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It is about North Korea's culture.

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North Korea's Culture 

By: Kinsey Kaiser

North Korea is a country ruled by the cruel dictator, Kim Jong Un. Originally the country was a whole country named Korea. After the Korean War in the 50's, Korea spilt into two sections; North Korea  and South Korea. North Korea is now one of the most feared countries in the world.

A typical Korean family. 

In North Korea, family is a very big deal. Family comes after the state though. Ever since 1948, North Korea’s government has worked on tearing apart the old family system and creating a new one.  If a family has three children or more, they get rewards like trips to the sea or medals. Food is given out to larger and more socialable families. The higher the status, the more food you are given. Since the spilt between North and South Korea, many families have been separated by the border. In the household, the children help a lot with chores and other important household activities.

Kim Jong Un with a family in North Korea. 

Most families in North Korea are poor and can barely afford essential items; so nonessential aren’t typically found in Korean citizens homes. More than likely, both parents will be working to provide for the family. The father is the usually the leader of the pack because he works, while the mother has to work and take care of the children. Even though women have legal equality in North Korea, they are still typically deemed as lower than men. Since the early 1900’s, women have had more opportunities in things. Most of the power and such is held by the men. The order goes men, women, then children.

The current leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un. 

North Korea is a very strict country. They are a very communist based country. The current head of state is Kim Jong Un. The current head of government is Pak Pong Ju. The current captial of North Korea is Pyongyang. Kim Jong Un is essentially a dictator. The government has control over every single aspect of the citizen’s lives. They control their food, their jobs, their money, etc. North Korea claims that they have freedom of speech and media, but every little bit of news is closely watched by the government. There is also freedom of religion, but most people practically worship Kim Jong Un, instead of their own religions. Citizens are actually regularly forced to move to different parts of the country. Voting is more of a chore in North Korea than a luxury. Only one person runs for each position and the only options are yes or no.

A campagin poster to get the people to vote. 

Attendance to voting is pretty much mandartory considering almost 100 percent of citizens attend to vote each time. The voting age is 17 in North Korea. North Korea is actually considered one of the most corrupt countries on the planet, according to the international community. The leader before Kim Jong Un, his grandfather Kim II Sung, never waited a second to punish those who rose against him. If people tried to escape and got caught, they would either be tortured, killed, or imprisoned. North Korea also believes in “collective punishment”. If one person commits a crime or questions the government, the whole family suffers. North Korea’s government is very abusive to its people.

North Korea’s history shows that many people believed in either Buddhism, Shamanism, or Confucianism. In todays world, North Korea has declared freedom of religion for its country. The reality behind this statement is that many North Koreans actually simply have great respect towards Kim Jong Un and that is it. Before Kim Jong Un, his grandfather, Kim II Sung was idolizied by his cruel dictatorship-like reign. Kim II Sung controlled every aspect of the government and the citizens lives. Both Kim II Sung and Kim Jong Un are seen as gods. 

One of the three Protestant churches in Pyongyang. 

His grandson follows in his footsteps as the current leader of North Korea. Even though most people idolize Kim Jong Un, there are still some that are free with their religion. Protestant and Roman Catholic beliefs and traditons were introduced to North Korea in the 18th and 19th centuries. An indigenous religion named Ch’ŏndogyo, was originally founded in 1860 as a combination of Christain, Buddhist, Taoist, and Confucian beliefs. Ch’ŏndogyo is also the main religion of the North Korean government. Religion is no longer a requirement in North Korea.

Some scripture from Ch’ŏndogyo.


While politics will always be the biggest priority in North Korea, the Arts and Education are a close second. Their education is actually very advanced. In most urban areas of North Korea, the teachers are well trained and the schools are top quality. Also, women are granted access to education in urban areas. Usually the girls are the best students.

Some North Korean school girls.

In rural areas, the money for schools is significantly less than in urban areas. Students at rural schools have to make due with the materials provided for them. There are stories of how students at rural schools have to go out and search for wood for the entire school. Rural schools will even have food shortages, which cause the children to stay away. Universities exist in every city in North Korea. Also places called “study houses” exist for adults that want to extend their knowledge on different subjects. Music and theater are greatly enjoyed in North Korea. These tools can be used to show North Korea’s  ideological propaganda. Most every artform, has underlying tones of politics.


A poor school in North Korea. 

A rich school in North Korea. 

North Korea has cut off almost all communication from the outside world. When Korea spilt into two countries, North Korea decided to isolate themselves as much as possible. Very few tourists visit North Korea. It was not until the recent years that North Korea has even created diplomatic relations with other countries. They have existed by themselves for the longest time.

North and South Korea. 

They have created their own internet. They have gone as far as to use their creation as a weapon of war. There are two servers; one is the actual internet that the rest of the world shares and the other is Kwangmyong. Very few North Koreans actually have access to the global internet. Kwangmyong is the server that most North Koreans have access to. Kwangmyong is heavily watched and users only have access to a few thousand sites. Most websites on Kwangmyong are based on state propaganda. North Korea does not trust outside sources.


One of the few websites allowed on Kwangmyong.

North Korea is run on communism. Ever since the spilt in the 50’s, North Korea has been ruled by strict dictators. Kim II Sung was the first. Next came his son, Kim Jong-il. After Kim Jong-il’s short reign of power, Kim Jong Un came into power. He is the current leader of North Korea, and he rules his country with an iron fist. North Korea is the most isolated country in the world. They have only recently started doing any business with any other countries. Even so, they still refuse to do any business with the United States.

Small army of children in North Korea. 

The government are strong believers in the mobilization of labor. All adults in North Korea are expected to work 40 hours a week. North Korea’s economy is mainly based on the mineral resources that are found there. The industries for the extraction of coal, iron ore, and other minerals, is currently booming. Their currency is wŏn. The current GDP in billions is $40. The current GDP per capita is $1,800. Since they don’t do much business with other countries, North Korea is currently struggling with a high percentage of poverty.

A Korean dollar named wŏn.