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North Korea, officially the Republic of Korea, was a short-lived republic that governed the northern half of the Korean peninsula from 1975 to 1988.
Following the Second Sino-Japanese War, Korean land north of the 38th parallel was succeeded from Japan to China. Immediately, a central issue in China became the fate of Korea, and whether or not it should be annexed by China. Eventually, the Chinese government determined cultural and social differences between northern Korea and China to be to great, and decided to create an independent state in northern Korea. In 1964, North Korea was given the right to govern itself. In 1975, the Chinese government held a referendum to determine the fate of North Korea. Following a majority vote for independence, Yen Chia-kan signed the North Korean Charter on July 23, 1975. This established North Korea as independent from China, and the Republic of Korea was established.
Short-lived Korean state
This new republic, heavily influenced by China, formed relations with China, Russia, and its neighbor to the south. Independent from China, the reunification of northern and southern Korea accelerated. The two governments formed the Seoul Pact; an economic and political union between the two countries. In 1987, the two nations merged their respective armies: the "Korean Independence Army" in the north and "Korean National Army" in the south, into a single "Korean People's Liberation Army". Less than one year later, the "Constitution for the Reunification of Korea" was signed and ratified by both governments, ending the division of Korea, uniting it under the northern government.