Cultural Analysis of North Korea

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Cultural Analysis of North Korea

Prepared by Group 4:

Matthew Cordova
Ruting Yuan
Guoying Chen
Chris Rosen

Prepared for:

Dr. Gerry Huybregts
BUS 310
October 30, 2008

Table of Contents

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY………………………………………………………….4

INTRODUCTION…………………………………………………………………...6

NORTH KOREA HISTORY………………………………………………………...7

GEOGRAPHICAL SETTING………………………………………………………11

Figure 1 Geographic Map…………………………………………………..11

ECONOMIC BACKGROUND……………………………………………………..14

Figure 2 United States GDP per Capita…………………………………….16

Figure 3 North Korea GDP per Capita……………………………………...17

POLITICAL AND LEGAL SYSTEMS…………………………………...………...21

EDUCATION AND LANGUAGE………………………………………………….26

Education…………………………………………………………………….26

Figure 4 Graph of Education structure……………………………………...27

Figure 5 Kim Il Sung University………………………………………...….29

Figure 6 Students at the Grand People’s Study House...……….……...……29

Language……………………………………………………………...……...31

FAMILY AND SOCIAL ORGANIZATIONS…..………………………………….35

Family………………………………………………………………………..35

Social Organizations…………………………………………………………37

RELIGION…………………………………………………………………………...40

AESTHETICS……………………………………………………………………......44

Figure 7………………………………………………………………………45

Figure 8………………………………………………………………………45 BUSINESS CUSTOMS AND PRACTICES…………………………………..……46

LIVING CONDITIONS IN NORTH KOREA……………………………………...48

Figure 9……………………………………………………………………...49

Figure 10…………………………………………………………………….49

Figure 11…………………………………………………………………….52

CONCLUSION………………………………………………………………………55

REFERENCES……………………………………………………………………….56

Executive Summary

North Korea is a country shrouded in mystery and characterized by poverty, extreme governmental control, and isolation. The government controls almost every aspect of the citizen’s lives from what kind of clothing they wear, to what religion can be practiced legally. The division between the lower class and the high class grows wider every day. Government officials and military personnel live in luxury while the average North Koreans struggle to provide food for their family. The economy has recently grown a bit stronger than in previous years, but food aid is still needed to avoid mass starvation. Famine, malnutrition, and natural disasters are still a big problem in North Korea. Education is centered on creating children who grow up to be true communists in thought and behavior who worship the political leader and demonstrate unconditional loyalty to the country. Propaganda and political ideology infect every form of entertainment from books, to movies, to advertisements.

Diversity is scarce in North Korea. One language is spoken everywhere in the nation. Besides the few Japanese that still sparsely populate the larger Korean cities, every citizen is from Korean ancestry. The only religion that is legal was created and promoted by the government to reflect the central political ideas.

The average citizen in North Korea is very poor. The government provides clothing and food aid to many Korean people. The smaller villages inland between the mountains are settled by farmers that combat natural disasters that affect crop growth almost every year. The coast is spotted with the larger cities of North Korea with its most populated city Pyongyang being located in the southwest area of the country. The citizens are required to be fiercely loyal to the government and traitors are not tolerated. Imprisonment awaits any North Korean who tries to leave the country or slanders against the government. Most nuclear weapon development facilities have been shut down in the recent years thankfully due to American pressure. The government has gone back on its word more than once in North Korea’s lifetime. It first claimed that the facilities were shut down but then miraculously reopened less than a year later. The communist regime has been anything but honest in North Korea. The...
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