This article, based on newly declassified material from the Russian archives, deals with the fate of non-Communist parties in North Korea in the 1950s. Like the “people's democracies” in Eastern Europe, North Korea had (and still technically has) a few non-Communist parties. The ruling Communist party included these parties within the framework of a “united front,” designed to project the facade of a multiparty state, to control domestic dissent, and to establish links with parties in South Korea. The article traces the history of these parties under Soviet and local Communist control from the mid-1940s to their gradual evisceration in the 1950s.

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