their roles as companions.[3]

Gaston III, Count of FoixBook of the Hunt, 1387–88

Service dogs such as guide dogs, utility dogs, assistance dogs, hearing dogs, and psychological therapy dogs provide assistance to individuals with physical or mental disabilities.[65][66] Some dogs owned by epileptics have been shown to alert their handler when the handler shows signs of an impending seizure, sometimes well in advance of onset, allowing the owner to seek safety, medication, or medical care.[67]

Dogs included in human activities in terms of helping out humans are usually called working dogs. Dogs of several breeds are considered working dogs. Some working dog breeds include AkitaAlaskan MalamuteAnatolian Shepherd DogBernese Mountain DogBlack Russian TerrierBoxerBullmastiffDoberman PinscherDogue de BordeauxGerman PinscherGerman Shepherd,[68]Giant SchnauzerGreat DaneGreat PyreneesGreat Swiss Mountain DogKomondorKuvaszMastiffNeapolitan Mastiff,NewfoundlandPortuguese Water DogRottweilerSaint BernardSamoyedSiberian HuskyStandard Schnauzer, and Tibetan Mastiff.

Sports and shows

Owners of dogs often enter them in competitions[69] such as breed conformation shows or sports, including racing and sledding.

In conformation shows, also referred to as breed shows, a judge familiar with the specific dog breed evaluates individual purebred dogs for conformity with their established breed type as described in the breed standard. As the breed standard only deals with the externally observable qualities of the dog (such as appearance, movement, and temperament), separately tested qualities (such as ability or health) are not part of the judging in conformation shows.

As a food source

See also: Dog meat

Fried dog meat offered as speciality, among lamb and fish. Shaoyang, Hunan Province, China

Dog meat is consumed in some East Asian countries, including Korea, China, and Vietnam, a practice that dates back to antiquity.[70] It is estimated that 13–16 million dogs are killed and consumed in Asia every year.[71] The BBC claims that, in 1999, more than 6,000 restaurants served soups made from dog meat in South Korea.[72] In Korea, the primary dog breed raised for meat, the nureongi (누렁이), differs from those breeds raised for pets that Koreans may keep in their homes.[73] The most popular Korean dog dish is gaejang-guk (also called bosintang), a spicy stew meant to balance the body’s heat during the summer months; followers of the custom claim this is done to ensure good health by balancing one’s gi, or vital energy of the body. A 19th century version of gaejang-guk explains that the dish is prepared by boiling dog meat with scallions and chili powder. Variations of the dish contain chicken and bamboo shoots. While the dishes are still popular in Korea with a segment of the population, dog is not as widely consumed as beef, chicken, and pork.[74]

Other cultures, such as Polynesia and pre-Columbian Mexico, also consumed dog meat in their history. However, Western, South Asian, African, and Middle Eastern cultures, in general, regard consumption of dog meat as taboo. In some places, however, such as in rural areas of Poland, dog fat is believed to have medicinal properties—being good for the lungs for instance.[75]

A CNN report in China dated March 2010 interviews a dog meat vendor who states that most of the dogs that are available for selling to restaurant are raised in special farms but that there is always a chance that a sold dog is someone’s lost pet, although dog pet breeds are not considered edible.[76]

Health risks to humans

In the United States, cats and dogs are a factor in more than 86,000 falls each year.[77] It has been estimated around 2% of dog-related injuries treated in UK hospitals are domestic accidents. The same study found that while dog involvement in road traffic accidents was difficult to quantify, dog-associated road accidents involving injury more commonly involved two-wheeled vehicles.[78]

Toxocara canis (dog roundworm) eggs in dog feces can cause toxocariasis. In the United States, about 10,000 cases of Toxocara infection are reported in humans each year, and almost 14% of the U.S. population is infected.[79] In Great Britain, 24% of soil samples taken from public parks contained T. canis eggs.[80] Untreated toxocariasis can cause retinal damage and decreased vision.[80] Dog feces can also contain hookworms that cause cutaneous larva migrans in humans.[81][82][83][84]

The incidence of dog bites, and especially fatal dog bites, is extremely rare in America considering the number of pet dogs in the country.[85] Fatalities from dog bites occur in America at the rate of one per four million dogs.[85] A Colorado study found bites in children were less severe than bites in adults.[86] The incidence of dog bites in the U.S. is 12.9 per 10,000 inhabitants, but for boys aged 5 to 9, the incidence rate is 60.7 per 10,000. Moreover, children have a much higher chance to be bitten in the face or neck.[87]Sharp claws with powerful muscles behind them can lacerate flesh in a scratch that can lead to serious infections.[88]

In the UK between 2003 and 2004, there were 5,868 dog attacks on humans, resulting in 5,770 working days lost in sick leave.[89]

Health benefits for humans

Small dog laying between the hands

A human cuddles a Doberman puppy.

A growing body of research indicates the companionship of a dog can enhance human physical health and psychological wellbeing.[90] Dog and cat owners have been shown to have better mental and physical health than nonowners, making fewer visits to the doctor and being less likely to be on medication than nonowners.[91] In one study, new pet owners reported a highly significant reduction in minor health problems during the first month following pet acquisition, and this effect was sustained in dog owners through to the end of the study. In addition, dog owners took considerably more physical exercise than cat owners and people without pets. The group without pets exhibited no statistically significant changes in health or behaviour. The results provide evidence that pet acquisition may have positive effects on human health and behaviour, and that for dog owners these effects are relatively long term.[92] Pet ownership has also been associated with increased coronary artery disease survival, with dog owners being significantly less likely to die within one year of an acute myocardial infarction than those who did not own dogs.[93]

Gunnar Kaasen and Balto, the lead dog on the last relay team of the 1925 serum run to Nome.

The health benefits of dogs can result from contact with dogs, not just from dog ownership. For example, when in the presence of a pet dog, people show reductions in cardiovascular, behavioral, and psychological indicators of anxiety.[94] The benefits of contact with a dog also include social support, as dogs are able to not only provide companionship and social support themselves, but also to act as facilitators of social interactions between humans.[95]One study indicated that wheelchair users experience more positive social interactions with strangers when they are accompanied by a dog than when they are not.[96]

The practice of using dogs and other animals as a part of therapy dates back to the late 18th century, when animals were introduced into mental institutions to help socialize patients with mental disorders.[97] Animal-assisted intervention research has shown that animal-assisted therapy with a dog can increase a person with Alzheimer’s disease’s social behaviours, such as smiling and laughing.[98] One study demonstrated that children with ADHD and conduct disorders who participated in an education program with dogs and other animals showed increased attendance, increased knowledge and skill objectives, and decreased antisocial and violent behavior compared to those who were not in an animal-assisted program.[99]


Main article: Animal shelter

Every year, between 6 and 8 million dogs and cats enter US animal shelters.[100] The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) estimates that approximately 3 to 4 million dogs and cats are euthanized yearly in shelters across the United States.[101] However, the percentage of dogs in US animal shelters that are eventually adopted and removed from the shelters by their new owners has increased since the mid 1990s from around 25% up to around 60–75% in the mid first decade of the 21st century.[102]

Pets entering the shelters are euthanized in countries all over the world because of the lack of financial provisions to take care of these animals. Most shelters complain of not having enough resources to feed the pets and by being constrained to kill them, as the likelihood for all of them to find an owner is very small. In poor countries,euthanasia is usually violent.


Main article: Dog anatomy

Domestic dogs have been selectively bred for millennia for various behaviors, sensory capabilities, and physical attributes.[3] Modern dog breeds show more variation in size, appearance, and behavior than any other domestic animal. Nevertheless, their morphology is based on that of their wild ancestors, gray wolves.[3] Dogs are predators andscavengers, and like many other predatory mammals, the dog has powerful muscles, fused wrist bones, a cardiovascular system that supports both sprinting and endurance, and teeth for catching and tearing. Dogs are highly variable in height and weight. The smallest known adult dog was a Yorkshire Terrier, that stood only 6.3 centimetres (2.5 in) at the shoulder, 9.5 cm (3.7 in) in length along the head-and-body, and weighed only 113 grams (4.0 oz). The largest known dog was an English Mastiff which weighed 155.6 kilograms (343 lb) and was 250 cm (98 in) from the snout to the tail.[103] The tallest dog is a Great Dane that stands 106.7 cm (42.0 in) at the shoulder.[104]



Pekingese’s large eyes

Like most mammals, dogs are dichromats and have color vision equivalent to red-green color blindness in humans (deuteranopia).[105][106][107][108] Dogs are less sensitive to differences in grey shades than humans and also can detect brightness at about half the accuracy of humans.[109]

The dog’s visual system has evolved to aid proficient hunting.[105] While a dog’s visual acuity is poor (that of a poodle‘s has been estimated to translate to a Snellen rating of 20/75[105]), their visual discrimination for moving objects is very high; dogs have been shown to be able to discriminate between humans (e.g., identifying their owner) at a range of between 800 and 900 m, however this range decreases to 500–600 m if the object is stationary.[105] Dogs have a temporal resolution of between 60 and 70 Hz, which explains why many dogs struggle to watch television, as most such modern screens are optimized for humans at 50–60 Hz.[109]Dogs can detect a change in movement that exists in a single diopter of space within their eye. Humans, by comparison, require a change of between 10 and 20 diopters to detect movement.[110][111]

As crepuscular hunters, dogs often rely on their vision in low light situations: They have very large pupils, a high density of rods in the fovea, an increased flicker rate, and a tapetum lucidum.[105] The tapetum is a reflective surface behind the retina that reflects light to give the photoreceptors a second chance to catch the photons. There is also a relationship between body size and overall diameter of the eye. A range of 9.5 and 11.6 mm can be found between various breeds of dogs. This 20% variance can be substantial and is associated as an adaptation toward superior night vision.[112]

The eyes of different breeds of dogs have different shapes, dimensions, and retina configurations.[113] Many long-nosed breeds have a “visual streak” – a wide foveal region that runs across the width of the retina and gives them a very wide field of excellent vision. Some long-muzzled breeds, in particular, the sighthounds, have a field of vision up to 270° (compared to 180° for humans). Short-nosed breeds, on the other hand, have an “area centralis”: a central patch with up to three times the density of nerve endings as the visual streak, giving them detailed sight much more like a human’s. Some broad-headed breeds with short noses have a field of vision similar to that of humans.[106][107] Most breeds have good vision, but some show a genetic predisposition for myopia – such as Rottweilers, with which one out of every two has been found to be myopic.[105] Dogs also have a greater divergence of the eye axis than humans, enabling them to rotate their pupils farther in any direction. The divergence of the eye axis of dogs ranges from 12-25° depending on the breed.[110]

Experimentation has proven that dogs can distinguish between complex visual images such as that of a cube or a prism. Dogs also show attraction to static visual images such as the silhouette of a dog on a screen, their own reflections, or videos of dogs; however, their interest declines sharply once they are unable to make social contact with the image.[114]


The frequency range of dog hearing is approximately 40 Hz to 60,000 Hz,[115] which means that dogs can detect sounds far beyond the upper limit of the human auditory spectrum.[107][115][116] In addition, dogs have ear mobility, which allows them to rapidly pinpoint the exact location of a sound.[117] Eighteen or more muscles can tilt, rotate, raise, or lower a dog’s ear. A dog can identify a sound’s location much faster than a human can, as well as hear sounds at four times the distance.[117]


The wet, textured nose of a dog

While the human brain is dominated by a large visual cortex, the dog brain is dominated by an olfactory cortex.[105] The olfactory bulb in dogs is roughly forty times bigger than the olfactory bulb in humans, relative to total brain size, with 125 to 220 million smell-sensitive receptors.[105] The bloodhound exceeds this standard with nearly 300 million receptors.[105] Consequently, it has been estimated that dogs, in general, have an olfactory sense ranging from one hundred thousand to one million times more sensitive than a human’s. In some dog breeds, such as bloodhounds, the olfactory sense may be up to 100 million times greater than a human’s.[118] The wet nose is essential for determining the direction of the air current containing the smell. Cold receptors in the skin are sensitive to the cooling of the skin by evaporation of the moisture by air currents.[119]

Physical characteristics


Main article: Coat (dog)

A heavy winter coat with countershading in a mixed-breed dog

The coats of domestic dogs are of two varieties: “double” being common with dogs (as well as wolves) originating from colder climates, made up of a coarse guard hair and a soft down hair, or “single”, with the topcoat only.

Domestic dogs often display the remnants of countershading, a common natural camouflage pattern. A countershaded animal will have dark coloring on its upper surfaces and light coloring below,[120] which reduces its general visibility. Thus, many breeds will have an occasional “blaze”, stripe, or “star” of white fur on their chest or underside.[121]


See also: Docking

There are many different shapes for dog tails: straight, straight up, sickle, curled, or cork-screw. As with many canids, one of the primary functions of a dog’s tail is to communicate their emotional state, which can be important in getting along with others. In some hunting dogs, however, the tail is traditionally docked to avoid injuries.[122] In some breeds, puppies can be born with a short tail or no tail at all.[123]

Types and breeds

Main article: Dog breed
Further information: Dog type

Cavalier King Charles Spanielsdemonstrate with-breed variation.

While all dogs are genetically very similar,[5] natural selection and selective breeding have reinforced certain characteristics in certain populations of dogs, giving rise to dog types and dog breeds. Dog types are broad categories based on function, genetics, or characteristics.[124] Dog breeds are groups of animals that possess a set of inherited characteristics that distinguishes them from other animals within the same species. Modern dog breeds are non-scientific classifications of dogs kept by modern kennel clubs. Purebred dogs of one breed are genetically distinguishable from purebreddogs of other breeds,[45] but the means by which kennel clubs classify dogs is unsystematic. Systematic analyses of the dog genome has revealed only four major types of dogs that can be said to be statistically distinct.[45] These include the “old world dogs” (e.g., Malamute and Shar Pei), “Mastiff”-type (e.g., English Mastiff), “herding”-type (e.g., Border Collie), and “all others” (also called “modern”- or “hunting”-type).[45][125]


Main article: Dog health
Further information: Category:Dog health
See also: CVBD

Dogs are susceptible to various diseases, ailments, and poisons, some of which can affect humans. To defend against many common diseases, dogs are often vaccinated.

A mixed-breed dog

Some breeds of dogs are prone to certain genetic ailments such as elbow or hip dysplasiablindnessdeafnesspulmonic stenosiscleft palate, and trick knees. Two serious medical conditions particularly affecting dogs are pyometra, affecting unspayedfemales of all types and ages, and bloat, which affects the larger breeds or deep-chested dogs. Both of these are acute conditions, and can kill rapidly. Dogs are also susceptible to parasites such as fleasticks, and mites, as well as hookwormtapeworm,roundworm, and heartworm.

Dogs are highly susceptible to theobromine poisoning, typically from ingestion of chocolate. Theobromine is toxic to dogs because, although the dog’s metabolism is capable of breaking down the chemical, the process is so slow that even small amounts of chocolate can be fatal, especially dark chocolate.

Dogs are also vulnerable to some of the same health conditions as humans, including diabetes, dental and heart disease, epilepsy, cancer, hypothyroidism, and arthritis.[126]


Main article: Aging in dogs

The typical lifespan of dogs varies widely among breeds, but for most the median longevity, the age at which half the dogs in a population have died and half are still alive, ranges from 10 to 13 years.[127][128][129][130] Individual dogs may live well beyond the median of their breed.

The breed with the shortest lifespan (among breeds for which there is a questionnaire survey with a reasonable sample size) is the Dogue de Bordeaux, with a median longevity of about 5.2 years, but several breeds, including Miniature Bull TerriersBloodhounds, and Irish Wolfhounds are nearly as short-lived, with median longevities of 6 to 7 years.[130]

The longest-lived breeds, including Toy PoodlesJapanese SpitzBorder Terriers, and Tibetan Spaniels, have median longevities of 14 to 15 years.[130] The median longevity of mixed-breed dogs, taken as an average of all sizes, is one or more years longer than that of purebred dogs when all breeds are averaged.[128][129][130][131] The dog widely reported to be the longest-lived is “Bluey,” who died in 1939 and was claimed to be 29.5 years old at the time of his death; however, the Bluey record is anecdotal and unverified.[132] On December 5, 2011, Pusuke, the world’s oldest living dog recognized by Guinness Book of World Records, died aged 26 years and 9 months.[133]


Although wild dogs, like wolves, are apex predators, they can be killed in territory disputes with wild animals.[134] Furthermore, in areas where both dogs and other large predators live, dogs can be a major food source for big cats or canines. Reports from Croatia indicate wolves kill more dogs more frequently than they kill sheep. Wolves in Russia apparently limit feral dog populations. In Wisconsin, more compensation has been paid for dog losses than livestock.[134] Some wolf pairs have been reported to prey on dogs by having one wolf lure the dog out into heavy brush where the second animal waits in ambush.[135] In some instances, wolves have displayed an uncharacteristic fearlessness of humans and buildings when attacking dogs, to the extent that they[which?] have to be beaten off or killed.[136] Coyotes and big cats have also been known to attack dogs. Leopards in particular are known to have a predilection for dogs, and have been recorded to kill and consume them regardless of the dog’s size or ferocity.[137]Tigers in Manchuria, Indochina, Indonesia, and Malaysia, are reputed to kill dogs with the same vigor as leopards.[138] Striped Hyenas are major predators of village dogs in Turkmenistan, India, and the Caucasus.[139] Reptiles such as alligators and pythons have been known to kill and eat dogs.


See also: Dog food

Golden Retriever gnawing a pig’s foot

Despite their descent from wolves and classification as Carnivora, dogs are variously described in scholarly and other writings ascarnivores[140][141] or omnivores.[3][142][143][144] Unlike obligate carnivores, such as the cat family with its shorter small intestine, dogs can adapt to a wide-ranging diet, and are not dependent on meat-specific protein nor a very high level of protein in order to fulfill their basic dietary requirements. Dogs will healthily digest a variety of foods, including vegetables and grains, and can consume a large proportion of these in their diet.[3]

A number of common human foods and household ingestibles are toxic to dogs, including chocolate solids (theobromine poisoning), onion and garlic (thiosulphatesulfoxide or disulfide poisoning),[145] grapes and raisinsmacadamia nuts, as well as various plants and other potentially ingested materials.[146][147]


Two dogs copulating on a beach

Main article: Canine reproduction

In domestic dogs, sexual maturity begins to happen around age six to twelve months for both males and females,[3][148] although this can be delayed until up to two years old for some large breeds. This is the time at which female dogs will have their first estrous cycle. They will experience subsequent estrous cycles biannually, during which the body prepares for pregnancy. At the peak of the cycle, females will come into estrus, being mentally and physically receptive to copulation.[3] Because the ovasurvive and are capable of being fertilized for a week after ovulation, it is possible for a female to mate with more than one male.[3]

Dogs bear their litters roughly 56 to 72 days after fertilization,[3][149] with an average of 63 days, although the length of gestation can vary. An average litter consists of about six puppies,[150] though this number may vary widely based on the breed of dog. In general, toy dogs produce from one to four puppies in each litter, while much larger breeds may average as many as twelve.

Some dog breeds have acquired traits through selective breeding that interfere with reproduction. Male French Bulldogs, for instance, are incapable of mounting the female. For many dogs of this breed, the female must be artificially inseminated in order to reproduce.[151]


Globe icon.
The examples and perspective in this article deal primarily with the United States and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject. Please improve this article and discuss the issue on the talk page(March 2012)

A feral dog from Sri Lanka nursing her four puppies

Neutering refers to the sterilization of animals, usually by removal of the male’s testicles or the female’s ovaries and uterus, in order to eliminate the ability to procreate and reduce sex drive. Because of the overpopulation of dogs in some countries, many animal control agencies, such as the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), advise that dogs not intended for further breeding should be neutered, so that they do not have undesired puppies that may have to later be euthanized.[152]

According to the Humane Society of the United States, 3–4 million dogs and cats are put down each year in the United States and many more are confined to cages in shelters because there are many more animals than there are homes. Spaying or castrating dogs helps keep overpopulation down.[153] Local humane societies, SPCAs, and other animal protection organizations urge people to neuter their pets and to adopt animals from shelters instead of purchasing them.

Neutering reduces problems caused by hypersexuality, especially in male dogs.[154] Spayed female dogs are less likely to develop some forms of cancer, affecting mammary glands, ovaries, and other reproductive organs.[155] However, neutering increases the risk of urinary incontinence in female dogs,[156] and prostate cancer in males,[157] as well as osteosarcoma, hemangiosarcoma, cruciate ligament rupture, obesity, and diabetes mellitus in either gender.[158]

Intelligence and behavior


Main article: Dog intelligence

The Border Collie is considered to be one of the most intelligent breeds.

The domestic dog has a predisposition to exhibit a social intelligence that is uncommon in the animal world.[105] Dogs are capable of learning in a number of ways, such as through simple reinforcement (e.g., classical or operant conditioning) and by observation.[105]

Dogs go through a series of stages of cognitive development. As with humans, the understanding that objects not being actively perceived still remain in existence (called object permanence) is not present at birth. It develops as the young dog learns to interact intentionally with objects around it, at roughly 8 weeks of age.[105]

Puppies learn behaviors quickly by following examples set by experienced dogs.[105] This form of intelligence is not peculiar to those tasks dogs have been bred to perform, but can be generalized to myriad abstract problems. For example, Dachshund puppies that watched an experienced dog pull a cart by tugging on an attached piece of ribbon in order to get a reward from inside the cart learned the task fifteen times faster than those left to solve the problem on their own.[105][159] Dogs can also learn by mimicking human behaviors. In one study, puppies were presented with a box, and shown that, when a handler pressed a lever, a ball would roll out of the box. The handler then allowed the puppy to play with the ball, making it an intrinsic reward. The pups were then allowed to interact with the box. Roughly three-quarters of the puppies subsequently touched the lever, and over half successfully released the ball, compared to only 6% in a control group that did not watch the human manipulate the lever.[160]Another study found that handing an object between experimenters who then used the object’s name in a sentence successfully taught an observing dog each object’s name, allowing the dog to subsequently retrieve the item.[161]

Sergeant Stubby wearing his uniform and medals. Stubby participated in four offensives and 17 battles.

Dogs also demonstrate sophisticated social cognition by associating behavioral cues with abstract meanings.[105] One such class of social cognition involves the understanding that others are conscious agents. Research has shown that dogs are capable of interpreting subtle social cues, and appear to recognize when a human or dog’s attention is focused on them. To test this, researchers devised a task in which a reward was hidden underneath one of two buckets. The experimenter then attempted to communicate with the dog to indicate the location of the reward by using a wide range of signals: tapping the bucket, pointing to the bucket, nodding to the bucket, or simply looking at the bucket.[162] The results showed that domestic dogs were better thanchimpanzees, wolves, and human infants at this task, and even young puppies with limited exposure to humans performed well.[105]

Psychology research has shown that humans´ gaze instinctively moves to the left in order to watch right side of the person’s face, which is related to use of right emisphere brain for facial recognition, including human facial emotions. Research at the University of Lincoln (2008) shows that dogs share this instinct when meeting a human being, and only when meeting a human being (i.e., not other animals or other dogs). As such they are the only non-primate species known to do so.[163][164] Stanley Coren, an expert on dog psychology, states that these results demonstrated the social cognition of dogs can exceed that of even our closest genetic relatives, and that this capacity is a recent genetic acquisition that distinguishes the dog from its ancestor, the wolf.[105] Studies have also investigated whether dogs engaged in partnered play change their behavior depending on the attention-state of their partner.[165] Those studies showed that play signals were only sent when the dog was holding the attention of its partner. If the partner was distracted, the dog instead engaged in attention-getting behavior before sending a play signal.[165]

Coren has also argued that dogs demonstrate a sophisticated theory of mind by engaging in deception, which he supports with a number of anecdotes, including one example wherein a dog hid a stolen treat by sitting on it until the rightful owner of the treat left the room.[105] Although this could have been accidental, Coren suggests that the thief understood that the treat’s owner would be unable to find the treat if it were out of view. Together, the empirical data and anecdotal evidence points to dogs possessing at least a limited form of theory of mind.[105][165]

A study found a third of dogs suffered from anxiety when separated from others.[166]

Border Collie named Chaser has learned the names for 1,022 toys after three years of training, so many that her trainers have had to mark the names of the objects lest they forget themselves. This is higher than Rico, another border collie who could remember at least 200 objects.[167]


Main article: Dog behavior

Although dogs have been the subject of a great deal of behaviorist psychology (e.g. Pavlov’s dog), they do not enter the world with a psychological “blank slate”.[105] Rather, dog behavior is affected by genetic factors as well as environmental factors.[105] Domestic dogs exhibit a number of behaviors and predispositions that were inherited from wolves.[105] The Gray Wolf is a social animal that has evolved a sophisticated means of communication and social structure. The domestic dog has inherited some of these predispositions, but many of the salient characteristics in dog behavior have been largely shaped by selective breeding by humans. Thus some of these characteristics, such as the dog’s highly developed social cognition, are found only in primitive forms in grey wolves.[162]

The existence and nature of personality traits in dogs have been studied (15329 dogs of 164 different breeds) and five consistent and stable “narrow traits” identified, described as playfulness, curiosity/fearlessness, chase-proneness, sociability and aggressiveness. A further higher order axis for shyness–boldness was also identified.[168][169]


Further information: Sleep (non-human)

The average sleep time of a dog is said to be 10.1 hours per day.[170] Like humans, dogs have two main types of sleep: Slow-wave sleep, then Rapid eye movement sleepsleep, the state in which dreams occur.[171]

Dog growl

A new study in Budapest, Hungary has found that dogs are able to tell how big another dog is just by listening to its growl. A specific growl is used by dogs to protect their food. The research also shows that dogs do not lie about their size, and this is the first time research has shown animals can determine another’s size by the sound it makes. The test, using images of many kinds of dogs, showed a small and big dog and played a growl. The result, showed that 20 of the 24 test dogs looked at the image of the appropriate-sized dog first and looked at it longest.[172]

Differences from wolves

Some dogs, like this Tamaskan, look very much like wolves.

Physical characteristics

Further information: Wolf

Compared to equally sized wolves, dogs tend to have 20% smaller skulls, 30% smaller brains,[173] as well as proportionately smaller teeth than other canid species.[174] Dogs require fewer calories to function than wolves. It is thought by certain experts that the dog’s limp ears are a result of atrophy of the jaw muscles.[174] The skin of domestic dogs tends to be thicker than that of wolves, with some Inuit tribes favoring the former for use as clothing due to its greater resistance to wear and tear in harsh weather.[174]


Golden Retriever at 12 years old

Dogs tend to be poorer than wolves at observational learning, being more responsive toinstrumental conditioning.[174] Feral dogs show little of the complex social structure ordominance hierarchy present in wolf packs. For example, unlike wolves, the dominant alpha pairs of a feral dog pack do not force the other members to wait for their turn on a meal when scavenging off a dead ungulate as the whole family is free to join in. For dogs, other members of their kind are of no help in locating food items, and are more like competitors.[174] Feral dogs are primarily scavengers, with studies showing that unlike their wild cousins, they are poor ungulate hunters, having little impact on wildlife populations where they are sympatric. However, feral dogs have been reported to be effective hunters of reptiles in the Galápagos Islands,[175] and free ranging pet dogs are more prone to predatory behavior toward wild animals.

Domestic dogs can be monogamous.[176] Breeding in feral packs can be, but does not have to be restricted to a dominant alpha pair (such things also occur in wolf packs).[177] Male dogs are unusual among canids by the fact that they mostly seem to play no role in raising their puppies, and do not kill the young of other females to increase their own reproductive success.[175] Some sources say that dogs differ from wolves and most other large canid species by the fact that they do not regurgitate food for their young, nor the young of other dogs in the same territory.[174]

A dog displaying mastery of the command "sit"

An Australian ShepherdBeagle mix displaying mastery of the “sit” command

However, this difference was not observed in all domestic dogs. Regurgitating of food by the females for the young as well as care for the young by the males has been observed in domestic dogs, dingos as well as in other feral or semi-feral dogs. Regurgitating of food by the females and direct choosing of only one mate has been observed even in those semi-feral dogs of direct domestic dog ancestry. Also regurgitating of food by males has been observed in free-ranging domestic dogs.[176][178]


Labrador barking on command.theora.ogv
Play video

This Labrador Retriever has been trained to woof and bark on command.

Dogs display much greater tractability than tame wolves, and are, in general, much more responsive to coercive techniques involving fear, aversive stimuli, and force than wolves, which are most responsive toward positive conditioning and rewards.[179] Unlike tame wolves, dogs tend to respond more to voice than hand signals.[180]


In mythology, dogs often serve as pets or as watchdogs.[181]

In Greek mythologyCerberus is a three-headed watchdog who guards the gates of Hades.[181] In Norse mythology, a bloody, four-eyed dog called Garmr guards Helheim.[181] In Persian mythology, two four-eyed dogs guard the Chinvat Bridge.[181] In Philippine mythologyKimat who is the pet of Tadaklan, god of thunder, is responsible for lightning. In Welsh mythologyAnnwn is guarded byCŵn Annwn[181]

In Judaism and Islam, dogs are viewed as unclean scavengers.[181] In Christianity, dogs represent faithfulness.[181] In Asian countries such as China, Korea, and Japan, dogs are viewed as kind protectors.[181]

Gallery of dogs in art

Ancient Greek black-figure pottery depicting the return of a hunter and his dog. Made inAthens between 550–530 BC, found in Rhodes.
Riders and dogs. Ancient GreekAttic black-figure hydria, ca. 510–500 BC, from VulciLouvreMuseum, Paris.
This Roman mosaic shows a large dog with a collar hunting a lion.
William McElcheran‘s Cross Section-dogs Dundas (TTC)Toronto
Detail of The Imperial Prince and his dog Nero by Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux 1865 Marble. Photographed at the Musée d’Orsay.
A woodcut illustration from The history of four-footed beasts and serpents by Edward Topsell, 1658

See also

Book icon Book: Dog
Wikipedia books are collections of articles that can be downloaded or ordered in print.


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