North Korea, officially the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, is the 27th populous country in the world, with about 49 million people spread over an area of 96,000 square kilometers. The country is in East Asia and is bordered to the north by China, while the remainder of the Korean Peninsula to its south consists of South Korea (the Republic of Korea). The Korean Peninsula was divided into North and South in 1945, after being liberated from Japanese occupation in the Second World War. North Korea was originally in the Soviet Union’s sphere of influence and officially remains a socialist state. Its government is authoritarian.