This section deals with three Far East countries: North Korea, South Korea and Japan. As the three countries are geographically close to each other, population and cultural exchange among them has a long history. In fact, the people share some attributes related to religion, such as Buddhism and Confucianism, and culture including the use of ideographs (Chinese characters). However, the three countries have their own histories and thus unique characteristics in a number of respects. One of clear difference is in political principles; North Korea is a socialistic (totalitarian) country whereas the South Korea and Japan are democratic countries. North Korea has taken a stance of isolation from the world and, as a result, no diplomatic relations exist between North Korea and the neighbouring democratic countries.