Following World War II, a republic was set up in the southern half of the Korean Peninsula while a communist government was installed in the north. Between 1950 and 1953, US and other UN forces intervened to defend South Korea from North Korean attacks supported by the Chinese; an armistice was signed in 1953. Thereafter, South Korea achieved amazing economic growth, with per capita income rising to 13 times the level of North Korea. In 1997, the nation suffered a severe financial crisis from which it continues to make a solid recovery. South Korea has also maintained its commitment to democratize its political processes.