Censorship
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The Democratic People's Republic of Korea 🇰🇵 (North Korea) is an Asian country that is officially atheistic. It is considered the single most isolated country in the world.

General[]

North Korea is the most repressed nation in the world, and North Korean residents are obliged to listen to state propaganda.

North Korea bans nearly anything foreign — and enforces this through serious punishment. This can happen even to those caught listening to South Korean music (not that it stops South Korea from broadcasting music over the border, through both radio and giant loudspeakers).

Book censorship[]

While The Diary of a Young Girl is not banned, and is sometimes required reading in schools, the views of the education system and the public differ - The North Korean education system makes the point that while Anne Frank had a beautiful dream, her foolishness to be defeated by the Nazis is what killed her, and they use this point to demonize the United States. The public, on the other hand, relate to the struggles of Frank herself.

In the 1990s, the government allowed the novel Gone with the Wind, to show the people an example of what Western art was like. The idea is that it could show The American Civil War and the ugly side (according the government) of bourgeois capitalism. It became wildly popular, but for the wrong reasons — North Koreans related strongly to the struggle for survival in a poor, war-torn country.

Internet censorship[]

The North Korean government has banned foreign websites, such as Facebook and YouTube, causing North Koreans not to have any access to the open Internet, accessing only the Kwangmyong, an intranet network separate from the World Wide Web (and, according to the North Korean government, free from outside influence).

Movie censorship[]

  • Bend It Like Beckham is the only Western movie ever shown on North Korean TV channel KCTV on 26 December 2010, to celebrate foreign diplomatic relations between the two nations. However, the film's significant sub-plots about religion and homosexuality were edited down to half its original runtime for its broadcast[1].
  • Ironically, in 2016, the 2006 North Korean film The Schoolgirl's Diary was apparently banned in its homeland because the government deemed it "subversive". However, it has been reaired on North Korean television starting in 2020 as well being archived on the state-controlled news site Uriminzzokiri, meaning the ban was temporary or just a hoax.
  • Mokran Video, North Korea's main (and possible only) home media distributor, began dubbing and distributing some Western content over time, mostly animated movies like Bolt, Frozen (2013), The Lion King (1994), Moana, Ratatouille and all mainline Shrek movies. The only major changes they have in common are their Western studios' names being ommitted.

Television censorship[]

Only four television stations exist, all of which are state-run. No private television services are allowed.

Foreign tourists can get foreign TV channels like BBC World in their hotel rooms. This is easy to pull off because the only hotel open to foreigners in Pyongyang is on an island in the Taedong River, and no one can leave without a guide or talk to any North Korean civilians, so no North Koreans can learn about TV from tourists.

Video game censorship[]

Access to video games made in the West is generally nonexistent due to the state-run economy. As a matter of fact, North Korea bans all foreign video games as well as almost all foreign products, regardless of content.

External links[]

  1. https://archive.nytimes.com/artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/12/30/north-korea-gets-a-special-kick-out-of-bend-it-like-beckham/
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