Is North Korea communist?
Not quite, With North Korea straddled between China and the Soviet Union, Kim-Il-Sung often took a middle road between aligning himself with Marxist-Leninism or Maoism and over time North Korea has actually departed from both forms of mainstream Communism. Before 1953, North Korea was heavily influenced by Stalinism and his Soviet benefactors. However, after Stalin was denounced as a counter-revolutionary, Kim Il Sung sided with China against the Soviet Union. Maoism did not work out for long for Kim, as the cultural revolution in China in 1967 was contradictory to Kim's wishes for stable dictatorship. North Korea reestablished good relations with the Soviet Union under Brezhnev, who was a Neo-Stalinist, but Kim decided to keep both countries at an arms length by creating the Juche philosophy. Juche became Kim Il Sung's personal combination of extreme nationalism, militarism, totalitarian absolutism and godlike worship of Kim-Il-Sung himself. Kim eventually went against all communist tradition by promoting a divine monarchist philosophy which allowed Kim-Il-Sung to be succeeded by his son Kim-Jong-Il. Kim-Jong-Il has moved away from Communism even further, through his "Songun" or "Military First" policy, which states that the Korean Army is the driving force of the revolution. The Songun policy blatantly contradicts all previous ideas of Marxism which state the the working class are the driving force of the revolution. As Kim-Jong-Il prepares to be succeeded by the third "Immortal Sun of Juche" of the Kim Dynasty, he has made altercations to the countries' constitution that remove all references to Communism as the state ideology