People's Republic of Korea

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Not to be confused with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, also known as North Korea.
People's Republic of Korea
Provisional government



Capital Seoul
Languages Korean
Political structure Provisional government
Chairman of the National People's Representative Conference
 -  1945–1946 Lyuh Woon-hyung
Historical era Cold War
 -  Established September 6, 1945
 -  American forces stationed in South Korea September 9, 1945
 -  Disestablished February 1946
Currency Won
People's Republic of Korea
Chosŏn'gŭl 조선인민공화국
Hancha 朝鮮人民共和國
Revised Romanization Joseon Inmin Gonghwaguk
McCune–Reischauer Chosŏn Inmin Konghwaguk

The People's Republic of Korea (PRK) was a short-lived provisional government that was organized with the aim to take over control of Korea shortly after the surrender of the Empire of Japan at the end of World War II. It operated as a government from late August to early September 1945 until the United States Army Military Government in Korea was established in the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula by the United States of America. After that it operated unofficially, and in opposition to the United States Army Military Government, until it was forcibly dissolved in January 1946.



The Imperial Japanese colonial authorities requested that a government be established to ensure the safety of their persons and property after the occupation ended. Under the leadership of Yeo Un-hyeong, the newly formed Committee for the Preparation of Korean Independence (CPKI) organized people's committees throughout the country to coordinate the transition to independence. On August 28, 1945 the CPKI announced that it would function as the temporary national government of Korea.[1] On September 12, CPKI activists met in Seoul and established the PRK.


The program of the PRK was presented in its September 14 twenty-seven point program. The program included: "the confiscation without compensation of lands held by the Japanese and collaborators; free distribution of that land to the peasants; rent limits on the nonredistributed land; nationalization of such major industries as mining, transportation, banking, and communication; state supervision of small and mid-sized companies; …guaranteed basic human rights and freedoms, including those of speech, press, assembly, and faith; universal suffrage to adults over the age of eighteen; equality for women; labor law reforms including an eight-hour day, a minimum wage, and prohibition of child labor; and "establishment of close relations with the United States, USSR, England, and China, and positive opposition to any foreign influences interfering with the domestic affairs of the state."[2][3]

Development in the North[edit]

North of the 38th parallel north, the PRK's local structure was maintained under Soviet occupation to become the basis of the modern North Korean party structure (see the origins of the Worker’s Party of Korea).

Development in the South[edit]

Shortly after the American landing in September 1945, the new United States Army Military Government in Korea, which controlled the peninsula south of the 38th parallel, abolished the PRK government by military decree, primarily because of suspicions that it was Communist. Some local units of the People's Republic remained active in the Jeolla region and especially on Jeju Island, where their presence, together with marauding anti-communist youth gangs,[4] contributed to tensions that discharged in the events known as Jeju massacre.

Country-wide developments[edit]

Early November saw the creation of the National Council of Korean Labor Unions (NCKLU) and its endorsement of PRK and its program. December saw the creation of the National League of Peasant Unions, the Korean Democratic Youth League, and the Women's League, and their support of the PRK.[5]


  1. ^ Hart-Landsberg, Martin (1998). Korea: Division, Reunification, & U.S. Foreign Policy. Monthly Review Press. p. 65. 
  2. ^ Hart-Landsberg, Martin (1998). Korea: Division, Reunification, & U.S. Foreign Policy. Monthly Review Press. pp. 65–6. 
  3. ^ Cumings, Bruce (1981). The Origins of the Korean War, Liberation and the Emergence of Separate Regimes, 1945–1947. Princeton University Press. p. 88. 
  4. ^ Kim, Ik Ruhl (1997), "The Truth about Cheju 4.3", Korea Web Weekly (Kimsoft), archived from the original on 2007-09-27  |chapter= ignored (help)
  5. ^ Hart-Landsberg, Martin (1998). Korea: Division, Reunification, & U.S. Foreign Policy. Monthly Review Press. p. 75. 

See also[edit]