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The Democratic Republic of Vietnam also known as North Vietnam, was founded by Ho Chi Minh and was recognized by China and the USSR in 1950. In 1954 after the defeat of France at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu, France formally recognized the DRV and the country was partitioned in two.
Following the partition of the country, there followed a mass exodus of North Vietnamese to the South, many of them Catholics that were persecuted. In its early years, the poor nation, cut off from the agricultural areas of the South, became repressive and totalitarian. Between 1955 and 1956, agragrian reforms were attempted with much brutality. In 1959, the Vietnamese Communist Party secretly decided to help the war effort in the South, despite enormous costs.
North Vietnam's capital was Hanoi and it was ruled by a Communist government allied with the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China and fought against the United States and South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. The People's Republic of China helped to support the government during the war; for example, on August 7, 1967 the PRC agreed to give North Vietnam an undisclosed amount of aid in the form of a grant.
With the fall of Saigon to North Vietnamese forces in April 30, 1975, political authority within South Vietnam was taken by the Communist-backed Republic of South Vietnam. This government merged with North Vietnam on July 2, 1976, to form a single nation called the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, commonly known simply as Vietnam.