North Korea, or as it refers to itself, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), is a totalitarian, communist state that maintains a largely isolated existence and a hostile relationship with South Korea and the West, particularly the United States. Its primary allies have been Russia and China, with which it shares its northern border. When the Empire of Japan surrendered control of the peninsula in 1945, the country was divided into two zones: the Soviet-influenced communist north and the capitalist south. Communist North Korea was founded in 1948 after reconciliation failed.