North Korea Culture

North Korea Culture and Mass Media

Newspapers in North Korea

According to THERELIGIONFAQS.COM, North Korea is a country located in Asia. Daily newspaper distribution is relatively high (208 newspaper excl. Per 1,000 residents, 2000). All of North Korea’s ten daily newspapers are in some way connected to the state-carrying party and part of the ideological work. The journalists must also belong to the party. There is strict censorship. The largest daily newspaper is Rodong Sinmun (‘The Working Paper’), which has a circulation of 1.5 million copies. and issued by the Central Committee of the Party. The government newspaper Minju Choson (‘Democratic Korea’) has about 200,000 copies.

Radio and television are state-owned. The national radio broadcasts local programs, including through speakers at workplaces. TV is broadcast in three channels. All radio and TV sets are locked at an official frequency so that viewers are not able to watch foreign programs via satellite. There are 154 radio and 54 TV receivers per 1,000 residents (2000).


According to ANIMALERTS, early Korean culture drew strong impetus from both China and Japan. Art objects of Chinese origin are preserved from the century closest to the birth of Christ.

Already then, however, a distinctive Korean style had developed, with shapes and patterns on cult and ornamental objects, which are completely different from what was found in China and Central Asia. Paintings from the same era have found paintings that, though Chinese influenced, have their own features in both figurative depiction and ornamentation.

Korean culture experienced several periods of prosperity during ancient and medieval times. Korean stone sculpture from the early Middle Ages is regarded as the most artistic development in East Asia.

Literature emerged during the Choson period from the late 1300s. The creation of the Hangul writing system in the 15th century contributed to the spread of national literature. Only during the latter part of the 19th century did Korean culture begin to be influenced by European currents.

Since 1948, all cultural activities have been strongly ideologically characterized and strictly state-controlled. Literature, opera and dance will raise the proletarian class consciousness, prove the superiority of North Korean culture and praise the country’s leaders. The artists serve at the major state and regional cultural institutions.

Archeology has become a tool for creating national self-esteem. Large resources have been invested in excavations, and the museums organize visits from workplaces and schools.




Top post for Kim Jong-Un’s sister

Kim Jong-Un’s sister is reported to have held a high position within the party as Deputy Director of the Central Committee.

Miller and Bae are released

North Korea releases two Americans held captive, Matthew Todd Miller and Kenneth Bae. The release is seen by observers in the outside world as a sign that North Korea has become more willing to negotiate.


Americans are calling for help

The two Americans arrested during the year are pleading for help from their government to return home, in an interview with the AP News Agency. They fear long prison sentences, as does Kenneth Bae (see April 2013).

Short-range missiles are fired

North Korea launches five short-range missiles as Pope Francis arrives in South Korea.


More test shoots

North Korea will make another five test shoots with short-range robots during the month.

Japan eases sanctions

Japan decides to ease some of its sanctions on North Korea. It is in exchange for the North Koreans resuming investigation into what happened to the Japanese who were kidnapped by North Korea in the 1970s and 1980s. Reports indicate that several of them are still alive. Japan will remove some restrictions on travel to and from North Korea and allow the transfer of larger sums to North Korea than before. North Korean vessels will also be allowed to call Japanese ports if they are linked to humanitarian missions. The relief of the sanctions is considered to have the most symbolic significance.


Multi-storey house collapses

The official news agency announces that a multi-storey house in Pyongyang has collapsed and killed hundreds of people. The house is said to have had major design defects and inspections of the building have been substandard.


Drones are discovered in South Korea

Two drones reportedly coming from North Korea are found in South Korea.

Kim Jong-Un is re-elected

Kim Jong-Un is re-elected chairman of the National Defense Commission.


Shooting at the sea border

North Korea drills near the disputed sea border against South Korea in the Yellow Sea. After grenades enter South Korean territory, South Korea responds to the shelling.

Trial shoots defy prohibition

Trials of two medium-range missiles take place at the end of the month, despite the UN ban.

Kim Jong-un’s first choice

The first election is held for the Supreme People’s Assembly, Parliament, since Kim Jong-Un took over the helm. Unsurprisingly, the turnout is 100 percent in the constituency where the leader himself is running, and 100 percent vote for him.


Trial firing of short-range missiles

North Korea is conducting several tests of short-range missiles. The test shootings are ongoing while the US and South Korea are holding joint military exercises.

Families in reunion

The first reunification meetings between families not seen since the Korean War are organized. There are a few hundred people on each side. The meetings are closely monitored by North Korean government officials. The last time such meetings were arranged between the countries was in 2010.

Guilty for crimes against humanity

The UN Human Rights Council provides its report (see March 2013). According to the report, there is evidence that the regime has committed a crime against humanity. Testimonies from hundreds of North Koreans describe torture, children in prison and starvation, a woman forced to drown her own baby and terrible conditions in the country’s labor camps.

North Korea Culture

About the author