Post-war North Korea benefited greatly from economic aid and expertise provided by other Eastern Bloc countries, particularly the Soviet Union and China. However, relations between North Korea and the Soviet Union soured after the ascension of Nikita Khrushchev to the Soviet premiership in 1953, as Khrushchev denounced Stalinism while Kim Il-sung, North Korea's first leader, upheld it. Kim briefly turned to China in the late 1950s before purging both pro-Soviet and pro-Chinese elements from the ruling Workers' Party of Korea and promoting his personal philosophy of Juche as the state ideology. From the 1970s, South Korea's economy began to boom whilst North Korea entered a state of stagnation. Pyongyang's international isolation sharply accelerated from the 1980s onwards as the Cold War came to an end and China opened up to the West. The fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 then brought about a full-scale collapse of the North Korean economy. From 1994 to 1998, North Korea suffered a famine that resulted in the deaths of between 240,000 and 420,000 people, and the population continues to suffer from malnutrition.
Activated in 1949, the regiment trained for more than a year before the outbreak of the war on June 25, 1950. On that day, half of the regiment led North Korean forces against South Korean troops by land and sea, pushing them back after several days of fighting. Over the next six weeks, the regiment advanced slowly down the Korean Peninsula, acting as a forward unit of the North Korean army. Suffering from a lack of supplies and mounting casualties, the regiment was committed to the Battle of Pusan Perimeter as part of a push to force United Nations (UN) troops out of Korea.
The regiment saw its final action at the Battle of P'ohang-dong, fighting unsuccessfully to take the town from U.N. troops. Racked by U.N. naval and air forces and suffering extensive losses from continuous fighting, the regiment was forced to retreat from the P'ohang-dong battlefield. It moved north, joining a concentration of other KPA units, before being disbanded and absorbed into the KPA's 12th Division. (Full article...)