Customs and traditions
The common culture of Koreans has deep
historical roots in the Koryo and Choson dynasties
between the 900s and 1900s. However, since the
mid-1900s, North Korea has gone its own way both
politically and culturally. Culture and life patterns
will serve the state, the party and the leader dynasty
Kim. North Korea is described as a large revolutionary
family, with deceased leader Kim Il-Sung still regarded
as the head.
The scenic national song Aegukka has largely been
replaced by patriotic songs praising the deceased
leaders Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il as well as the
latter's son and the country's current leader, Kim Jong-Un.
The personal cult of Kim Il-Sung has, through the
state-controlled education system, made the Kim family
an example for men and women, young and old. The
children learn from stories from Kim's childhood, and
moral and ideological propaganda is transmitted through
parables where Kim and his family members are
Overview of the capital city of North Korea, including information about its population, economy, geography, history and map.
Know and label
In traditional Korean culture, it is extremely
sensitive to lose face. Koreans talk about protecting
the kibun, inner feelings or outward reputation.
Relationships are based on social balance and correct
behavior, a harmony that must not be disturbed. Respect
for the elderly and superiors is crucial, and status is
Although this exists as a background culture in the
interaction between North Koreans, the attitude to the
state and the leadership dynasty is all overshadowing in
today's society. The individual's feelings must be
subordinated to the interests of the nation and the
leader. The worst label violation is not showing
reverence for the Kim family of leaders.
The state, party and cult of Kim Il-Sung have also
taken over the language in North Korea. People learn the
correct vocabulary by reading government and party
publications, while they do not have access to
literature from outside. Words and expressions that are
not considered to fit the interests of the party or
state will not enter society. The state-controlled
linguistic norm makes people in North Korea sound very
similar, whether high or low educated. Common are words
and concepts such as revolution, socialism, communism,
class struggle, patriotism, anti-imperialism,
anti-capitalism, national reunification and devotion and
loyalty to the leader.
Food and clothing
White rice and meat soup used to be a symbol of good
food in North Korea, but poverty and occasional
starvation in North Korea have resulted in poor diet,
mainly rice. Otherwise, naengmyon, cold
noodles, is a favorite dish in North Korea. The leader
layer lives in culinary luxury and visitors from outside
are served a varied menu, which is not available to
ordinary North Koreans. All foods are regulated by the
North Koreans often wear uniform-like clothing with
no sharp colors. Black, gray and dark blue are common
with white shirt and blouse.
It is considered that women should not wear pants unless
they work in a factory or in agriculture. Women are
generally encouraged to show feminine features in their
attire. In public appearances and reception of guests
from outside, women often wear a variant of the
traditional Korean national costume male book, more
colorful than everyday wear.
In public, all adult North Koreans wear a Kim Il Sung
badge to the left of their chest as a sign of loyalty.
The person's status is evident from the type of brand
Traditions and holidays
National holidays are mainly Kim Il-Sung's birthday
on February 16 and Kim Jong-Il's birthday on April 15.
Since 2010, Kim Jong-Un's birthday is also celebrated on
January 8. In addition, the Workers 'Day is celebrated
on May 1, the Nation's founding September 9 and the
Workers' Party October 10. Some of these days are
celebrated with Soviet-style military parades, while
others are celebrated as art festivals and official
Violent protests following currency reform
A currency reform is implemented, which means that old banknotes lose almost
completely in value. The popular protests are unusually violent.
American journalists are pardoned
Former US President Bill Clinton visits North Korea where he meets Kim
Jong-Il. Both imprisoned journalists are pardoned and allowed to leave the
American journalists are sentenced to labor camps
Two female American journalists are sentenced to twelve years of labor camp
for illegally entering the country.
New sanctions from the UN
The UN Security Council unanimously adopts new sanctions, which impose a near
total ban on arms exports to and from North Korea, and provide clear signs for
the search of vessels with suspected cargo on their way to or from the country.
New nuclear war explosion
A second test of nuclear weapons is carried out, two and a half years after
the first test. Six short-range robots are also being postponed, and North Korea
is no longer bound by the 1953 standstill agreement with South Korea.
North Korea withdraws from the six-party talks
The UN Security Council condemns the rocket launch. North Korea withdraws
from the six-party talks (see Foreign Policy and Defense) and says it will never
participate again. The IAEA inspectors are forced to remove seals and turn off
monitoring equipment in the Yongbyon nuclear reactor, leaving the country.
Suspected test firing of long range weapons
North Korea launches a rocket, according to its own statement, to place a
satellite in orbit. The outside world, however, suspects that it is a test
firing of a long-range weapon, in violation of the existing UN sanctions.